The CDC Just Raised Its Warning Level for U.S. Travel to Three African Countries

Here’s what that means.

National Journal
Marina Koren
July 31, 2014, 9:53 a.m.

The risk that the Ebola vir­us, which doc­tors can’t treat or cure, could reach the United States from West Africa is small. But Amer­ic­an of­fi­cials are start­ing to think it’s bet­ter to be safe than sorry.

On Thursday, the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion raised its warn­ing level for U.S. travel to the three Afric­an na­tions hit hard­est by the worst Ebola out­break in his­tory: Liber­ia, Si­erra Le­one and Guinea. The “Level 3” alert urges all U.S. res­id­ents to avoid non­es­sen­tial travel to these coun­tries be­cause of the out­break.

The CDC had pre­vi­ously is­sued a “Level 2” travel alert, which warns U.S. vis­it­ors trav­el­ing to Liber­ia, Guinea, and Si­erra Le­one, and ad­vises them to “prac­tice en­hanced pre­cau­tions” and avoid con­tact with in­fec­ted in­di­vidu­als. 

The vir­us has in­fec­ted more than 1,300 people and killed more than more than 700 since Feb­ru­ary, ac­cord­ing to the latest num­bers from the World Health Or­gan­iz­a­tion. Between Ju­ly 24 and Ju­ly 27 alone, 57 deaths were re­por­ted.

On Monday, State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Jen Psaki de­clined to say wheth­er her de­part­ment was con­sid­er­ing travel re­stric­tions in re­sponse to the out­break. “In terms of what we’re con­sid­er­ing, I don’t have any­thing to pre­dict,” she said. “We’re tak­ing every pre­cau­tion, of course.”

No case of Ebola has nev­er been re­por­ted on U.S. soil. But the re­cent death of Patrick Saw­yer from the dis­ease ap­pears to have hit close to home. Saw­yer, a nat­ur­al­ized U.S. cit­izen, col­lapsed in a Ni­geri­an air­port after de­part­ing Liber­ia, mark­ing the first time in his­tory that the Ebola vir­us traveled from one coun­try to an­oth­er by plane. Had Saw­yer’s symp­toms taken longer to mani­fest, he would have made it to his fi­nal des­tin­a­tion: Min­nesota.

What We're Following See More »
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
30 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Variety Looks at How Michelle Obama Has Leveraged Pop Culture
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“My view is, first you get them to laugh, then you get them to listen," says Michelle Obama in a new profile in Variety. "So I’m always game for a good joke, and I’m not so formal in this role. There’s very little that we can’t do that people wouldn’t appreciate.” According to writer Ted Johnson, Mrs. Obama has leveraged the power of pop culture far beyond her predecessors. "Where are the people?" she asks. "Well, they’re not reading the op-ed pieces in the major newspapers. They’re not watching Sunday morning news talk shows. They’re doing what most people are doing: They are watching TV.”

Source:
RUSSIAN HACKERS LIKELY BEHIND THE ATTACKS
New York Times, Other News Organizations Hacked
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The FBI and other US security agencies are currently investigating a series of computer breaches found within The New York Times and other news organizations. It is expected that the hacks were carried out by individuals working for Russian intelligence. It is believed that these cyber attacks are part of a "broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said."

Source:
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS PETITIONED
NLRB: Graduate Students Can Unionize
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a 3-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Columbia University graduate students, granting them the legal right to unionize. The petition was brought by a number of teaching assistants enrolled in graduate school. This decision could pave the way for thousands of new union members, depending on if students at other schools nationwide wish to join unions. A number of universities spoke out in opposition to this possibility, saying injecting collective bargaining into graduate school could create a host of difficulties.

Source:
DIFFERENT KIND OF CONVENTION BOUNCE
Cruz Approval Ratings Underwater
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Following Texas Senator Ted Cruz's controversial decision not to endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention, instead telling voters to "vote (their) conscience," a new poll out today shows that his approval ratings have sunk. The poll from Public Policy Polling shows that 39 percent of Texans approve of the job Cruz is doing, compared to 48 percent who don't approve. Additionally, despite winning the GOP primary in the state, the poll found that if the primary was held today, Trump would garner 52 percent of support to just 38 percent for Cruz.

Source:
×