Twenty two million. That’s the approximate population of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, three Ebola-stricken countries that New York politicians from both sides of the aisle are looking to implement a travel ban on. Andrew Cuomo, New York’s frightfully cautious governor, said that the federal government should “seriously consider” restricting flights from the West African nations. But, with a re-election weeks away, the consummate panderer also said, “We don’t do flight bans.”
Rob Astorino, his slightly ballsier Republican opponent who has nothing to lose, has a more direct and immediate plan. “I think the governor should order his health commissioner, Howard Zucker, to close those gates at the airport which would be the gateway for passengers to come in,” he said. Astorino also claimed that despite the medical science, there’s a possibility for the virus to “be spread through the air system.”
There are currently no direct flights from JFK to West Africa, but plenty of connecting ones from Europe, making a travel easier said than done, which is probably why both politicians are saying it.