US President Barack Obama on Saturday urged his countrymen not to get hysterical over Ebola and shot down the idea of travel bans from Ebola-ravaged countries in West Africa, noting that restrictions could make things worse.
Earlier this week, lawmakers had demanded that Obama should bar people from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea from entering the United States. For his part, Obama clarified that he is not philosophically opposed to travel bans, but on Saturday he noted that he is not planning to greenlight this plan as of now.
"We can't just cut ourselves off from West Africa," Obama said, adding that doing so would make things troublesome for health workers and they would find it tough to move in the affected region. He added that it would also affect the supplies of medical aid into the region, and would motivate people who are from Ebola-affected region to evade screening.
"Trying to seal off an entire region of the world - if that were even possible - could actually make the situation worse," he said. Obama said it would take time to fight the disease, warning "before this is over, we may see more isolated cases here in America."
Putting things in perspective, Americans reminded that only three cases have been diagnosed in the country, and the deadly viral disease is not easily contracted. "What we're seeing now is not an 'outbreak' or an 'epidemic' of Ebola in America," he said. "This is a serious disease, but we can't given in to hysteria or fear."