Top Republicans take lead in preventing spread of Ebola across U.S.

Sean Sullivan --- The Washington Post 

Leading Republicans are racing to propose strict new limits on air travel to safeguard Americans against Ebola, the deadly virus that has reached the United States and left a Liberian man battling for his life in a Dallas hospital.

The latest to adopt that public position is Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a potential 2016 presidential candidate who is back in the national spotlight after doctors made the first Ebola diagnosis in the United States in his home state.

Unveiling a new state task force to combat infectious diseases on Monday morning, Perry called for federal officials to implement "enhanced screening procedures" at "all points of entry" to the United States and create "fully staffed quarantine stations" wherever people are entering the country.

"Washington needs to take immediate steps to minimize the dangers of Ebola and other infectious diseases," said the governor.

A pair of other Republicans called Monday for Obama to appoint a single adviser to coordinate the government's response to Obama. Others have gone even further, calling for flight bans from West African countries and raising concerns about catastrophic scenarios. Republican strategists say it is all part of an effort to flex leadership credentials and tap into concerns Americans have with President Obama's readiness to handle crises after a series of missteps in his second term.

"Republicans are emphasizing the mishandling of the Ebola crisis by the Obama administration and tying it to the theme of government incompetence," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean. "After a string of failures by the White House, the latest crisis over Ebola containment further underscores the need for new leadership."

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