Mitch Perry Report 10.8.14: Nelson wants temporary travel ban on Ebola-stricken West Africa

Officials with Tampa International Airport said yesterday that they're working with a host of other government agencies and airlines to ensure that anyone coming off an airplane at TIA displaying symptoms of the Ebola virus will be immediately isolated. They're doing it on their own, without being told to by the federal government. All out of an abundance of caution. 

Some people think the Obama administration hasn't been aggressive enough in dealing with Ebola coming to the U.S., such as Ted Cruz, Rick Perry — and FL Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

On Monday President Obama said the U.S. government would increase passenger screenings in the U.S. and Africa to detect the Ebola virus, but he is not ready to impose a ban on those traveling from the three countries most affected by the outbreak, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. 

In a letter written yesterday to Secretary of State John Kerry, Nelson writes that "these travel bans could be temporary until the CDC determines the affected areas no longer pose a threat. This would not only help protect Americans here at home, it would also provide additional time for the added steps the administration is implementing to take effect."

He added, "While there have been unheeded calls in recent weeks from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle wanting similar action, I believe it is imperative the administration reconsider temporary, targeted travel restrictions at this time."

Nelson isn't the only congressional Democrat from Florida for calling for such a ban. Orlando-area Representative Alan Grayson says he'll propose legislation calling for a ban if the administration continues to avoid one.

In other news....

So were Jeff Brandes and Mark Sharpe performing a dereliction of duty when they appeared at a transit summit with a representative from Lyft last month? That's what a top taxicab CEO from Tampa is now charging.

Democratic Party strategist and Charlie Crist adviser Steve Schale has insisted for months that the gubernatorial election may not be decided on election night, so close does he believe the final tally will be. While for several weeks Rick Scott seemed to be leading every poll, now it's Charlie Crist out on top — though completely within the margin of error.

On Monday at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, the subject was global warming and what can be done about it. The day kicked off with scientists talking about how the climate change message can best be communicated. They experienced first-hand how frustrating that effort can be when they met with Gov. Scott in August.


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