Obama let Ebola into the U.S. How much will that cost us?
Barack Obama let Ebola into the U.S. He could have instituted travel restrictions without much effort, but instead he allowed commercial flights originating in Liberia to continue. As a result, Thomas Eric Duncan traveled to the U.S. and infected at least two others.
All of that was preventable with commonsense travel restrictions that wouldn't interfere with the response to Ebola.
One argument made against restrictions is the economic cost to west African countries. What about the economic cost to the U.S. from not having restrictions?
In addition to lives that might be lost, here are some economic costs to the U.S. of Obama's negligence:
- Lawsuits. Dallas Presbyterian Hospital will no doubt be sued for millions of dollars by both nurses. If more hospitals are affected, the U.S. might have to establish some sort of "Ebola Fund" that would put public money towards paying settlements. If possible, lawyers will go after the U.S. and other governments, resulting in even larger settlements. That wouldn't be an issue if Obama had issued travel restrictions.
- Decreased confidence in the U.S. healthcare system. Some people who need treatment might avoid going to hospitals. Anyone who's been paying even the slightest attention to the news now knows not to trust the CDC. That wouldn't be an issue if Obama had issued travel restrictions.
- Clean up costs. Hospital rooms, planes, private residences, etc. etc. will have to be cleaned to the highest standards possible. That costs money, albeit not as much as lawsuits. That wouldn't be an issue if Obama had issued travel restrictions.
- Lost productivity and personal financial hardships due to quarantines. Apparently dozens of people across the U.S. are under mandatory or voluntary quarantine. Some may be on paid leave, meaning their employers have to both pay those under quarantine and their temporary replacements. Others might have to require on savings or charity to get through the quarantine period. The more people who have contact with Ebola sufferers, the greater the cost. That wouldn't be an issue if Obama had issued travel restrictions.
- Financial damage to airlines, bus companies, etc. Some people may postpone unnecessary travel or travel by car instead of exposing themselves to the very slight possibility that someone on the flight or the bus has Ebola. That will affect airlines, their workers, and their investors . Our not-exactly-credible leaders can say there's almost no risk all they want, but people being what they are air travel inside the U.S. might suffer. That wouldn't be an issue if Obama had issued travel restrictions.
- Lost productivity and personal financial hardships due to false alarms. The initial symptoms of the flu and of Ebola are similar. Thousands - perhaps many more - might wonder if they have Ebola when they only have the flu. Those fears might be irrational in almost all cases, but once again people are what they are. That might lead to people clogging emergency rooms, unnecessary quarantines, unnecessary fear, and so on. That wouldn't be an issue if Obama had issued travel restrictions.
Putting estimates on each of those isn't possible, but will probably be at least $10 million. It could run into the billions.
All of that money would have been better spent fighting Ebola such as by enacting travel restrictions, quarantining those who'd traveled to west Africa, coordinating direct aid efforts, and flying aid workers and supplies in on military transport.
More costs may be added, but feel free to add additional costs in comments or by tweeting @24AheadDotCom_ .
Want to do something about this? Hold these Obama partisans who've argued against restrictions responsible:
- Abby Phillip of the Washington Post
- Steven Hoffman of U. Ottawa and Vox 
- Julia Belluz of Vox 
- Heather Caygle of Politico
 see finance.yahoo.com/q?s=^XAL and
"'I'm always worried:' Travelers reconsider holiday travel plans amid Ebola fears"
katu . com/news/local/
Travelers fear Ebola infection despite government screenings
 Authors of Vox's "Why travel bans will only make the Ebola epidemic worse", peekURL.com/zw3nyBq