Politicizing Ebola helps no one

On Monday morning, Gov. Mark Dayton, along with Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, contacted the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, requesting that the federal government conduct Ebola screenings on West African airline passengers traveling through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The CDC recently announced that it would begin conducting passenger screenings at five select airports across the United States. Together, these airports receive about 90 percent of passengers traveling to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

MSP is currently not on the list for federal screenings. However, Dayton, Klobuchar and Franken reminded the CDC that the Twin Cities is home to the largest Liberian community outside of Africa — approximately 30,000 people in total.

Republican senatorial candidate Mike McFadden endorsed airport screenings earlier this month, after a Liberian man carried the Ebola virus from Africa to Dallas. Some critics have complained that the screening measures requested by Dayton, Klobuchar and Franken only echo what McFadden has already proposed.

We support Ebola screening at MSP, and we hope to see a positive response from the CDC. More importantly, we encourage politicians not to politicize the Ebola outbreak in an effort to score points with their parties.

Politicizing an epidemic helps no one, and it disrespects those struggling to treat or survive the disease. To that end, we should support containment and prevention measures, not bicker over who thought of them first.