Citing concerns from airport police officers, flight attendants, nurses and many others, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Inglewood) met with LAX officials on Tuesday to discuss and review what is being done to keep passengers safe from the Ebola virus.
Waters requested a meeting in a letter to Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey last week.
“There is growing concern in the community about the threat that Ebola poses to public health. Organizations representing diverse constituencies such as airport police officers, flight attendants and nurses have contacted my office to express their concerns. Given the potential for the spread of Ebola through air travel, it is critical that officials in the community surrounding LAX understand the procedures that are being followed at LAX to protect passengers, employees, and the community,” Waters wrote.
After the meeting, Waters expressed her appreciation and satisfaction with the screening protocols currently in place:
“Today’s meeting was the start of an important dialogue that must continue in the weeks and months to come. I appreciate the participation of numerous local and federal officials, whose knowledge and expertise made today’s discussion an informative and productive one. I believe that the protocols in place at LAX are substantive and comprehensive, and the airport appears to be properly prepared for an incident involving an individual with Ebola,” Waters said in a statement.
Representatives from LAWA, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Los Angeles Fire Department; City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, and a number of local mayors, elected officials and key stakeholders attended the meeting on Tuesday.
So far, 5 major U.S. airports are screening passengers for Ebola, arriving from West Africa. LAX is not among them.
Waters noted that, “Although I am pleased with the progress thus far, there are a number of follow up measures that must take place. First, greater communication with the public is absolutely necessary to ensure our citizens remain informed of the plan in place. Moreover, I believe we must begin a dialogue with the airlines themselves, to better understand protocols, and to determine if they have the equipment and resources necessary to respond to an ill passenger.”
More information is available at http://waters.house.gov.