Yesterday, Bret Stephens wrote in a typically thoughtful column in the Wall Street Journal that eventually the president will “bend to public pressure and impose a ban,” adding, “It is astonishing that the administration hasn’t already done it, if only to get ahead of yet another potential public-relations debacle.”
Earlier this afternoon the Department of Homeland Security proved Stephens’s prescience — kind of. The National Journal wrote:
Travelers flying between West African nations affected by Ebola and the United States will now be subject to additional screenings and “protective measures” to help prevent the disease from spreading into the U.S., the Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday.
All passengers flying from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea into the U.S. will be required to enter the country through five major airports: Dulles International Airport in Virginia; John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Newark Liberty International Airport; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
It’s not much of an announcement really since the gist of it was basically a minor variation on the half-measure the administration offered two weeks ago, when it announced:
[P]assengers deplaning at JFK Airport in New York, Dulles in Washington, and several other major airports would be asked to complete a questionnaire. Their temperature, moreover, would be taken.
Compare that language with the announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson today:
All five airports will now be required to specially screen passengers whose trips originated in any of those three countries and to submit passengers to ‘added protocols, including having their temperature taken.’