General: If Ebola Reaches Central America, ‘There Will Be Mass Migration into the U.S.’

General: If Ebola Reaches Central America, ‘There Will Be Mass Migration into the U.S.’

 Weekly standard:

9:23 AM, Oct 8, 2014 • By JERYL BIER

Those looking for good news on the fight against Ebola will not find much encouragement from Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command. As Jim Garamone of Department of Defense News reports, Kelly told an audience at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that, if the disease reaches Central America, “it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States.” He also said with certainty that “there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”

“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]…”

“So, much like West Africa, it will rage for a period of time,” Kelly said.

This is particularly possible scenario if the disease gets to Haiti or Central America, he said. If the disease gets to countries like Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, it will cause a panic and people will flee the region, the general said.

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”

Kelly said that human trafficking could be an additional wrinkle in the battle to contain the disease. He related a disturbing anecdote from a recent visit to Central America where some men from Liberia were headed to the United States:

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