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Top Liberian Official Tells City Council Air Travel Ban Would Only Make Ebola Crisis Worse

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The growing cry for a complete ban on air travel to those countries most stricken by Ebola prompted an emotional plea this past week in Philadelphia by a top Liberian official. She says a ban would be "a death sentence."

City Council members heard from Gurly Gibson, an official at the Embassy of Liberia in Washington, D.C. She said her country's situation is dire and that officials believe a halt to air travel would only make things worse.

"It is going to be a death sentence, just thinking about halting all flights going in, because it will only escalate the problems," Gibson said. "We need airlines to go in, to be able to take in supplies to those countries. If not, its going to spread, its going to get worse and more people are going to die."

Gibson urged Americans not to fear continued open travel to and from her continent.

"You don't need to be afraid of having people leave Africa, or having people go in to Africa," she said. "Because we are doing all we can to help stop the spread."

Gibson said the needs of her country are great.

"We need things like body bags, we need medical supplies, we need health workers," she said. "We need doctors. We're asking for your support, so that together we can contain this virus."

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