Ron Paul vs. Rand Paul on Ebola

Rand Paul: Govt. is underplaying Ebola
Rand Paul: Govt. is underplaying Ebola

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Rand Paul: Govt. is underplaying Ebola 01:39

Story highlights

  • Ron Paul and Rand Paul are both physicians and prominent politicians.
  • Ron Paul writes in a new op-ed that Ebola is 'very difficult to attract'.
  • His son has been taking a different tone, arguing that it's more contagious than thought.
Ron Paul and Rand Paul are singing slightly different tunes on the threat of Ebola.
Sen. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist and likely presidential contender, has been generating headlines for his stark warnings about the virus, urging a temporary flight suspension from certain West African countries and suggesting Ebola is much more contagious than the government says.
His father, former Rep. Ron Paul, who's also a physician, appears to feel differently. In a column out Sunday, he sounds less distressed about the potential of the virus spreading in the United States and doesn't seem to think airline restrictions will do much good.
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This is the messy truth about Ebola
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This is the messy truth about Ebola 02:18
The former presidential candidate -- an obstetrician with a strong libertarian following -- doesn't mention banning flights as a possible solution. Instead, he writes that safety concerns can best be handled by the airlines themselves, which he says would have a greater incentive to protect passengers than governments would.
"They can do so while providing a safe means of travel for those seeking medical treatment in the United States," he writes. "This would remove the incentive to lie about exposure to the virus among those seeking to come here for treatment."
While his son, a Republican from Kentucky, has speculated that the virus can be transmitted via cough particles in the air, Ron Paul calls it "very difficult to contract."
"Common-sense precautions should be able to prevent Ebola from spreading," he writes.
Government officials have said the virus can only be transmitted through bodily fluids. But they've also said they would look closely at cases in which individuals had direct contact with Ebola patients, including getting sneezed or coughed on.
But Ron Paul dedicates part of his opinion piece on accusing the U.S. government for partially propping up the virus by sending foreign aid to countries like Liberia.
According to Paul's logic, private investment rather that government money would help countries develop a competitive, more effective medical infrastructure.
"The people of Liberia and other countries would be better off if the US government left them alone," he writes. "Leave it to private citizens to invest in African business and trade with the African people."
It's no surprise that the two men don't fall perfectly in line on the topic. Rand Paul has long taken different policy stances and opinions that those of his father.
But as the senator prepares for a potential presidential bid and as Ron Paul remains a vocal activist who frequently weighs in on the issues, their differences shed light on the politically famous father-son pair and how a Rand Paul for President campaign would look all the more different from Ron Paul's three White House bids.