NYPD Cops Toss Ebola Protective Gear in Public Trash

Two NYPD officers who just left the vicinity of the apartment of New York City Ebola patient’s apartment were caught on video throwing away protective gear in a public trash can on the street. A video of the two police officers was published by the Mail Online.

After the officers went to Ebola patient’s Craig Spencer’s apartment, they walked down a public street with protective gear of latex gloves and face masks still on, and yellow crime scene tape in their hand. The video and accompanying photos were taken before it was confirmed that Spencer, who was hospitalized with a 103-degree fever, actually had Ebola. It was also not confirmed whether or not the police officers were in the apartment or just nearby.

After throwing away the crime scene tape in an open trash can on the street, they removed their gloves and face masks and also threw them away in the trash bin.

Though public health officials have repeatedly said that Ebola is not very infectious, and can only be caught by being in direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is infected, violations in protocol were also singled out as the reason that Texas nurse Nina Pham contracted Ebola while caring for patient Eric Duncan. Duncan was the first case of Ebola in the U.S., and Pham was the first case of someone contracting Ebola in the U.S.

The identity of New York City’s first Ebola patient, Craig Spencer, was revealed early on, as was his profession as a doctor with Doctors Without Borders and the location of his apartment in Harlem. Reporters from the Mail Online were there to capture video of police throwing their protective gear in the public trash can.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo spent Thursday night reassuring the public that there is no risk to the public, despite the fact that Spencer spent days traversing the densely populated city’s subway system, eating at restaurants, and going bowling.

Spencer had flown from Guinea, where he was helping treat Ebola patients, to Brussels and then to JFK Airport in New York City. JFK is one of the few airports in the U.S. that screens people arriving from West Africa for symptoms of Ebola. He arrived in New York City on October 17 and started showing symptoms on October 23. According to an employee of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Spencer is being treated for Ebola at Bellevue, the oldest hospital in the country.

[Lead image via Shutterstock]