President Barack Obama is fighting back against mandatory Ebola quarantines put in place by Governors Chris Christie (R-New Jersey) and Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) that impacts all healthcare workers who have treated Ebola patients.
In a piece in The New York Times, reporters Marc Santora and Michael D. Shear said the Ebola quarantines prompted Obama to call the governors to note his concerns on the actions of the Democratic and Republican governors in response to a New York doctor having come down with the Ebola virus after returning from west Africa, where he had been treating victims of the Ebola virus.
“The Obama administration has expressed deep concerns to the governors of New York and New Jersey and is consulting with them to modify their orders to quarantine medical volunteers returning from West Africa as President Obama seeks to quickly develop a new, nationwide policy for the workers, according to two senior administration officials.”
“One administration official said the federal government has been pressing the governors to back off their decisions, which quarantine all medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients. But another official said the administration has not specifically asked the governors to reverse their policies.”
The concern Santora and Shear said was noted about the Ebola quarantines by Obama come as Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox is telling her story for the first time. Hickox was one of the first nurses to be put under Ebola quarantine in New Jersey despite the fact that she shows no signs of the virus even though she treated victims in West Africa.
USA Today quoted Hickox as saying she would not wish her Ebola quarantine on anyone.
“This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me…. I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine. … The U.S. must treat returning health care workers with dignity and humanity.”
What do you think? Is President Obama right to press the New Jersey and New York governors to rescind the Ebola quarantines on doctors and nurses who show no signs of the disease? And is the United States doing enough to combat the virus? Tell us in the comments section below.
[Image via ksat.com]