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Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Murphy | Ebola | mandatory quarantine

Rep. Murphy Again Calls for Mandatory Quarantine for Ebola Doctors

Rep. Murphy Again Calls for Mandatory Quarantine for Ebola Doctors
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. (MCT/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 24 October 2014 09:28 AM

Responding to reports that an American doctor had been diagnosed with Ebola, Rep. Tim Murphy reiterated his call for a mandatory three-week quarantine for any health worker who has had contact or treated patients stricken with the deadly disease, reports The Hill.

Murphy said that the government should take "every necessary precaution to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus" including "implementing a mandatory 21-day quarantine period for returning healthcare workers who have had direct exposure to patients."

On Thursday, Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old doctor with the global nonprofit Doctors Without Borders, was placed in isolation at Bellevue Hospital in New York City after he was diagnosed with Ebola. Spencer had extensive exposure to Ebola patients while working in the African nation of Guinea.

Murphy initially called for a mandatory quarantine Oct. 16, the same day he chaired a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing examining the government's response to the Ebola crisis. The quarantine was one of several preventive measures Murphy laid out in a letter he sent to President Barack Obama.

Murphy, who is a doctor, proposed nine concrete measures to prevent the spread, including travel restrictions; designated medical centers equipped and trained to treat potential Ebola patients; and stepped-up training and protection for healthcare workers.

"These recommendations set a strong perimeter of defense to protect public health here in the United States while allowing for infectious-disease experts to gain a better understanding of this virus. As we learn more, we can adjust policies. But let’s start from the strongest line of defense and work our way down, not begin with the weakest line of public-health protections and scramble our way up," he wrote in an editorial published Thursday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

On Tuesday, Murphy joined with a group of other lawmakers with medical backgrounds to write a letter to President Obama that stressed "containment is the key to stopping the spread of this highly contagious and deadly disease, and we strongly urge your administration to consider implementing a temporary travel ban for individuals who are citizens of, or traveled to, affected countries in West Africa."

The lawmakers expressed their continued support for American leadership in the fight to contain the Ebola outbreak in Africa, including sending U.S. healthcare workers to the region. However, they said proactive steps were needed to "assuage public anxiety" about the risks posed to American citizens in the homeland.

Murphy has argued consistently for more "candor" from the administration concerning the risks posed by Ebola.

"But we can only achieve this monumental goal if we start being honest about the challenges and stop with the platitudes and statements that Americans aren’t buying," he wrote in an Oct. 23 op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Pennsylvania Republican has been a vocal critic of the appointment of Ron Klain, whom he described as a "campaign operative," as Ebola czar.

In an Oct. 17 interview on Fox Business' "Cavuto," Murphy said Klain's selection made no sense given his political background and lack of experience in healthcare.

Referring to witnesses who appeared at the Ebola subcommittee hearing he chaired, Murphy said, "not one of them said, 'Can you please appoint a czar who knows nothing about what I do.'"

Watch the video here.


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Headline
Responding to reports that an American doctor had been diagnosed with Ebola, Rep. Tim Murphy reiterated his call for a mandatory three-week quarantine for any health worker who has had contact or treated patients stricken with the deadly disease, reports The Hill.
Murphy, Ebola, mandatory quarantine
548
2014-28-24
Friday, 24 October 2014 09:28 AM
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