Tags: Ebola Outbreak | cuomo | de blasio | rift | airport | quarantine | ebola

Ebola Airport Order Opens Cuomo-de Blasio Rift

By    |   Saturday, 25 October 2014 03:20 PM

A decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to subject medical personnel to a 21-day quarantine upon returning to New York after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has created a rift between Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, sources say.

Less than 19 hours before the governors made their announcement, Cuomo and de Blasio appeared together for a news conference at Bellevue Medical Center, where Doctors Without Borders physician Craig Spencer is being treated for Ebola. They said there was no need to panic, reports The New York Times.

But by Friday evening, the governors were making their announcement, and Cuomo raised questions about the danger of Ebola spreading through the city's subway system.

“In a region like this,” Cuomo said, “you go out one, two, or three times, you ride the subway, you ride a bus, you could affect hundreds and hundreds of people.”

The policy shift was drastic and angered officials who say they were not consulted beforehand.

A senior city official told The Times that Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett was not informed before the governors' mandatory quarantine order, and was "furious" over their decision.

But Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa said the office did not inform the city because it was for the Newark airport in New Jersey and JFK in New York, both of which are run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, not the city.

The governor's Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, used the city's first Ebola case to accuse Cuomo and President Barack Obama with "playing Russian roulette in the nation's most clustered population center."

On Friday, Cuomo made the television show circuit and then took the subway to his news conference in Manhattan with Christie, and said that he has always "erred on the side of caution" in a crisis and that he is in the middle of a "situation that truly tests the capacity the ability of government to perform."

But he also accused Spencer of failing to follow the Doctors Without Borders protocol for quarantining people, even though the organization said the doctor had indeed followed its guidelines and that he had not been under quarantined.

Cuomo's words also contradicted Bassett's, who had said earlier in the day that she did not want anyone portraying Spencer as reckless, the Times reports.

The growing divide in New York is mirroring the divide in the nation's capital when it comes to Ebola. On Friday, some lawmakers called for an immediate 21-day quarantine, like Cuomo and Christie enforced, while party bickering went on about whether the military should be sent to Africa to help with the crisis.

However, the partisan divide did not affect Cuomo and Christie, who said they have spoken often about the Ebola outbreak.

"I’m just happy that I have a partner like Governor Cuomo who understands these issues," Christie, who is Republican, said of the Democratic governor.

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A decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to subject medical personnel to a 21-day quarantine upon returning to New York after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has created a rift between Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's...
cuomo, de blasio, rift, airport, quarantine, ebola
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2014-20-25
Saturday, 25 October 2014 03:20 PM
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