Tags: Barack Obama | Ebola Outbreak | ebola | quarantine | New York | New Jersey

WSJ: Obama's 'Incompetence' Behind NY, NJ Quarantine Orders

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 08:21 AM

President Barack Obama opposes the mandatory quarantine of health workers returning from treating Ebola patients in Africa that was announced Friday by Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, but the governors of New York and New Jersey took matters into their own hands because the federal government has proved itself incompetent, The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial.

Cuomo, the New York governor, has reportedly reversed himself under White House pressure. Nurse Kaci Hickox remains in New Jersey quarantine — under protest — having returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

Illinois has put in place its own 21-day quarantine. Florida is insisting returnees from West African countries in Ebola's path be monitored twice daily.

The 21-day quarantine could well dissuade some medical personnel from volunteering in West Africa as the administration and the National Institutes of Health's Anthony Fauci have argued. Yet the foremost responsibility of elected officials is to their own constituents, the Journal writes.

The patchwork of state decisions comes after physician Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola upon returning to New York City from treating patients in Africa. The day before he developed a fever, though he felt fatigued, Spencer traveled on the subway to go bowling – notwithstanding the city's and CDC's self-quarantine guidelines.

While it's unlikely Spencer put anyone he came into contact with in jeopardy, "you can't blame politicians for wanting to reduce the risks" given the panic and economic harm that could result were anyone to catch Ebola on the subway, according to the Journal.

"The real problem is that the CDC, the World Health Organization, the Health and Human Services Department and the White House have all given ample reason not to trust their assurances. They said the chance of an Ebola case in the U.S. was remote. They said airport screeners would catch anyone sick trying to enter. They said U.S. hospitals were prepared for such cases, and that doctors and nurses would be protected. And they said self-quarantines would prevent new cases," the Journal wrote.

Meanwhile, NBC News reported  that New York City health officials corrected themselves to say that Spencer's temperature when brought to the hospital was 100.3 degrees, not 103 degree as first reported.

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President Obama opposes the mandatory quarantine of health workers returning from treating Ebola patients in Africa, but the governors of New York and New Jersey acted to do so because the federal government has proved itself incompetent, The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial.
ebola, quarantine, New York, New Jersey
366
2014-21-27
Monday, 27 October 2014 08:21 AM
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