Nurse May Sue To Leave Ebola Quarantine, Journalist Makes Stupid Comparison

Nurse May Sue To Leave Ebola Quarantine, Journalist Makes Stupid Comparison

Kaci Hickox, a nurse, is currently in quarantine in New Jersey after returning from Sierra Leone, where she was treating Ebola patients while working with Doctors Without Borders. Despite showing no symptoms and being questionably treated by immigration officials and the CDC, Hickox is now being forcibly quarantined at University Hospital in Newark.

She has now retained a civil rights lawyer in order to try and get out of quarantine, blaming a climate of fear and saying:

I sat alone in the isolation tent and thought of many colleagues who will return home to America and face the same ordeal. Will they be made to feel like criminals and prisoners?

If she wants to blame someone, Hickox should probably be blaming Dr. Craig Spencer, who returned from his work in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders and spent time out in public in New York City while feeling ill. He was diagnosed with Ebola after having been at a bowling alley and riding the subway. As a result of his stupidity of being out while developing symptoms, New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced new quarantine orders for medical workers returning from Ebola-afflicted West African countries. This has the White House none too happy, and they are reportedly putting pressure on Cuomo and Christie to back down. Ever loyal to the White House, Cuomo has since amended his orders to let medical workers serve out their quarantines at home. Governor Christie has not yet responded.

But in the meantime, National Journal reporter Ron Fournier knows EXACTLY what having a nurse serve a 21 day medical quarantine is like…


Given the chance to clarify his assertion, Fournier doubled down on the stupid.


As someone who knows a little something about the Japanese internment, I’ll say it – Ron Fournier is a total idiot. The two situations are in no way comparable.

For starters, if Kaci Hickox or any other health care worker is healthy in 21 days, she or he will get to leave quarantine. You can argue whether or not that’s fair, but there’s also a public health and safety concern. To compare it to being incarcerated indefinitely on the basis of race is offensively stupid.

There can be a reasonable argument about quarantines – but Dr. Spencer made it through that much-vaunted health screening at JFK that was supposed to “catch” anyone with symptoms. So much for THAT safety net.

There has to be a balance between the rights of those who have volunteered to give medical care abroad in Ebola-stricken areas, and the rest of us to not be exposed to a disease with a current fatality rate of 50%, if contracted. This is not something to be treated lightly. While our chances of catching Ebola are very rare right now, once caught, there is no such thing as a case of “mild” Ebola.

Sorry, Kaci Hickox, but I think you’ll probably have to stay in quarantine. Maybe your new lawyer can get you Netflix or something to help pass the time. And Ron Fournier – you’re still an idiot, and I don’t think a quarantine will help with that.

UPDATE:
Hickox will be released to go home to Maine. Governor Christie’s office has been tweeting updates on their decision.

Christie writes that Hickox “has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hrs. After being evaluated by CDC & her clinicians the patient is being discharged.”

Here’s hoping that she remains symptom-free and healthy.

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5 Comments
  • Appalled By The World says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but if I had to spend 3 weeks in quarantine I would have no problem with it, especially knowing what Ebola is all about. Why take the chance of spreading this disease?

  • Claire Stevens says:

    Kaci Hickox proves my theory that these international healthcare volunteers are nothing more than self-congratulatory solipsists. They love to be called “heroes” for arbitrarily placing themselves in danger but a real hero would never knowingly place others in danger like she and Dr. Spencer have. Kaci Hickox and Craig Spencer want nothing to impede them from doing exactly as they like, regardless of the obvious risk to others. This is not heroic behavior by any definition.

    • Chris in N.Va. says:

      New suggested collective name for these self-important “rules for thee but not for me” ersatz professionals:

      HUBRIS WITHOUT BORDERS

  • John A says:

    Just an aside, “Typhoid Mary” never showed symptoms.

  • Wfjag says:

    The Army’s plan is to quarantine Soldiers coming back from West Africa for 21 days (and, unlike the nurse, the Solders will be providing logistical support and not working with Ebola patients). But, we know how the administration regards Soldiers doing any duty other than being props for photo-ops.

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