Obama forces Chris Christie into embarrassing U-turn to allow Ebola nurse to leave New Jersey quarantine tent

27 Oct

OBAMA ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL THE STATES?????

north west 2dems turn 3north west 3

  • New Jersey governor said Monday that the CDC has cleared a nurse on 21-day quarantine to go home after she tested negative for Ebola twice
  • The health care worker was held after returning from Sierra Leone, and threatened a federal lawsuit to get herself released
  • A 21-day Ebola quarantine order for Americans returning from western Africa was put in place by Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
  • Under White House pressure, Cuomo changed his rules to allow home quarantines for those with no symptoms
  • Obama aides already lobbied Christie to rethink New Jersey’s rules after the nurse twice tested negative for Ebola 

Chris Christie was forced on Monday to allow a nurse being kept in a tent in a hospital parking lot to go home after intense White House pressure to relax a mandatory 21-day quarantine the New Jersey Governor had imposed at a state level.

The embarrassing turnaround came after Obama chaired a White House meeting on the rules and successfully lobbied Christie’s New York counterpart, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to relax their quarantine rules – even as Americans grow more concerned about the possibility of a pandemic emergency.

Cuomo gave in on behalf of New Yorkers. But as of Sunday Christie was still pushing for more aggressive measures to protect New Jerseyans, saying he had ‘no second thoughts’ about the policy. 

Christie is a likely entrant into the 2016 Republican Party presidential primary, and the intergovernmental Ebola skirmishes will provide both major political parties with new ammunition.

Nurse Kaci Hickox tested negative for Ebola twice, but she had remained in a forced hospital quarantine as of Monday morning.

The governors of New York and New Jersey announced last week mandatory quarantine for people returning to the United States through airports in their states who are deemed 'high risk' but the rules have now been relaxed to allow self-quarantine at home.  New Jersey, led by Chris Christie, pictured,  first resisted pressure to roll back the new rules but caved under pressure from the White House today

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, says mandatory 21-day quarantines are 'a little bit draconian'

The two states each have one of the five airports where passengers who have spent time in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea are allowed to enter the United States.

Illinois, home to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, also has a similar quarantine order in place, in open defiance of the White House.

The Obama administration pushed back on Sunday, following the latest all-hands Ebola meeting in the White House.

‘We have also let these states know that we are working on new guidelines for returning healthcare workers that will protect the American people against imported cases, while, at the same time, enabling us to continue to tackle this epidemic in West Africa.’

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday on the CBS program ‘Face the Nation’ that state-level quarantines send a message to health care professionals that volunteering in the Ebola hot zone will present new levels of inconvenience when they return. 

The New York Times first reported that aides to Obama were lobbying Christie and Cuomo to relax their new rules.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (center) says he doesn't know how his 'mandatory' quarantine would be enforced

There has been sharp criticism of the guidelines after Hickox was forcibly quarantined in a New Jersey hospital isolation unit, even though she had displayed no symptoms and had tested negative for Ebola.

Under the new New York guidelines, medical professionals who have had contact with Ebola patients can now be quarantined at home instead and receive twice-daily monitoring, if they have no symptoms.

Family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may also visit with the approval of health officials.  

Senior administration officials had called the initial decision on Friday by the governors to impose such rules ‘uncoordinated and hurried.’ 

Meanwhile, Hickox, the first nurse forcibly quarantined in New Jersey under the state’s new policy, said her isolation at a hospital was ‘inhumane,’ adding: ‘We have to be very careful about letting politicians make health decisions.’

Hickox is now suing and has now hired Norman Siegel, a high profile civil rights attorney, to challenge the order.  

Christie on Sunday defended quarantining as necessary to protect the public and predicted it ‘will become a national policy sooner rather than later.’

‘The government’s job is to protect safety and health of our citizens,’ Christie said on Fox News Sunday. ‘I have no second thoughts about it.’

In a  telephone interview with CNN, Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, said the process of keeping her isolated is 'inhumane'

In a telephone interview with CNN, Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, said the process of keeping her isolated is ‘inhumane’

Nurse Kaci Hickox was the first medical professional to be quarantined in New Jersey immediately upon returning to the United States from West Africa, where she had worked in treating Ebola patients.S he lashed out at Christie for giving her a diagnosis of sorts as 'obviously ill.'

Previously, Christie had characterized Hickox as ‘obviously ill.’

‘I’m sorry, but that’s just a completely unacceptable statement in my opinion,’ Hickox said Sunday during a phone interview with CNN. ‘For him—a politician who’s trusted and respected—to make a statement that’s categorically not true is just unacceptable and appalling.’

Cuomo also came under scrutiny over the weekend for criticizing Craig Spencer, a doctor who tested positive for Ebola on Thursday, for not obeying a 21-day voluntary quarantine. However, on Sunday, he called the health care workers ‘heroes’ and said his administration would encourage more medical workers to volunteer to fight Ebola.

Under the revised protocols Cuomo detailed on Sunday night, the state also will pay for any lost compensation if the quarantined workers are not paid by a volunteer organization.

‘My personal practice is to err on the side of caution,’ Cuomo said. ‘The old expression is, ‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.” 

‘We’re staying one step ahead,’ Cuomo said. ‘We’re doing everything possible. Some people say we’re being too cautious. I’ll take that criticism.’

For much of the weekend, the governors had been under fire from members of the medical community and the White House in what they saw as an overreaction. 

President Barack Obama gives a hug to Dallas nurse Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday, the day she was declared free of the virus

Patient Nina Pham is hugged by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, outside of National Institutes of Health (NIH) . Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (left), director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the mandatory, 21-day quarantining of medical workers returning from West Africa is unnecessary and could discourage volunteers from traveling to the danger zone

‘The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those health care workers, so we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go,’ said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci made the rounds on five major Sunday morning talk shows to argue that policy should be driven by science — and that science says people with the virus are not contagious until symptoms appear. And even then, infection requires direct contact with bodily fluids.

He said that close monitoring of medical workers for symptoms is sufficient, and warned that forcibly separating them from others, or quarantining them, for three weeks could cripple the fight against the outbreak in West Africa — an argument that humanitarian medical organizations have also made.

‘If we don’t have our people volunteering to go over there, then you’re going to have other countries that are not going to do it and then the epidemic will continue to roar,’ Fauci said.  

Fauci said that close monitoring of medical workers for symptoms is sufficient, and warned that forcibly separating them from others, or quarantining them, for three weeks could cripple the fight against the outbreak in West Africa, an argument that humanitarian medical organizations have also made

The New York-area quarantine measures were announced after Spencer returned to New York City from treating Ebola victims in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders and was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center Thursday to be treated for Ebola. In the week after his return, he rode the subway, went bowling and ate at a restaurant.

Hospital officials said Sunday that Spencer was in serious but stable condition, was looking better than he did the day before, and tolerated a plasma treatment well.

Hickox, the quarantined nurse who just returned from Sierra Leone, said she had no symptoms at all and tested negative for Ebola in a preliminary evaluation.

‘It’s just a slippery slope, not a sound public health decision,’ she said of the quarantine policy. ‘I want to be treated with compassion and humanity, and don’t feel I’ve been treated that way.’

Hickox has access to a computer, her cellphone, magazines and newspapers and has been allowed to have takeout food, New Jersey Health Department officials said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Hickox a ‘returning hero’ and charged that she was ‘treated with disrespect,’ as if she done something wrong, when she was put into quarantine. He said that she was interrogated repeatedly and things were not explained well to her. 

Commuters ride inside an L train subway car. This is the same train line that Dr. Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who tested positive for the Ebola, had taken to visit a bowling alley in Brooklyn

Official questions mandatory quarantines on health workers

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who is on a trip to West Africa, said returning U.S. health care workers should be ‘treated like conquering heroes and not stigmatized for the tremendous work that they have done.’

In other developments, President Barack Obama met Sunday with his Ebola response team, including ‘Ebola czar’ Ron Klain and other public health and national security officials. 

According to a statement released by the White House, Obama said any measures concerning returning health care workers ‘should be crafted so as not to unnecessarily discourage those workers from serving.’

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered twice-daily monitoring for 21 days of anyone returning from the Ebola-stricken areas.

The World Health Organization said more than 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola in the outbreak that came to light last March, and nearly half of them have died, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

Three US states impose Ebola quanantines

New York City Council District 7 Community Liason Fidel Malena hands out flyers about Ebola risk near the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer in Harlem

New York City Council District 7 Community Liason Fidel Malena hands out flyers about Ebola risk near the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer in Harlem

Postal worker Keven Ngo, wearing a protective mask and gloves, prepares to deliver to the apartment building of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer in Harlem

 

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One Response to “Obama forces Chris Christie into embarrassing U-turn to allow Ebola nurse to leave New Jersey quarantine tent”

  1. Gunny G October 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on GUNNY G: NOTHING BY ACCIDENT IN POLITICS…!.

    Like

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