Chris Christie’s Fear Mongering Ebola Quarantine Of Nurse Blows Up In His Face


On Monday, a day after he told Fox News he had “no second thoughts” about his decision to forcibly quarantine a nurse who had just returned from West Africa, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reversed course and announced that he was allowing Kaci Hickox to return to her home in Maine. Hickox had recently returned from a trip in Sierra Leone where she had been treating Ebola patients. She was forced to be contained in a tent outside a New Jersey hospital for the past three days after a forehead thermometer reading showed a temperature of 101.

Since then, Hickox has shown no symptoms of Ebola. A later temperature reading from a more reliable oral thermometer showed a reading of 98.6. She claimed that the forehead reading came after she was questioned from hours after a long plane ride, leading her to be frustrated and flushed. The tent she’s been forced to reside in has no shower, a small portable toilet and no television or heat. Hickox retained a lawyer to challenge the state’s treatment of her and the ACLU also stepped up and questioned whether or not Christie had the legal authority to impose such a restriction. The nurse also wrote a scathing op-ed about her confinement that appeared in a Dallas newspaper.

Christie appeared on Fox News Sunday and told host Chris Wallace that he felt mandatory 21-day quarantines were necessary for those who may have been exposed to Ebola, even if the people weren’t symptomatic. He also brushed off criticism from health experts.

WALLACE: Governor, you just heard and we want to talk — before politics to this whole controversy about Ebola and quarantine, you just heard Dr. Fauci, New York City’s health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett, says reportedly she was furious that she was not informed before the quarantine was imposed. Do you no longer trust the CDC and, doctors and scientists?

CHRISTIE: Well, no, that’s pretty general statement, Chris. Of course we do. The fact of the matter is CDC protocols as Dr. Fauci admitted himself has been moving target and imagine that you’re the person in charge of public health of people of largely densely populated state, in fact, most densely populated state in the Union, and these protocols continue to move and change.

It was my conclusion we need to do this to protect the public health of people of New Jersey. Governor Cuomo agreed. And now, Mayor Emanuel agrees. And I think the CDC eventually will come around to our point of view on this.

WALLACE: And what about Dr. Fauci who says it’s not good science to quarantine people when they’re not symptomatic because they can’t spread the disease in those situations.

CHRISTIE: Well, listen, I have great respect for Dr. Fauci. But what he’s counting on is voluntary system with folks who may or may not comply. We had the situation in New Jersey, Chris, as you know, with NBC News crew that said that they were going to self-quarantine and then two days later they were picking up takeout in Princeton and walking a around the streets of Princeton.

I mean, the fact of the matter is that we — I don’t believe when you’re dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system. This is government’s job. If anything else, the government job is to protect safety and health of our citizens. And so, we’ve taken this action and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it.

However, it appears that the specter of a lawsuit from Hickox, as well as the potential of another one from the ACLU, led to Christie flip-flopping and allowing Hickox to return to Maine. Hickox has agreed to serve out the rest of the 21-day period at her home and the state’s Health and Human Service will work with her on the procedure. Christie has said that he will still require mandatory quarantines for anyone else that arrives in the state who was exposed to Ebola and shows potential symptoms.

Christie isn’t the only governor who is pushing mandatory quarantines. Also, this isn’t just contained to Republican governors. Four other states (New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Florida) have imposed restrictions similar to what Christie has put in place. New York’s Andrew Cuomo, a potential Democratic candidate for President in 2016, also loosened some of the restrictions that he put in place late last week. He is now allowing in-home quarantines. Meanwhile, the governors in the other three states are all dealing with tight elections that will likely come down to the wire. Therefore, they are caving to outsized public fears rather than the advice of experts in an effort to prove they are doing something.

Salon’s Jim Newell pointed out that the current political environment rewards politicians like Christie for acting quickly and irrationally while ginning up additional fear over a crisis that actually doesn’t exist.

It’s doubtful that the mess will hurt Christie politically. It was more likely the threat of a lawsuit that caused him to liberate his prisoner than the political unpopularity of the captivity. That other governors followed suit and instituted mandatory quarantine policies shows the appeal of such draconian measures. What do you expect when the public has been told to expect mass death from a virus (that’s currently being carried by one confirmed person out of 300-something million)? We’re now in a political environment where one can be expect rewards for having the “strength” to go directly against the advice of the medical establishment, which for strange electoral reasons has been labeled “incompetent” despite doing an extraordinary job keeping the virus contained.

This election season needs to end, pronto. It was “fine” when it was just candidates spouting demagogic idiocy in debates, on the campaign trail, in television ads. But now we have our first evidence that taking prisoners, real-life tangible human beings, is an acceptable form of pandering to hysteria. Hopefully we can make it through another eight days without a public hanging.

Somehow, President Obama is getting needlessly chastised for the presence of a disease that has claimed exactly one life in the United States and is only currently being carried by one person in this country. Meanwhile, lawmakers and pundits are trying to make political hay by pushing panic and fear. Taking measured, thoughtful steps towards dealing with an issue don’t drive people to the polls, apparently.

36 Replies to “Chris Christie’s Fear Mongering Ebola Quarantine Of Nurse Blows Up In His Face”

  1. Christie is a sacck of s**t. Playing politics with a disease? I would feel safer if they quarantined him.
    What’s your agenda if you get elected? HUUH?

  2. Something has been on my mind about these imprisonments. If you were to find someone to quarantine, traveling by air, wouldn’t you to lock up the entire planeload of passengers? I mean if one person is infected and planes are pressurized and sealed that would mean everyone is a potential carrier.

    P.S I know its a silly argument but when you are dealing with idiots who applauded this shit needs to answer that question

  3. A forehead reading is not reliable all of the time. And how much fear can gop voters take? At this point they should be afraid of their own shadows. It’s all fear, all the time. It never ends. No wonder they cling to their guns, the boogeyman is everywhere.

  4. “I’m the Governor and therefore I know more than the doctors because…Ebola!”

    I still say that there is a donut shop still in need of being eaten Governor Christie!

  5. It’s the Wingnut Playbook – Page 1

    Make everyone Afraid of Imaginary Problems.

    Show “Leadership” by doing Stupid Shit without thinking or asking anyone intelligent.

    Justify doing Stupid Shit by Blaming Intelligent people for “Never doing Enough”
    to fix Imaginary problems.

    You can substitute Immigrants, Women, Voter Fraud, Non-White People, Gay People, minimum wage or Obamacare for Ebola and their behavior is EXACTLY the Same.

  6. Sooooo the “I’m not a scientist” republicans have overnite become scientists. No longer content to be hypocrites…they have now entered the arena of schizoids.

  7. Apparently Republicans think
    quarantine is some kind of a
    ‘Mean Girl’ kimmie on fox’s
    the 5 thinks you should just
    “chill out” & “eat some Top Ramen!”
    “it’s only 21 days!”
    How ’bout we throw HER Bully-Azz
    in that tent?? Just her & some Top
    Ramen! See how SHE reacts!

  8. How can they be on all the sides of the same argument simultaneously and keep a straight face is beyond me. Does Capt. Oblivious not realize that these health care workers have seen the effects of hemorrhagic fever up close and personally? Believe me, it’s not pretty so the notion of a doctor or nurse actually developing symptoms (and at that point becoming infectious) and not immediately rushing to a hospital to get help is totally ludicrous.
    Remember the GOP outrageous lie about Obamacare death panels? That looks completely tame when compared to the recent tweets of former South Carolina GOP director Todd Kincannon who suggested that if just made to “humanely put down” anyone in the US with Ebola and that villages in Africa should be napalmed. OMG

  9. The tent she’s been forced to reside in has no shower, a small portable toilet and no television or heat. Does any one really think that it would be acceptable to live in the tent without a flush toilet,shower,TV or heat for 3 weeks. I know the answer is “of course not”. She might have endured the quarantine in a proper living space but that tent
    where they expected her to live for 3 weeks was ridiculous

  10. the rightwing tries to talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time. it is not working anymore. americans are on to the rightwing scam. the thing is, all these rightwing jackals and republicans have been blasting Obama day in and day out for not doing more to quarantine those who might be infected. if Obama did decide to force quarantine and blanket travel restrictions, the GOP and rightwing whacko birds would be the first ones screaming that obama is a tyrant and king and now he is holding americans against their will. we are not stupid. we know the GOP has tried, but failed, to set this president up time after time after time. the only ones who come out looking like fools are the republicans. folks, lets get rid of these rightwing clowns. we start on November 4th!!!

  11. Looks like limpballs was not impressed


    “This is the second election in a row, one week prior to an election, the governor of New Jersey ends up, well I don’t know — arm and arm, hand and hand, in bed with, I don’t know how to characterize it — but responding to Obama’s demands,” Limbaugh said Monday on his radio show.

  12. one week from tomorrow, the rightwing in this nation will be reeling after the humiliating defeat by dems on November 4th. dems will keep the senate. dems will defeat 4 incumbent republican governors. dems will gain a few more house seats. this is just the start. we will rid our democracy of all the treasonous republicans.

  13. Christie is just a big bully. He never apologizes even when he’s wrong. The only fun thing about him is watching him smack down the crazy red neck tea partiers!

  14. This is predictable. Do something theatrical to show people that you are exhibiting “leadership” but you don’t actually think it through or have a real plan for how to execute it. Oh, yeah. And consult a lawyer about what conditions allow you to basically arrest people?

  15. One of the first things I think of when I hear the argument for a 3 week quarantine is “who’s going to make up the lost income for these people?” And if they are so infectious what about any family that resides with them when allowing them to remain at home for 21 days? This kinda blows a hole in the ole logic.

  16. I don’t think anyone is arguing about at home quarantining what I am saying is the government on their own and just because you were in a country with cases, forcibly put you in solitary confinement. If that’s the case since we have Ebola in Texas should we ban travel and for people that visit that state put them in camps?

  17. For the last time health experts are virtually unanimous in declaring that people infected with the virus do not become contagious until after they develop a fever or other symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or severe headaches, at which time they need to be hospitalized and taken out of circulation.

    Don’t you think that him being a Doctor ,working up close and personal with Ebola patients would know if he was a health risk? You do know the man who died from Ebola was showing symptoms with his family present and none of them contracted Ebola.

    Please look up Doctors without borders and it would answer your own question about paying them. Our military are not I REPEAT ARE NOT treating victims. They are there to build infrastructure to treat patients.

    I don’t blame you or the sane Americans for their lack of understanding I blame the media and cowardly Politian’s who are spreading misinformation so they can grift and gain power for their own selfish needs and not informing the public on the facts

  18. Reply to djchefron at 4:00 pm

    I know its a silly argument but when you are dealing with idiots who applauded this shit needs to answer that question

    Not a silly argument. It’s why there should be a “do not board” list for at-risk visa holders and healthcare workers who are returning to their home countries. Keeping them from commercial air travel during the 21 days after their last potential exposure to Ebola would be prudent.

    It’s what Australia has done.

    “…. holders of permanent Australian visas based in these countries would be subject to a mandatory, three-week quarantine process PRIOR to their departure. Visitors approved to travel to Australia will also face further screening and followup checks upon arrival.”

  19. I didn’t know we followed the Australian Constitution if they have one. Gee you learn something everyday

  20. Ebola isn’t airborne.
    Doesn’t matter.
    Ebola virus on dry surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops, can survive for several hours.
    and the passengers who were on the flights with Amber Vinson who were potentially at risk were actively monitored.

    Also, Frieden from the CDC stated that Amber Vinson’s flight was a breach of protocol.
    “Because at that point she was in a group of individuals known to have exposure to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline,” he said.

  21. Damned if they do. Damned if they don’t. It’s no wonder politicians can rationalize being liars, cheats and scoundrels.

  22. Well then you wont be back right? Or you can stay and tell us why the doctors family in NY didnt get it.

    You cant figure odds based on who lived and died here. The new vaccine will make the odds far greater.

    Now straighten up, you know about 1/10th of what you think you know

  23. Explain why several countrys were just declared ebolla free in Africa. Seems some one is surviving doesnt it.

  24. Stuck on stupid you can twist it anyway you want but the fact is ONE person has died from EBOLA ONE. up to 30,000 will die from the flu. Now did you get your flu shot

  25. Damn sometimes I am just embarrass by the so call democrats ignorance.If you have symptoms you will not be able to fly. If you have the virus it takes anywhere from 4 to 21 says to get the disease so a layover plus 5 TO 6 HR flight will not expose people. BTW how many people do you know that have visited West Africa since June?

  26. If a person is single,lives alone and is put on quarantine at home for 21days, who supplies food or other necessities for her? If she is without health insurance who pays for meds if needed? Is her employer required to pay her salary? Can an anklet be used to make sure that she remains at home?

  27. I am quite sure she would be monitored by doctors taking blood test at least once a day and they would bring her whatever she needs. Who pays for it? I guess the state. I don’t know if her employer pays sick leave and being a Nurse who just came back from the hot zone one would think she knows the dangers of Ebola so I don’t think she will be going to the mall

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