Governor Christie, Ebola and locals acting like yokels

Please briefly review my prior post, Civil liberties, isolation, quarantine, Ebola and other terrifying diseases (among other things, stating that “scary though it may be, the 50 states and the various Indian tribes have the primary authority to deal with outbreaks like Ebola assuming the patient is not at a US port of entry or is not likely to travel between the States or reservations.”)

Pursuant to an order of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a young nurse has been physically detained against her will and quarantined merely because she treated Ebola patients in Africa. She is entirely asymptomatic and there is apparently no reason to believe that she failed to follow the proper protocols while engaging in her medical work in Africa. She has twice tested negative for Ebola. She can’t see her lawyer. The CDC believes this quarantine is both unnecessary and unwise. See here for the details of this story and how the tremendously courageous and articulate nurse, Kaci Hickox, skewers Christie’s decision.*

If you care, really care, about civil liberties, Governor Christie’s decision, unsupported as best I can tell by medical and scientific evidence, ought to concern you. I fear that my previously expressed fear about leaving these decisions to our 50 state governments and Indian tribes is coming to fruition. Christie seemingly proves once again that locals often act like yokels.

Maybe it is time to break out the Constitution. As I have said before, the specter of “big brother” with a stethoscope and a sidearm is not solely the province of lunatics.


*New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has imposed a similar rule and so has Illinois. See here.

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