Ebola patients: Chris Christie’s Quarantine Orders Questioned by New Jersey ACLU
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey reacted adversely to their state Governor Chris Christie’s quarantine orders to people returning home after being exposed to Ebola patients in West Africa. They issued a call asking him to rescind his mandatory quarantine policy as it was excessively broad.
The call was given in context of the compulsory quarantine of a 33 year old nurse Kaci Hickox. She was let off from the University Hospital in Newark after being under observation for 24 hours and was taken by private road transport to Maine to be quarantined at home as per guidelines issued by the State.
The executive director of ACLU of New Jersey stated that they were not against the quarantine of patients who were infected with Ebola; the question according to him was the treatment to be meted to people who did not have Ebola.
The issue was raised because Hickox was quarantined against her wishes on her return from Sierra Leone on 24th Oct. Working with Ebola patients there required her to undergo a 21 day quarantine as part of the health measures undertaken by states of New York, New Jersey, Maine and Illinois. Quarantine was made mandatory after the detection of Ebola in Craig Spencer who worked as a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders.
However, this policy brought the states into direct conflict with the federal government as President Obama’s administration feared that it may affect aid efforts to the afflicted country.