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Monday, October 27, 2014

#HNNHealth Why the @WhiteHouse PUSHING FOR Reversal of #Ebola Quarantines in NYC and N.J?

The Obama administration has been pushing the governors of New York and New Jersey to reverse their

decision ordering all medical workers returning from West Africa who had contact with Ebola patients to be quarantined, an administration official said.

But on Sunday both governors, Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey, stood by their decision, saying the federal guidelines did not go far enough.

At the same time, the first person to be forced into isolation under the new protocols, Kaci Hickox, a nurse returning from Sierra Leone, planned to mount a legal challenge to the quarantine order. Despite having no symptoms, she has been kept under quarantine at a hospital in New Jersey, where she has been confined to a tent equipped with a portable toilet and no shower. On Sunday, she spoke to CNN about the way she has been treated, describing it as “inhumane.”

The rapidly escalating events played out both privately, in intense negotiations and phone calls between federal and state officials, as well as publicly in the nurse’s pointed criticism of the New Jersey governor.

Ever since Cuomo, a Democrat, and Christie, a Republican, announced the plan at a hastily called news conference Friday evening, top administration officials have been speaking with Cuomo daily and have been in touch with Christie, trying to get them to rescind the order.

But in that time, two more states — Illinois and Florida — announced they were instituting similar policies.

Federal officials made it clear they do not agree with the governors about the need or effectiveness of a total quarantine for health care workers, though they were careful not to directly criticize the governors themselves.
A senior administration official, who did not want to be identified in order to discuss private conversations with state officials on the issue, called the decision by the governors “uncoordinated, very hurried, an immediate reaction to the New York City case that doesn’t comport with science.”

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