As I write this, we have a health care worker in Maine who was doing volunteer work in West Africa and who is fighting efforts to keep her quarantined. Kaci Hickox says it is a violation of her rights, and she is threatening to sue Maine if they try to enforce a quarantine on her. She is also threatening a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey for keeping her in quarantine upon her arrival from Africa. They let her go after she raised such a fuss.
In the meantime, we have a doctor in New York City, Craig Spencer, who returned from similar work in West Africa. This doctor reported to a hospital when he became sick, but prior to showing symptoms was running all over town from one place to another. Yesterday we learned that he lied to authorities about his activities.
While I applaud the selflessness of these volunteers who have gone to West Africa to try and help people stricken with Ebola, there is nothing selfless about refusing to submit to a 21 day quarantine before they re-enter US society. In fact, it is downright selfish and irresponsible.
Hickox says that there is no need to quarantine her and she doubts the protocols. That flies in the face of two documented instances where Dallas nurses caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who came here and subsequently died, contracted the disease themselves. If they could catch Ebola, why is she immune?
It is also noted that the US servicemen who have been sent to West Africa are subject to the quarantine. The first of them have already entered quarantine at the US base at Vicenza, Italy. President Obama maintains that it is OK to subject the troops to the quarantine because, after all, they were ordered to go and didn’t have a choice. It is also noted that the troops are providing logistical support and are not in contact with patients. Yet, they are being quarantined before returning Stateside.
Meanwhile, President Obama, his “Ebola czar”, and the rest of his administration are still unable to get a handle on this, refusing to issue a travel ban from the affected countries as hundreds of people arrive each day from Liberia and Sierra Leone feeling “just fine” as we await the next case in the US.
Given what has transpired, it is a matter of simple common sense. If you want to go to West Africa and volunteer your services, that is fine. I support any efforts to eradicate this virus at its source, and the US certainly has the resources to help. However, I still maintain that until we have this under control, we should not be allowing people with passports from the affected nations to come here. Secondly, our own citizens who go there must do so with the knowledge that they will be quarantined before re-entering our society.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com