Nurse formerly quarantined in NJ doesn’t plan to comply with Maine’s Ebola protocol

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(PIX11/CNN) -- A healthcare worker who was quarantined in New Jersey after she returned to the U.S. from treating Ebola patients in West Africa has returned to her home state of Maine, but said she has no intention of abiding by the state’s voluntary quarantine.

“I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines. I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me, even though I am in perfectly good health and feeling strong and have been this entire time completely symptom free,” Kaci Hickox told TODAY.

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I’m not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.”

She said if she becomes symptomatic, she will take the necessary steps to get herself to the hospital, but until then she plans on going about her life as usual.

Ebola is highly infectious but not highly contagious. First discovered in the late 1970s, the virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has Ebola and who is exhibiting symptoms, including fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

Part of Maine’s Ebola protocol is similar to that of New York, namely that anyone who had direct contact with Ebola patients stay home for 21 days, the incubation period of the virus.

Hickox returned last week from Sierra Leone, where she was helping Ebola patients. When she arrived at Newark, she was isolated for some 65 hours in a tent inside a Newark hospital.

Saying she was not symptomatic, Hickox strongly protested the quarantined, hiring legal counsel and drawing the national spotlight to what she described as a violation against her rights.

She was released and sent to Maine on Monday. Attorneys for Hickox have raised the possibility of challenging New Jersey's quarantine policy in court.

Gov. Christie on possible lawsuit: 'Whatever'

Campaigning Tuesday in Rhode Island for GOP gubernatorial nominee Allan Fung, the straight-talking Republican said he had no qualms about taking on any legal action.

"Whatever," he said, when pressed by reporters about a potential legal challenge. "Get in line. I've been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I'm happy to take it on."

Facing questions over the condition of tent, Christie said he had no concerns about how Hickox was treated.

"Neither did the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], who was on the ground in University Hospital monitoring the conditions she was in. She had access to the Internet and we brought her takeout food," he said.

Christie understood why she felt inconvenienced, he said, but argued she had a fever at one point and he did what was right for the general public.

"There's been all kinds of malarkey ... about this,” he said. “She was inside the hospital in a climate-controlled area with access to her cellphone, access to the Internet, and takeout food from the best restaurants in Newark. She was doing just fine."

12 comments

  • Apple (@pivobysala)

    Tired of hearing about this nurse’s “altruism” for going to Africa to care for Ebola patients – means absolutely nothing if you come back here with a total disregard for the health and safety of your fellow Americans.

    A travel ban needed to be put in place yesterday, as well as a mandatory quarantine. Unfortunately, Obama and Co. want to keep bringing these vessels in (along with the Ebola patients on board). I don’t understand their reasons, and I don’t think most Americans do either.

    To me, it seems like Obama is more concerned with looking politically correct than stopping the spread of Ebola. Banning flights is racist. Closing our borders is racist. Quarantining Africans is SUPER racist. Obama – this one is on you!

    Hey Obama – You allowed ISIS to flourish. You picked a senseless fight with Russia. You ruined health insurance. My health insurance is up to $450/month from just $200/month. My car insurance is currently only $25/month (from Insurance Panda), but who knows when Obama will try to step in and create socialized car insurance. Our country is doomed.

    Ebola needs to be stopped, and for that to happen, Obama needs to go.

    • Debra Wofford Moore

      The nurse that has no intention of abiding by the state’s voluntary quarantine has no consideration for anyone else but herself. She is being selfish and self-centered as to what she wants. I cant believe someone in her position as a healthcare worker is doing this.

  • Christine

    How contradictory? She refuses to stay home and self quarantine because she has no symtoms, however if she starts to have symtoms she will take the necessary steps???? Why put Americans at risk!? Stay home and make sure you don’t have symtoms … This is what a responsible nurse so be doing… Good luck

    • nora tomlinson (@runningnoodles)

      Frankly, she gives every appearance of being unbalanced enough to deliberately and spitefully try to infect others if she becomes symptomatic. It is clear she views her fellow Americans as an impediment to her clinically delusional self-canonization of herself as the reincarnation of St Damien of Molokai ( who treated lepers ).

  • Twostellas

    What a nasty arrogant woman. I’m sure the doctor with Ebola in NYC thought the same thing as you, Kaci, while he traveled the city. Besides, it’s 21 days! Not even a month and you can’t abide by the guidelines?? Really?

    • Evelyn Regan

      Sure, she can fly to Africa and live in crappy conditions, wear spacesuits every day while caring for the sick, have no restaurants, theaters, museums, etc, but when she comes home she can’t stay in her own apartment/house for 3 weeks? These people, (that lying doctor included) appear to me to be selfish yahoos who wanted the glory and “attaboys” for being “so selfless” as to go care for the sick in Africa, rather than doing ANYTHING out of a true sense of compassion and respect for ALL people, I know this is kind of out there, but I wonder how many of these people are under the radar suicidal-who don’t care if they die and don’t REALLY care if anyone else does either and are just attention-seekers or adrenalin junkies. Just a thought…

    • Teresa

      I personally feel she should be placed in jail for not being in quarentine. This virus is so bad and every one is believing the lies about how it is spread. WE are unable to care for more than 19 or 20 patients who have ebola in correct containment. She is a self-centered inconsiderate bitch, and should have her license revoked for putting the citizens of the USA @ risk of infection. She was provided w/ internet , phone, television and other means of entertainment. yes the toilet didnt flush, OMG, aren’t the conditions in these stricken countries just as bad if not worse. I mean come on now. She knows better and I think she should be prosecuted and put in jail for 21 days. Then see how she feels.

  • Garrett Crawford

    I hope her facebook wall is half this bad. Never seen such uniform condemnation Can you imagine what her neighbors will be saying to her (and about her) for the next few years? She well diserves everything that is comeing down the pike.

Comments are closed.