Sunday, October 26, 2014


Republican voters like their candidates to be mean and pitiless toward those they consider to be the wrong kind of people. I guess Kari Hickox, a nurse who volunteered to work with Ebola patients, counts as the wrong kind of people.

I knew that when the healthy, asymptomatic nurse was brought to a hospital in Newark, she was taken to a tent. I didn't quite realize she was expected to live in that tent:
The nurse has spent the weekend in an isolation tent outside Newark's University Hospital. Doctors Without Borders says, "the tent is not heated and she is dressed in uncomfortable paper scrubs. She was permitted to bring personal belongings into the tent."
The tent isn't heated, and she's in paper scrubs? Is the plan to keep her in the tent for 21 days? Her quarantine, which started on October 24, will end on November 14. If that's the plan, here's the AccuWeather forecast for the last few days of her quarantine:

Yup -- low temperatures in the mid-30s every night. If she's still in an unheated tent, she really might be sick by the end of her quarantine -- though not from Ebola.

Here are the digs:

And here's her lovely toilet:

Oh, and she has no shower, according to The New York Times. It's no wonder that, as the Times tells us, Andrew Cuomo's effort to out-butch President Obama and Mayor de Blasio by being as much of a quarantine tough guy as Christie now seem to Cuomo, on further reflection, to be a tad sadistic:
Facing fierce resistance from the White House and medical experts to a strict new mandatory quarantine policy for all medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday night that people quarantined in New York who do not show symptoms of the disease would be allowed to remain at home and would receive compensation for lost income....

The announcement by Mr. Cuomo seemed intended to draw a sharp contrast -- both in tone and in fact -- to the policy's implementation in New Jersey, where a nurse who arrived Friday from Sierra Leone was swiftly quarantined in a tent set up inside a Newark hospital, with a portable toilet but with no shower....
So Cuomo will at least let you do the time in your apartment or house. But Christie's more punitive approach is probably the sort of thing that appeals to the right-wing mind. See, for instance, the PJ Media post titled "Nurse in Quarantine Whines About the Way She Was Treated." If this bumps up Chritie's numbers in 2016 polls, I won't be surprised.

My wife and I have to fly at Christmas to see family. Once in a while we book returning flights into Newark -- but this year I absolutely don't want to do that. Do we want to take the risk, however minuscule, that someone with exposure to Ebola might happen to be on our flight? What if such a passenger gets sick on our flight -- even if the sick passenger is in row 11 and we're in row 28, with zero exposure to bodily fluids, will we be quarantined too, just so Chris Christie can show Iowa caucus goers what a macho man he is? Will we be quarantined in a tent? Christie might say so. Home quarantine I could understand under those circumstances, just as a precaution. But there's no freaking way I'm spending three weeks in an unheated tent in New Jersey in late December and early January.


UPDATE: On Twitter, here, here, here, and here, Christie clarifies that "a New Jersey resident with no symptoms ... who has come into contact with someone w/Ebola" will be allowed to be "quarantined at home." Um, that's no comfort to me -- I live just across the river in Manhattan. You want to put me in a tent? You can keep our airport.


UPDATE: Christie has bowed to pressure and is releasing Hickox. Maybe he's figured out that he was flat-out wrong on Saturday:
The woman tested negative for the Ebola virus, but Christie asserted the nurse is "obviously ill."

"When I left this morning she still had a fever and she was being tested for other illnesses after the Ebola test came back negative," Christie said.

“She may to be tested for that again because sometimes it takes a little bit longer to make a definitive determination,” he said. "There's no question the woman is ill, the question is what is her illness."

Christie said "all steps were taken" to try to make the nurse’s stay at the hospital comfortable.

"I hope she recovers quickly, and we’re going to do everything we can in New Jersey and with our public health system to make sure that she does," he said.
Cue new right-wing message: Christie bullied into endangering public by open-borders liberals.


Ken_L said...

Well the nurse has to be a bit suss ... those Doctors without Borders have got to be some kind of socialist outfit ... and aren't there already lots of sick people in America who need nursing? Why does she want to go off looking after foreigners? Typical liberal bleeding heart dogoodism and then she whines because she can't get out and infect the hood.

Did anyone check if she's a Muslim?

Victor said...

Well, after the "ObamaHug," Christie has to re-establish his 'cruel cred's.'

A tent?

Must be a union nurse.

Mark said...

Well, now that you mention it, our Dear Governor Christie does seem to rely on that tactic, of slappin' some women around in order to boost his "macho" factor.

Ms. Hickox is just the latest victim, and apparently there's a whole right-wing surge of hatin' on her, because she worked for the CDC.

Dear Governor's rants against teachers fits into this, since "everyone knows" that they're all women.

His recent "minimum wage" jihad? Oh, we all know that it's lazy women who depend on that. His Senate candidate, Jeff Bell, had some words to support that, along with the whole "these people rely on government" talking point.

Barbara Buono? 'Nuff said.

Aunt Snow said...

This has got me so furious I've actually considered staying away from the Intertoobz today.

I am staying away from most stories about this, because the comments boards are enough to make a person with even a shred of human decency despair.