Monday, October 27, 2014

Christie Allows Release of Nurse Held in Isolation



By RYAN GORMAN


New Jersey Governor Chris Christie caved and allowed a quarantined nurse to leave a Newark hospital on Monday after she showed no signs of being infected with Ebola.

Kaci Hickox had previously threatened to sue the state of New Jersey after she was detained Friday following a policy enacted the same day by both Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The White House had also pressured Christie to free her.

Hickox was brought to the isolation unit at University Hospital, in Newark, after landing last week at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The nurse was returning from Sierra Leone after volunteering to treat Ebola patients in the poverty-stricken West African nation.

Both Christie and Cuomo put the mandatory quarantine policy in effect after Columbia University Medical Center doctor Craig Spencer tested positive for Ebola last week.

"Sine testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient ... has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours," Christie's office said in a statement.

"As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged."

Hickox is still subject to a mandatory quarantine despite the state agreeing to transport her to Maine via a private carrier.

She had previously threatened to sue the state, claiming it was a violation of her civil rights to be held without cause.

"This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated," Hickox said Sunday on CNN. "To put me through this emotional and physical stress is completely unacceptable."

She compared the "inhumane" conditions to being "held in a prison," and vowed to immediately file a federal lawsuit demanding her release.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a Sunday evening press briefing that "what happened to her was inappropriate."

Further pressure mounted from the Obama administration, which also called for her release.

The Governor blinked and Hickox was freed as a five-year-old boy who landed at JFK International Airport was being tested for Ebola in a New York hospital.

The child, who had just flown from Guinea, had a 103-degree fever and was projectile vomiting, according to reports.

Spencer has not significantly improved since being hospitalized on Friday.





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