The governor of Maine addressed the public on Thursday, explaining that negotiations with the nurse who had cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone had come to a halt. It seems that authorities won’t allow the nurse to take walks, runs or rides while preventing her from mingling with the public.
In fact, Gov. Paul LePage insisted that he would exercise the full extent of his authority allowable by law while not mentioning what the next steps would be. It seems that officials are heading towards seeking a court order that would mandate Kaci Hickox, 33, to respect the 21-day quarantine.
“I was ready and willing — and remain ready and willing — to reasonably address the needs of health care workers meeting guidelines to assure the public health is protected,”
Mr. LePage said in his statement.
On the other hand, the nurse, Kaci Hickox blatantly defied Maine officials, claiming that a quarantine is unnecessary and counterproductive. She left her house on Thursday morning for a bicycle ride, only to be followed by the police as well as a caravan of reporters. An hour later, Ms. Hickox, who had been riding with her boyfriend, Mr. Wilbur, returned to her home.
The nurse spent a month treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone and returned on Friday after her time with Doctors Without Borders. On a forehead scanner, Ms. Hickox registered a low-grade fever.
While not showing symptoms of the virus and testing negative for it after being quarantined, she was still asked to remain in quarantine while in Maine.
However Ms. Hickox did anything but. She not only spoke to police officers in front of her house after returning from her ride, she also left her home on Wednesday night to talk to reporters. And this controversy continues bubbling up across the country.
“We see no utility in you traveling to New Orleans to simply be confined to your room,”
a letter from the State’s Department of Health and Hospitals said in the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, when confronted with the idea that doctors attending the event could have been traveling to virus-stricken countries in West Africa.
“So many states have started enacting these policies that I think are just completely not evidence-based. They don’t do a good job of balancing the risks and benefits when thinking about taking away an individual’s rights. I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,”
Ms. Hickox said on Wednesday about the entire situation.