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Can Those Returning from Caring for Ebola Patients Be Trusted?

An American doctor and nurse who recently flew back to the United States after heroically helping patients infected with Ebola in Africa have not behaved quite so selflessly upon their return. The nurse, Kaci Hickox, was placed in mandatory quarantine upon her return from working directly with Ebola patients. Hickox protested, even threatening a lawsuit against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, before Christie relented and allowed Hickox to be flown, privately, back to her home state of Maine (no word on who footed the bill for that private flight). Despite how experience has proven how ineffective voluntary quarantine is, Hickox was trusted to self-quarantine in her home.

Not surprisingly, sadly, Hickox (a former employee of the CDC) has proven her critics right. The Bangor Daily News reported yesterday,

Attorneys for a nurse released from isolation in New Jersey after returning to the U.S. from West Africa say she will not comply with Maine health officials’ requirements that she remain under quarantine at home for 21 days.

And what about Dr. Craig Spencer, currently in treatment in New York City after coming down with the virus after riding the subway and going bowling in Brooklyn while potentially symptomatic? His story gets worse as well, validating the fears of those who cautioned against the release of Hicox,

The city’s first Ebola patient initially lied to authorities about his travels around the city following his return from treating disease victims in Africa, law-enforcement sources said.

Dr. Craig Spencer at first told officials that he isolated himself in his Harlem apartment — and didn’t admit he rode the subways, dined out and went bowling until cops looked at his MetroCard the sources said.

“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.

Is it any wonder than an overwhelming 80 percent of Americans support mandatory quarantine for travelers returning from Ebola-stricken areas?