Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ends mandatory quarantine of healthcare workers exposed to Ebola; begins mandatory quarantine of healthcare workers exposed to unvaccinated children
Facing fierce resistance from the White House and medical experts to a strict new mandatory quarantine policy, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday night that medical workers who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa but did not show symptoms of the disease would be allowed to remain at home; friends and family were free to visit.
Instead, Gov. Cuomo announced that the stricter hospital quarantine, initially intended for healthcare workers who had contact with African Ebola patients, would instead apply to medical workers who had contact with unvaccinated children in the United States.
Aides to President Obama congratulated Gov. Cuomo and also asked other governors and mayors to follow a policy based on science seeking to continue the steady movement toward more stringent measures regarding healthcare workers exposed to American unvaccinated children. He noted that diseases such as the measles and influenza are much more contagious than Ebola. While they are less lethal than Ebola, they represent a threat to public health “which is orders of magnitude greater than Ebola.”
Gov. Cuomo said his decision balanced public safety with the need to avoid deterring “brave and fearless” medical professionals from caring for unvaccinated children. “My No. 1 job is to protect the people of New York, and this does that,” he said. Those quarantined in the hospital will be visited twice a day by local authorities he said. To protect public health, family members and friends will be forbidden from all direct contact with exposed medical professionals.
“We stress that these unvaccinated children, though potentially toxic, bear none of the moral weight of their parent’s decision,” Gov. Cuomo told The Spudd. “If President Obama had not vetoed the proposed quarantine of anti-vaccine parents in 2010 and 2012, we would likely not be in this position today.”