By Tim Devaney - 10/26/14 10:24 AM EDT
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday defended his administration’s quarantine of all healthcare workers returning from West Africa who were exposed to Ebola in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Last week, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) agreed to quarantines.
The move has been met with some criticism, including from a top health official who is helping to coordinate the federal government’s response to Ebola.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Sunday that overly aggressive quarantines could discourage healthcare workers from volunteering.
"The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those healthcare workers,” Fauci said on "Fox News Sunday.” "So we do not want to put them in a position where it makes it very, very uncomfortable for them to even volunteer to go.
"If we don’t have our people volunteering to go over there, then you’re going to have other countries around the world that are not going to do it, and then the epidemic will continue to roar,” he added.
But Christie said he believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will eventually “come around” to his point of view and institute national quarantines.
He disagrees with Fauci’s plan to let healthcare workers exposed to Ebola voluntarily monitor themselves.
"I have great respect for Dr. Fauci, but what he’s counting on is a voluntary system with folks that may or may not comply,” Christie said.
"I don’t believe when you’re dealing with something as serious as this that you can count on a voluntary system,” he added.
Cuomo on Sunday said he does not expect healthcare workers to make a fuss over the quarantines, because of the nature of their jobs.
"It's highly unlikely that a doctor who is coming back, who just volunteered, who may be infected, wouldn't cooperate with the authorities," Cuomo told a radio show, according to The New York Times. "It's exactly antithetical to what the doctor does. But if you had someone who didn't want to cooperate, you can enforce it legally. There's no doubt about that."