Top NIH official slams Ebola quarantines

One of the top doctors leading the government’s response to the Ebola crisis on Sunday slammed policies quarantining healthcare workers who return from treating patients in West Africa.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that overly aggressive quarantines could make healthcare workers "very, very uncomfortable” and discourage them 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."

Fauci said this is a concern for many of the healthcare workers he’s spoken with.

His comments come as states like New York and New Jersey have said they will quarantine all healthcare workers returning from West Africa who had contact with people who were infected with Ebola.

Fauci is afraid policies like this will “disincentivize” them from volunteering. 

"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 said.