Quarantined nurse blasts Christie, others as Ebola ‘fear mongers’

The Maine nurse at the center of the nation’s quarantine debate is blasting Govs. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Paul LePage (R-Maine) as “fear mongers,” accusing them of feeding the public lies about Ebola to boost their political standing.

Kaci Hickox, a 33-year-old volunteer who treated Ebola in Sierra Leone, said the governors — as well as members of Congress — tried to manipulate public fears by spreading misinformation and creating policies that ignore science.

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“My liberty, my interests and consequently my civil rights were ignored because some ambitious governors saw an opportunity to use an age-old political tactic: fear,” Hickox wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian on Monday.

Hickox was quarantined in both New Jersey and Maine after an infected doctor in New York City spurred fears nationwide of an outbreak. Both states forbid Hickox from being in public, though she ultimately won a legal battle and was told she could leave her home.

She attacked Christie for placing her in a “private prison” — a tent outside the Newark airport — when she returned to the U.S. from Africa, despite testing negative for the disease. She also criticized him for telling a heckler to “sit down and shut up” during an event earlier this month, in an unrelated incident.

“They bet that, by multiplying the existing fear and misinformation about Ebola — a disease most Americans know little about — they could ultimately manipulate everyone and proclaim themselves the protectors of the people by ‘protecting’ the public from a disease that hasn’t killed a single American,” Hickox wrote about the governors.

Christie has been largely defiant in his response to Hickox’s criticism, which he called "malarkey.”

He also shrugged off her threats to sue: "I've been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I'm happy to take it on," he told reporters last month.

Mandatory quarantines are already hurting the response efforts of the United States, USAID administrator Raj Shah told a congressional panel last week.

After states like New Jersey issued quarantine policies for returning healthcare workers, USAID was immediately forced to change plans for staffing Ebola treatment overseas because “so many doctors had backed out,” Shah said.