Obama Rejects Needs For Health Care Worker Quarantines

first_img President Barack Obama on Tuesday appeared to back more rigorous procedures for dealing with soldiers returning from missions to Ebola-hit West African countries, even as he criticized moves by some U.S. states to quarantine returning civilian health workers. Obama said that American military personnel were in a “different situation” compared with healthcare workers. (Alexander and Holland, 10/28) President Obama on Tuesday forcefully rejected the idea of a quarantine for medical­ workers returning from Ebola-affected­ countries, arguing that such an approach would undermine the broader effort to eliminate the epidemic . Politicians in the United States, including the president, have come under increasing pressure to curtail the movements of medical personnel returning from Ebola-affected regions after Craig Spencer — a doctor who had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea — was diagnosed with the virus 10 days after he returned home to New York City. (Eilperin, Dennis and Achenbach, 10/28) The New York Times: New York’s Rules To Let Travelers Pick Site For Isolation Politico: Obama: Don’t Put Barriers On U.S. Help To Ebola Zones President Barack Obama offered an implicit rebuke Tuesday of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and others who have demanded mandatory quarantines for public health workers returning from Ebola-ravaged West African countries, stressing that policies should be based on fact and not fear. “We don’t want to do things that aren’t based on science and best practices because if we do, we’re just putting another barrier on somebody who’s already doing important work on our behalf. And that’s not something that I think any of us should want to see happen,” Obama said from the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One for a trip to Wisconsin, where he’ll be campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. (Epstein, 10/28) Politico: Jeb: Obama ‘Incompetent’ On Ebola Obama Rejects Needs For Health Care Worker Quarantines The president says quarantines like that imposed by New Jersey could undermine efforts to get health care workers to volunteer to help in Africa. The Wall Street Journal: Maine Willing To Enforce Ebola Quarantine, Official Says The Washington Post: Obama Assails Ebola Quarantines, Saying They Are Based On Fear, Not Facts center_img Offering the first detailed account of how New York State’s quarantine order for travelers returning from West Africa will be put into effect, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration has issued guidelines that go beyond federal recommendations but seek to allow people to choose where to spend their enforced isolation. The state protocols show an effort by the administration to portray the quarantine, which has been criticized as excessive by some experts and doctors’ organizations, in a humane manner. (Santora and Kaplan, 10/28) Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is calling President Barack Obama’s initial response to Ebola “incompetent.”“It looked very incompetent to begin with, and that fueled fears that may not be justified,” Bush said during a discussion at Vanderbilt University, according to the Tennessean. “And now you have states that are legitimately acting on their concerns, creating a lot more confusion than is necessary.” (Breitman, 10/29) President Barack Obama’s commander in the fight against Ebola was expected to operate below the public radar. But did that mean invisible? Ron Klain has barely been seen, and a week before midterm elections, Obama is pressing to dispel criticism that the government can’t manage the Ebola crisis. The White House’s behind-the-scenes coordination of the Ebola response is being severely tested, while the Pentagon and states like New York and New Jersey take public steps that are far firmer than federal guidelines. That’s creating the appearance of a crazy quilt of Ebola measures. (Kuhnhenn, 10/28) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Associated Press: Where’s Czar? Ebola Raises Management Questions Maine’s health director asserted Tuesday that the state can impose a quarantine on someone potentially exposed to the Ebola virus amid continued pushback from a local nurse who is fighting such restrictions. Kaci Hickox, a 33-year-old from northern Maine, flew back to the U.S. on Friday after a five-week stint with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa. After she raised complaints about her forced quarantine in New Jersey, where she landed, she returned to Maine on Monday to a state request she voluntarily self-quarantine there. (Kamp and Levitz, 10/28) Reuters: Obama Sees Different Ebola Rules For U.S. Military Than For Civilians last_img read more