President Barack Obama has strong-armed New York’s Democratic governor and New Jersey’s Republican governor to weaken quarantines on the movement of people who have recently been in Ebola-stricken countries.
“We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences of policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its sources in West Africa,” said a Sunday afternoon White House statement to reporters.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo buckled Sunday afternoon, and announced that travelers could serve their quarantine time at home. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, retreated late Sunday night, and approved home quarantines. In both states, the home quarantines will be monitored by state health officials.
Obama’s pressure began Friday once Cuomo and Christie jointly revived the practice of isolating and quarantining travelers who may be carrying a communicable disease. The practice was immediately applied to a nurse who had just returned from the Ebola-stricken area, and she was confined to a sealed room in a hospital.