Dean Michael J. Klag, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote a letter to Gov. Chris Christie after a graduate, Ms. Kaci Hickox, was quarantined after arriving at Newark Airport from West Africa. In the letter, he highlights the increased paranoia quarantine causes and requests the Governor follows current CDC guidelines. The letter is as follows:
October 27, 2014
Governor Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625
Dear Governor Christie,
I am writing to indicate in the strongest possible terms my objection to your policy of a 21-day quarantine for health care workers traveling from West Africa to New Jersey and, especially, its application to our graduate Kaci Hickox. Kaci spent six weeks in Sierra Leone with Doctors without Borders, treating patients with Ebola. She has tested negative for Ebola and, according to news reports, has no symptoms. She poses no risk to her fellow citizens.
While I applaud your concern for the health of the citizens of New Jersey and recognize your responsibility to protect their health, I do not think that this policy does so. Instead, it increases paranoia without materially protecting health.
Instead, I ask that you follow the current CDC guidelines, as we do for our faculty, staff or students who are returning from working in West Africa.
Thank you for your consideration of this request to do what is right for the citizens of the United States and for the people of West Africa.
Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH