New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his heavily criticized decision to forcibly quarantine a nurse returning from West Africa for Ebola on Tuesday morning, saying the state's policy of mandatory quarantining of returning health workers will remain in place.
"I don't think it's draconian," Christie, appearing on the Today show, said of New Jersey's mandatory 21-day quarantine on health care workers returning from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea. "The members of the American public believe it is common sense, and we are not moving an inch. Our policy hasn't changed and our policy will not change."
Nurse Kaci Hickox was discharged and allowed to go home to Maine Monday after being held in isolation for three days at University Hospital in Newark over protests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), members of the Obama administration, and her lawyer. "Governors ultimately have the responsibility to protect the public health and public safety," Christie said, noting that when Hickox tested negative she was sent home.
CAMBRIDGE, England - A day after President Obama encouraged parents to have their children vaccinated in the wake of a measles outbreak, Gov. Christie said Monday that parents need "some measure of choice" in immunization decisions.
Addressing reporters after he toured a Cambridge research lab that makes a flu vaccine, the Republican governor did not say parents should have their children vaccinated, though he said he and wife Mary Pat had done so with their own.
"That's the best expression I can give you of my opinion. It's much more important I think what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official," said Christie, who is on a trade mission to the United Kingdom.
"But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well," Christie said. "So that's the balance that the government has to decide."