The Ebola Bully

Kaci Hickox

In this mortal world, we get sick. That’s the way it goes. There are zillions upon zillions of microbes lurking in the air, water and earth around us, waiting for a break in our defenses. Some are more vicious than others.

From what I’m hearing about Ebola, it’s one of the worst ever. It seems to be very contagious. And it is frequently fatal.

We should take care to avoid physical contact with anyone who has Ebola, and if we suspect we have Ebola coming on, we should run, not walk, to the nearest medical facility.

Perhaps most important, health care professionals must be especially meticulous in observing safety protocols.

Having conceded all this, I still think Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo are overreacting when they impose involuntary quarantines on health care volunteers entering to their states from Ebola afflicted areas.

And, as usual, Christie, that big, fat bully, is being especially heavy handed.

Always on the alert for a chance to show off, the New Jersey governor had nurse Kaci Hickox forcibly detained on her return from a volunteer assignment in West Africa.  According to news reports, she was confined in a kind of tent outside a New Jersey health center.

Not surprisingly, Nurse Hickox (photo above) was mad as hell and has hired a lawyer. I expect she will sue Christie and his minions, and I hope she gets a huge award from the jury.

Besieged by protests, Christie was obliged to allow the young nurse to return to her home in Maine, where she is supposed to submit to some kind of house arrest. She is reportedly refusing to do any such thing.

We’ll see what happens next. The “authorities’ will slap her in irons and toss her in a dungeon, you think? Perhaps not. Despite the best efforts of Republican politicians, this is still America and we are still not back in the Middle Ages.

Now, Cuomo is sort of backing down, according to reports. He is already suffering political fallout from some shady deal he was involved in, and he can’t afford to lose any more public support.

Christie, on the other hand, is unapologetic. His tough-guy political schtick is on full display.

“Whatever. Get in line,” he responded when told the nurse was planning to sue him. “I’ve been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I’m happy to take it on.”

This is a guy who aspires to be leader of the free world?

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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