Kaci Hickox, the nurse who spent three days in an isolation tent after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and has since been returned to her home in Maine, says she has no intention of obeying a 21-day quarantine.
Hickox was mortified at being treated “like a criminal” upon her arrival at Newark Airport last Friday after treating Ebola patients for four weeks with Doctors Without Borders. She was returned to her home in Fort Kent, Maine, on Tuesday night.
Hickox, who has showed no signs of Ebola, agreed to remain in her home, but has since hired a lawyer and threatens to take legal action if the state tries to force her to remain in her home.
“You know I truly believe that this policy is not scientifically or constitutionally just,” she told NBC’s Matt Lauer, via Skype, Wednesday morning. “I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not at risk to the American public.”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 30, 2014
Maine is one of several states that has implemented policies to quarantine those who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus for 21 days. The imposed quarantines go against policy set by the White House and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday morning the state would take steps through the court system to force Hickox to obey the quarantine.
— PressHerald (@PressHerald) October 30, 2014
“We are very concerned about her safety and health and that of the community,” LePage said in a statement. “We are exploring all of our options for protecting the health and well-being of the health care worker, anyone who comes in contact with her, the Fort Kent community and all of Maine. While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits our great state.”
It is unclear how police posted outside her home will react if she tries to leave.
“She understands the nature of the disease, she treated it,” said Hickox’s attorney, Steven Hyman “She understands the nature of the risk.”