Kaci Hickox is pissed off and planning to sue the state of New Jersey after being placed under mandatory quarantine upon her return from treating Ebola patients in West Africa and remaining in isolation despite being tested twice for Ebola with negative results on both occasions. She has not shown no symptoms of the deadly disease. Hickox arrived to Newark airport on Friday and after a long fight, was released today.
“For the first 12 hours, I was in shock. Now I’m angry,” Hickox told CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union.” Hickox was placed in an isolation tent inside University Hospital in Newark when she arrived from West Africa on Friday. She did not have access to a lawyer or to her luggage and was given paper scrubs to wear. There was no shower, flushable toilet or entertainment in the tent. “The tent has a window, and doctors talk to me in normal clothes from outside the window,” Hickox detailed. “So if there’s no risk to them talking to me from outside the window, it doesn’t make any sense that my lawyer wouldn’t be able to do the same.”
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“This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated,” she said. While New York Governor Andrew Cuomo changed the 21-day quarantine policy so that those who come back from infected areas could spend their quarantine at home, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was unwavering on New Jersey’s stance on the issue.
“I’m sorry if in any way she was inconvenienced, but inconvenience that could occur from having folks that are symptomatic and ill out amongst the public is a much, much greater concern of mine. I hope she recovers quickly,” Governor Christie stated at a press conference on Sunday.
Hickox protested her confinement and was eventually released. “Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours,” New Jersey health department officials said in a statement. “As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged.”
Hickox will be allowed to take private transport home to Maine, where she lives. “Since the patient had direct exposure to individuals suffering from the Ebola Virus in one of the three West African nations, she is subject to a mandatory New Jersey quarantine order,” the statement read.
Hickox has threatened to sue New Jersey.