Admit it, you were wondering, as we all were, exactly when New Jersey governor Chris Christie would finally come out of his self-imposed partial withdrawal from the public and the press, and exactly what he would choose as his reason for stepping back into the media spotlight he has shied away from ever since the Bridgegate scandal broke earlier this year. Well, the nation’s biggest bully is back at it again, this time attempting to justify the forced quarantine of a nurse who had recently returned from a mission of mercy in Western Africa. Kaci Hickox, a nurse from Maine, was held against her will at a New Jersey hospital for a week despite the fact that she was and remains asymptomatic of Ebola. Hickox was placed in a “quarantine tent” which had no shower, no flushable toilet, no television, and no reading material. Was this quarantine or imprisonment? Christie, in his attempt to justify his actions, spouted out the expected bromides about public safety and his concern for the state he leads. However, Governor Christie is not a doctor and is not qualified to make such a decision. In fact, his actions directly contradict what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends. Clearly, politics and Ebola don’t mix, but Christie couldn’t resist an opportunity to look tough, especially when New York governor Andrew Cuomo was stealing all of his precious camera time. How dare Cuomo! Doesn’t he know Chris Christie plans to run for President in 2016?
Norman Siegel, an attorney representing Kaci Hickox, hit the nail right on the head when he said Christie’s actions were based on fear and politics, two commodities Chris Christie is known to traffic in when it comes time to furthering his ambitions. The man has no shame. When he isn’t busy shouting down a public school teacher in an attempt to look macho, he is engaging in illegal (and even fatal) actions to punish a New Jersey mayor who refused to support Christie when he ran for reelection.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a family and friends whom I cherish and would do anything to protect. I would not want any of them to be exposed to this terrible disease. But should we punish the brave men and women who go abroad to help others suffering from Ebola, even when they show not a single symptom of illness? Would you want to endure 21 days in a tent like the one Ms. Hickox was placed in? Would you want this done to a member of your family? Are we this afraid of a virus that has killed a total of one person in the United States?
In the great classic rock song “Sympathy for the Devil,” the narrator of the tune by the Rolling Stones says he is pleased to meet the Prince of Darkness. I’m afraid I cannot say the same of the reemergence of Chris Christie with his smug face and asinine actions which are only designed to keep him semi-relevant among potential 2016 voters. Any chance we can quarantine him?