10/27/14

The governors of NY, NJ, and after them that of Illinois decided to quarantine every person coming back from West Africa. This decision has already caused a lot of criticism.

In particular, the quarantine seems to be targeted at those angels who actually volunteered to go to West Africa to help treat Ebola—they are most at risk, of course.

So think about it—a nurse decides to take off, say one month from work to go and do God’s work. She cannot afford to leave her work, her family—her life for more than a month. Now she will need to spend one week in Africa and three weeks in quarantine on the way back. Are they stupid?

I have a suggestion for Governors Christie and Cuomo: Let’s quarantine all drivers of motor vehicles. That will help public safety significantly more than quarantining people coming back from Africa. In the U.S., about 100 people die every day from vehicular accidents. Shall we quarantine all drivers? In fact I have a better idea—let’s quarantine us all. That will surely save 100 deaths a day from flu. After all, we all had the flu at one time in our lives, right?

In 1942, the Roosevelt administration decided to quarantine many U.S. citizens of Japanese origin. I am not going to play Monday morning quarterbacking 70-plus years after the event. At the time, in war, it seemed the right thing to do. But we have progressed 70 years; we learned from our mistakes. Our norms have changed; most people will agree that that quarantine was inhumane and on balance a mistake.

Now comes the two governors, both very important players in their respective parties, both future presidential candidates for sure, and make a decision that is based on:

  • Bad science
  • Bad judgment
  • Scaremongering
  • Appeasing their public
  • Lack of leadership

To me that decision alone makes both unworthy of their current job, let alone the president’s one.

I ask again: What happened to Reagan’s concept of the U.S. being the “shining city on the hill”?!

Shame on them.