Views On Ebola: Quarantines Will Cripple Fight Against The Disease; Feds, States Must Cooperate
News outlets offer a variety of opinions on the strategy to fight Ebola and on the issue of quarantining health care workers.
Recent Mandatory Quarantine Policies Are Unscientific–And Dangerous
The best way to protect the United States against Ebola is to control the epidemic in West Africa. Washington isn’t waiting for Islamic State to attack the United States. It has taken proactive, defensive measures to address these militants in the Middle East. Similarly, the United States can’t wait for the virus to spread beyond Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia — as it inevitably will if Americans don’t fight Ebola at its source. The West has to enlist more healthcare workers in this fight, but mandatory quarantines will only discourage doctors from volunteering. (Celine Gounder, 10/28)
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:
The Benefit Of A Uniform Response To Ebola In The U.S.
What looks like political wrangling or confusion in federal and state officials’ Ebola responses is a reflection of our complex public health system, which gives certain authorities to the federal government and others to the states. But however explainable as a product of American federalism, officials’ contradictory actions do little to reassure the public in a fast-changing environment where, here in the U.S., fear is as much an enemy as the virus itself. (Drew Altman, 10/29)
Why Quarantining Ebola Patients Is A States’ Rights Issue
What remains frustrating about how the United States manages epidemics — as we are rediscovering with the Ebola crisis — are the hazy lines of authority and fierce internecine battles among local, state and federal health agencies, as well as individual hospitals and healthcare systems. Equally discouraging are the distracting criticisms of health officials, doctors and nurses trying to do a complicated job under difficult conditions while subjected to intense media scrutiny. (Howard Markel, 10/30)
The New York Times:
The Ebola Hysteria
The absolute hysteria surrounding the Ebola crisis underscores what is wrong with our politics and the policies they spawn. On Ebola, the possible has overtaken the probable, gobbling it up in a high-anxiety, low-information frenzy of frayed nerves and Purell-ed hands. (Charles M. Blow, 10/29)