Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cuomo And Christie Play Politics With Ebola

If there was any doubt Christie and Cuomo are playing politics with their mandatory Ebola quarantine in New Jersey and New York, this should dispense with those doubts:

A mandatory quarantine imposed by New York and New Jersey on health care workers who came into contact with Ebola victims in West Africa blindsided many local and federal health officials, according o a report.

"They're not happy," a federal official told CNN regarding the federal Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention. "These two governors said, 'Take this, federal government.' They're very worried we won't be able to get physicians or nurses to go (to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak)."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced the quarantine Friday a day after Dr. Craig Spencer - a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders - tested positive for the disease.

A New York City official also told the news agency the announcement was a "real stunner."
"They did this without consulting the city, and that's not a good thing," the official said of the two governors. "They didn't let anyone know in advance."

Why would Cuomo and Christie announce a major shift in Ebola protocol without consulting with any other agency - municipal or federal - before that announcement?

Because this decision was based on political calculations, not the health and welfare of the people of New York and New Jersey.

Cuomo wants to respond to criticism from his gubernatorial opponent, Rob Astorino, that he isn't handling the Ebola crisis well by showing how tough he can be.

Cuomo also wants to raise his national profile (which he has been doing, appearing on all the morning shows) for a potential presidential run in the future.

Christie is politicking in Iowa even now as I write - he's ostensibly there as head of the Republican Governors Association, but he's really there as a precursor to a 2016 run for the White House.

He too wants to look tough in his Ebola response, contrast that "toughness" with the response of the Obama administration, and ride that during a presidential bid.

On Friday when they first announced the mandatory new quarantine, questions were already raised about the legality and practicality of the protocol.

By yesterday, Cuomo had already walked back some of Friday's tough talk as he watched his pal Christie get beaten up for detaining a nurse not showing any symptoms of Ebola who had flown into Newark after working with Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone.

In some strange way, these two clowns may have screwed themselves politically with their masterful Ebola quarantine surprise announcement on Friday.

Maybe if they'd checked with municipal and federal officials before they announced the change in protocol, they could have figured out a way to force the federal government's hand in instituting a more stringent protocol for medical professionals coming back from working with Ebola patients.

Instead they made headlines of their own on Friday and have been on the defense since.

In the end, instead of seeing their poll numbers and profile rise as a result of their "tough new Ebola quarantine protocol," they may become victims of their own arrogance and hubris.

Let's hope - because this surprise quarantine announcement, made without consulting any other agency or entity involved in tackling the crisis or without a proper plan to carry it out put into place, is a disaster that is going to harm more people than it helps.

It was a political stunt, pure and simple, no different than Cuomo showing up in Afghanistan unannounced to "fight terrorism."

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