Ebola Doc Lied About His Travels. Should He Face Prosecution?
New York's Ebola doctor, Craig Spencer, reportedly lied to authorities when he was first diagnosed with the disease according to the NY Post.
“He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around,” a source said.
Spencer finally ’fessed up when a cop “got on the phone and had to relay questions to him through the Health Department,” a source said.
Spencer was becoming symptomatic when he rode mass transit, dined out and went bowling in Brooklyn. Ebola carriers who are symptomatic are contagious.
When he lied to police, he wasn't under any criminal investigation but he probably caused them to lose valuable time tracing his moves. He clearly intended to deceive them, and if he had succeeded, may have left an untold number of New Yorkers exposed to Ebola. He could have unknowingly left bodily fluids in any number of places, and according to the science, Ebola can survive for hours to days on surfaces even after the fluids that carried the virus have dried. So the doctor could have been exposing New Yorkers through sheer negligence.
Fortunately, he failed and does not appear to have exposed anyone to Ebola. But his actions plus those taken by Dr. Nancy Snyderman, nurse Amber Joy Vinson, and the CDC that cleared her to fly commercially even though she had been exposed and was showing a fever, should inform what Maine does with nurse Kaci Hickox. While she should not be directly punished for Spencer's lie and Snyderman's violation of quarantine, their actions have to be taken into account in her case. Too many so-called experts have not put the public's health above their own.