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President Obama wants New York and New Jersey to stop with mandatory quarantines:

Both governors, Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey, stood by their decision, saying that the federal guidelines did not go far enough.

At the same time, the first person to be forced into isolation under the new protocols, Kaci Hickox, a nurse returning from Sierra Leone, planned to mount a legal challenge to the quarantine order. Despite having no symptoms, she has been kept under quarantine at a hospital in New Jersey, where she has been confined to a tent equipped with a portable toilet and no shower. On Sunday, she spoke to CNN about the way she has been treated, describing it as “inhumane.”

The rapidly escalating events played out both privately, in intense negotiations and phone calls between federal and state officials, as well as publicly in Ms. Hickox’s pointed criticism of the New Jersey governor.


Surely there’s room to criticize how Hickox was treated, but given the White House’s slow-footed and ham-handed response (yes, you can do both at once) to the outbreak, it’s clear that the states have to take action.

This would be a good time for Obama to observe the First Rule of Holes, especially given public sentiment and the fact that there’s a little election coming up in eight days.


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