Sunday, October 26, 2014
Christie: We Won't Rely On Voluntary Compliance
Chris Wallace: Governor, you just heard, and we want to talk, before we get to politics, this whole controversy about Ebola and the quarantine. You just heard Dr. Fauci, New York City’s health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett says, that reportedly was furious that she was not informed before the quarantine was imposed. Do you no longer trust the CDC and doctors and scientists?
Governor Christie: Well, no, that’s a pretty general statement, Chris. Of course we do. But, the fact of the matter is that the CDC protocols, as Dr. Fauci admitted himself, have been a moving target. And imagine that you’re the person in charge of the public health of the people of a large densely populated state, in fact the most densely populated state in the Union, and these protocols continue to move and change. It was my conclusion that we needed to do this to protect the public health of the people of New Jersey. Governor Cuomo agreed and now Mayor Emanuel agrees and I think the CDC eventually will come around to our point of view on this.
Chris Wallace: And what about Dr. Fauci, who says it’s just not good science to quarantine people when they’re not symptomatic because they can’t spread the disease in those situations.
Governor Christie: Well listen, I have great respect for Dr. Fauci, but what he’s counting on is a voluntary system with folks who may or may not comply. We had this situation in New Jersey, Chris, as you know with the NBC News crew that said they were going to self-quarantine and then two days later they were out picking up takeout food in Princeton and walking around the streets of Princeton. I mean the fact of the matter is that I don’t believe that when you’re dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system. This is government’s job. If anything else, the government’s job is to protect the safety and health of our citizens. And so, we’ve taken this action and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it.
Chris Wallace: Well, let me just ask you about one other aspect of it. Dr. Fauci talked about the unintended consequence. Everyone agrees the only way you’re going to stop this crisis is to end Ebola in West Africa and the concern is that the medical workers – the doctors, the nurses – that are willing to take their chances and go over there, when they hear now that they’re going to have to undergo a mandatory 3 week quarantine when they come back may decide not to go in the first place. And in fact, the first nurse who has gone through the quarantine in New Jersey says that she feels that she was badly treated. And so are you concerned that you are doing to disincentivize people from going over there to help stop the outbreak.
Governor Christie: No, I’m really not, Chris, because I believe that folks that are willing to take that step and willing to volunteer also understand that it’s in their interest and in the public health’s interest to have a 21-day period thereafter if they’ve been directly exposed to people with the virus. And as we saw with what happened with some of the healthcare workers in Texas, with the CDC shifting protocols, we have people who were infected from that type of contact. And we just can’t have that in the New York, New Jersey area and that’s why Governor Cuomo and I agree on this. And now, you see that they agree in Chicago, as well. I think this is a policy that will become a national policy sooner, rather than later.