It's so odd to see the Administration pressuring NY and NJ to scrap their quarantine plans. Usually the administration is on the side of restricting freedom, not guaranteeing it.
Regarding ebola, Dr Antony Fauci explains their thinking:
...Fauci reemphasized that the scientific evidence suggests the disease is simply not that contagious. “The scientific data tells us that people without symptoms, with whom you don’t come into contact with body fluids, are not a threat,” the doctor said.The scientific data also tells us that Ebola outbreaks never exceed 425 cases. But here we are with well over 10,000 cases and counting. So maybe there's reason to regard the old "scientific data" as subject to revision.
Should there be enforced quarantine? I would hope we could handle it with voluntary quarantines, but Dr Nancy Snyderman showed us how well they work. Seems even medical professionals are willing to ignore the importance of isolating the virus when it demands they resist the lure of take-out food.
In general, I'd like to see more freedom rather than less, but we routinely restrict the freedom of movement of uncooperative TB patients.
The CDC explains it in a soon to be disappeared web page:
Isolation and quarantine help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease.
In addition to serving as medical functions, isolation and quarantine also are “police power” functions, derived from the right of the state to take action affecting individuals for the benefit of society.
- Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
- Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
The Administration argues that mandatory quarantines will stifle the efforts of our brave volunteers in the fight against Ebola. But think about it; you're faced with the prospect of traveling to a hot zone, without the amenities you're used to, at great danger to your own health, working without the equipment you're used to, for no money, with the promise that you'll witness daily tragedies. What are the chances that three weeks off at the end of your tour will convince you it's not worth the effort?
OK, it's not three weeks off. It's probably closer to three weeks in jail. (except your "jailers" appreciate what you've done and will get you anything they can to make your isolation more comfortable) But the quarantine isn't the worst part of the equation, is what I'm saying. If you're motivated to volunteer, you've committed yourself to much harsher things than a 21 day quarantine.