October 26, 2021

White House ‘Pushed Hard’ to Shut Down Quarantines

Promises to provide new procedures “later this week”

In yet more evidence of how tense relationships are getting between the federal and state governments, and how committed the Obama administration is to maintaining open travel between the U.S. and Ebola-stricken countries, CBS reported Monday that over the weekend the White House “pushed hard” against the New York and New Jersey quarantines arguing that they are “not grounded in science” and promising new procedures “later this week.”

Host Norah O’Donnell began the segment by citing reports of a 5-year-old boy being rushed to a New York hospital last night due to Ebola-like symptoms. Despite the worsening situation, O’Donnell said, the White House continues to try to “roll back the new Ebola rules.”

O’Donnell then invited on CBS correspondent Bill Plante who reported that when New York and New Jersey issued their quarantine procedures, the Obama administration attempted to pressure them to reverse course.

Plante: Over the weekend, the White House pushed hard against New York and New Jersey and other states to drop the quarantine. They plan to have new guidelines to announce later this week. They say the new quarantine program in New York and New Jersey is not grounded in science.  

Sunday night, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo caved to White House pressure, announcing a change in New York’s mandatory quarantine policy to allow those who worked with Ebola patients to remain at home if they were not exhibiting symptoms.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie, however, has stood his ground, arguing that taking measures like the quarantine to protect citizens “is government’s job” and saying he believes that eventually the Obama administration will follow his lead.