NBC News announced on Thursday that Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s chief medical editor who ran into trouble last year when she violated her crew’s voluntary Ebola quarantine, has resigned.
Snyderman was forced to apologize on-air in December for violating a self-imposed quarantine upon her return to the U.S. last fall after covering the Ebola outbreak in west Africa. She and her crew had been caught picking up takeout food at a New Jersey restaurant, prompting health officials to rule that her quarantine should be mandatory and viewers to raise hell about the lapse in judgment.
Snyderman said in a statement that “becoming part of the story upon my return to the U.S. contributed to my decision” to step down.
“Throughout her career with NBC News, Dr. Nancy Snyderman has provided her expertise on countless health and medical topics that are vitally important to our audience,” an NBC News spokesperson said in a statement. “She’s been a valuable voice both on air and in our newsroom, and we wish her all the best.”
But it’s unclear whether NBC News forced Snyderman out. Newsday reported that the network declined to offer reasons for Snyderman’s departure and noted that the medical editor hadn’t appeared on-air since a report about peanut allergies on Feb. 22.
Snyderman slurred and stumbled over her words somewhat in that appearance, prompting viewers to wonder whether she was intoxicated.
Read Snyderman’s full statement below, via Poynter:
I stepped out of the OR a few years ago and it is now time for me to return to my roots, so I am stepping down from my position as Chief Medical Editor at NBC News. Covering the Ebola epidemic last fall in Liberia, and then becoming part of the story upon my return to the U.S., contributed to my decision that now is the time to return to academic medicine. I will be shortly taking up a faculty position at a major U.S. medical school. More needs to be done to communicate medicine and science to our viewers and citizens, especially in times of crisis, and with my experiences in the field and on air, that is going to be a priority for me.
I have loved my nine years at NBC and I am proud of the work my team has done. Very few people get the chance to combine two professions and I have appreciated the chance to inform the public about medical updates and the plight of so many in other countries. Every moment has been an honor.