Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh isn’t impressed by the way New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) handled the involuntary quarantine of a nurse who arrived Friday in Newark after working in Sierra Leone.
Specifically, Limbaugh is upset that Christie allowed nurse Kaci Hickox, who wasn’t showing any symptoms of the Ebola virus, to be transferred Monday to her home state of Maine to serve out the rest of her quarantine. Limbaugh likened the move to Christie’s post-Hurricane Sandy embrace of President Barack Obama.
“This is the second election in a row, one week prior to an election, the governor of New Jersey ends up, well I don’t know — arm and arm, hand and hand, in bed with, I don’t know how to characterize it — but responding to Obama’s demands,” Limbaugh said Monday on his radio show.
“I’m sorry, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but this — I really think the Republicans ought to make sure that Governor Christie gets quarantined,” he continued. “From from now on, once we get to a week before an election, we need to find a way here — he’s in the middle here again, taking center stage of another national crisis, with another Obama hug moment and Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo doing the same thing. But that kind of makes sense because Gov. Cuomo and Obama are in the same party.”
Christie would certainly contest Limbaugh’s interpretation. He staunchly defended his state’s mandatory quarantine policy for health workers returning from West Africa, despite reportedly being pressured by the White House since Friday to rescind it.
When the New York Times asked the governor why he reversed his decision to quarantine Hickox, he emphasized that letting releasing the nurse wasn’t a reversal at all.
“There’s been no reversal or change in any way to our policy or to our approach,” he told the newspaper on Monday. “If people are symptomatic, they go into the hospital. If they live in New Jersey, they can quarantine at home. If they don’t, and they’re not symptomatic, then we set up quarantine for them out of state. But if they are symptomatic, they’re going to the hospital.”
Christie predicted that mandatory quarantine would eventually become national policy for dealing with Ebola.
“Eventually the C.D.C. will come around,” he told the Times.