Is mandatory quarantine the answer to contain Ebola outbreak in the USA?

Dr. Craig Spencer, a New York based physician who cared for Ebola patients through Doctors Without Borders, is now in isolation at Bellevue Hospital receiving care.

Dr. Craig Spencer, a New York- based physician who cared for Ebola patients through Doctors Without Borders, is now in isolation at Bellevue Hospital receiving care.

On Saturday, October 25, The World Health Organization (WHO) released figures which show that more than 10,000 persons have been infected with Ebola, with almost 5,000 dying from the disease as the infection rate grows internationally.

However, those infected with the disease since the outbreak began in March, are confined mainly to three West African countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. 20 cases were reported in Nigeria, which has now been declared Ebola-free, one in Mali, four in the United States, one in Spain and one in Senegal. In the United States, one person, Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national who was visiting family in Texas, has died from the disease.

The other infected persons are all health care workers who either cared for Duncan or other infected persons while performing humanitarian missions in the countries ravaged by the disease. So debate now rages about the actions taken by governors in Illinois, Florida, New York and New Jersey in enforcing mandatory quarantine for any person who returns to US soil after being in contact with Ebloa-infected individuals in West Africa.

This action comes on the heels of New York-based Doctors Without Borders physician Craig Spencer, 33, who was transported to Bellevue Hospital in lower Manhattan on Thursday, October 23, where he later tested positive for Ebola. Spencer returned from a mission caring for Ebola patients on October 17 and though he self-monitored, and contacted medical officials when his temperature spiked, his actions caused panic among New Yorkers, some of whom believe that he placed others at risk by failing to place himself into quarantine immediately upon his return to the USA, as a precautionary measure.

ABC medical director Dr. Richard Besser, who has himself travelled to Liberia to work with Ebola-stricken patients, warns that the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), where he previously worked, are sufficient. Those guidelines require people returning to the US from Ebola-stricken areas take their temperature twice per day for 21 days, as Besser did, and immediately report to the hospital if a high temperature occurs. But Governors Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) and Chris Christie (R- New Jersey), beg to differ, insisting that mandatory quarantine is the only way to safeguard the public. Who is right?

9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony uplifts, inspires


President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Former NYC Mayor and 9/11 board chairman Michael Bloomberg, view the 9/11/ Memorial Museum with Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By Carmen Glover

U.S. President Barack Obama led a high-powered contingent of politicians to dedicate the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan yesterday in a ceremony that was uplifting and inspiring. Dignitaries, families of the survivors and viewers who watched the ceremony live on television or as it streamed online, were first treated to musical renditions from various choirs as the ceremony got underway. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the 9/11 board of directors, took the stage to deliver a poignant speech.


President Obama speaks at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony.

“We are here today to help dedicate a great museum, one that rises out of the bedrock of our city, our history and our hearts. In the years to come, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will take its place alongside fields of Gettysburg, the waters of Pearl Harbor and the Vietnam Veterans’ Museum as a sacred marker of our past and a solemn gathering place-a place where we can remember those who dies and honor acts of courage and compassion that saved lives and lifted spirits,” he said.


President Obama began by describing the raw emotions felt by some of the survivors in the moments after the towers were attacked and the acts of heroism by one young man in particular.


Visitors gather outside as the 9/11 Memorial Museum is dedicated inside.

“In those awful moments after the south tower was hit, some of the injured huddled in the wreckage of the 78th floor. The fire was spreading and the air was filled with smoke. It was dark and they could not see. It seemed as if there was no way out and then there was a voice saying he had found the stairs. They didn’t know his name but they knew their lives had been saved by the man in the red bandana,” he said, describing the selfless and courageous actions of volunteer firefighter Wells Crowther, 24, who worked in the south tower.


Partial view of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan.

Crowther’s mother, Alison, was later joined onstage by one of the women he rescued, Liang Young.

“My husband Jefferson and I couldn’t be prouder of our son,” said Alison Crowther, as she described her son who saw everyone in the world as “being connected.”


President Obama, Former President Bill Clinton and Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg tor the 9/11 Memorial Museum with their partners First Lady Michelle Obama, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Financial Executive Diane Taylor.

Obama shared that while touring the museum earlier with First Lady Michelle Obama, it dawned on them the importance of being able to “recall, reflect and reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11: love, compassion, sacrifice and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation.” Biting his lower lip in his trademark style, he paused and said:

“No act of terror can match the strength and character of our country. Nothing can ever break us, nothing can change who we are as Americans.”

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Damaged fire truck from the fateful day that is now enshrined in the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Among the other attendees were: Former President Bill Clinton and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, NJ Governor Chris Christie, Former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani; Former New York Governor George Pataki and a contingent representing the Port Authority, firefighters, police officers, families of the victims and survivors. Some of the politicians had their spouses or significant others with them at the event.


Security detail at the 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Ceremony in Lower Manhattan.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will remain open for the next six days exclusively to the families of the victims and survivors. It will open to the public officially on 5/21/2014.–