Saying She Will Not Be Bullied, Nurse Fights Quarantine

(Reuters) -

Saying she will not be bullied by politicians, a Maine nurse is giving the state an ultimatum: lift her Ebola quarantine by Thursday or she will disregard the restrictions and go to court.

Hickox, 33, tested negative for Ebola after returning from treating patients in West Africa. She previously blasted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie after she was taken from Newark’s airport and put in quarantine in a tent before being driven to Maine to spend the rest of her 21-day quarantine at her home.

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I am not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” Hickox, speaking from her home in the small Maine town of Fort Kent along the Canadian border, told NBC.

Hickox’s defiance did not sit well with Republican Governor Paul LePage, who said he would seek legal authority to keep her isolated at home until Nov. 10.

“While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits our great state,” LePage said in a statement.

Hickox worked with the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders in Sierra Leone, one of the three nations at the heart of an outbreak that has killed about 5,000 people in West Africa.

Also on Wednesday, another American nurse who returned home from working with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone agreed to quarantine herself at home in Texas, officials said. The nurse, who was not identified, is asymptomatic.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate along with Christie, telephoned the nurse, calling her a hero. Perry also said that the nurse has agreed to self-quarantine at home with twice-daily monitoring by state health officials for 21 days.