New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday said a quarantined nurse being monitored for Ebola in the Garden State would be allowed to head home to Maine, a surprising reversal given the governor's staunch defense one day prior of his controversial quarantine policy.
"It's always been about her condition. And if her condition permits release, then we will work with the state officials in Maine to make sure she could go home," Christie told The New York Times. The nurse, Kaci Hickox, tested negative over the weekend for Ebola.
New Jersey and New York last week imposed 21-day mandatory quarantines for anyone returning from West Africa who had contact with Ebola patients. And on Sunday, Christie said he had "absolutely no second thoughts" about that policy.
Yet Christie quickly came under fire from Hickox, who threatened a lawsuit, and from health officials who argued that mandatory quarantines are counterproductive. Late Sunday, The Times also reported that the federal government was quietly pressuring Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to reconsider their states' quarantines.