Army quarantines soldiers returning from Ebola zone while administration criticizes states for doing the same thing

More incompetence and confusion from the White House on Ebola protocols.  The U.S. Army is keeping all soldiers returning from duty in Ebola-stricken countries in isolation for 21 days at a base in Italy.  This is 100% at odds with what's been coming out of the administration over the last two days.  The White House is pressuring New York, New Jersey, and Illinois to reverse their policy on quarantining health workers returning from West Africa Ebola hot zones.

Why quarantine our soldiers but not civilian health workers?


The U.S. military has started isolating soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa and Australia became the first rich nation to impose a visa ban on the affected countries amid global anxiety about the spread of the virus.

The latest measures, along with decisions by some U.S. states to impose mandatory quarantines on health workers returning home from treating Ebola victims in West Africa, have been condemned by health authorities and the United Nations as extreme.

The top health official in charge of dealing with Washington's response to Ebola warned against turning doctors and nurses who travel to West Africa to tackle Ebola into "pariahs".

We're going to base our policy on whether we hurt someone's feelings or not?  Sheesh.

The United Nations on Monday sharply criticized the new restrictions imposed by some U.S. states on health workers returning home from the affected West African states of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

"Returning health workers are exceptional people who are giving of themselves for humanity," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said. "They should not be subjected to restrictions that are not based on science. Those who develop infections should be supported, not stigmatized."

American soldiers returning from West Africa are also being isolated, even though they showed no symptoms of infection and were not believed to have been exposed to the deadly virus, officials said on Monday.

In a statement, the Army said Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno ordered the 21-day monitoring period for returning soldiers "to ensure soldiers, family members and their surrounding communities are confident that we are taking all steps necessary to protect their health."

The Army isolated about a dozen soldiers on their return during the weekend to their home base in Vicenza, Italy. That included Major General Darryl Williams, the commander of U.S. Army Africa, who oversaw the military's initial response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

"We are billeted in a separate area (on the base). There's no contact with the general population or with family. No one will be walking around Vicenza," Williams told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The U.S. military has repeatedly stressed that its personnel are not interacting with Ebola patients and are instead building treatment units to help health authorities battle the epidemic. Up to 4,000 U.S. troops may be deployed on the mission.

The Army gets it.  The administration doesn't.  Why should one more American get sick just because we wanted to spare health workers from being stigmatized?  If the governors are not basing their policy on science, then the U.N. and the White House want to base their policy on feel-good do-gooderism.

The difference is that one policy virtually guarantees that no more Americans will get sick.  The other policy sees that goal as secondary to appearing to be kind and compassionate.

Which would you prefer?

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