Nurse Kaci Hickox is still being held in isolation in New Jersey, but the man who sentenced her to that isn't anywhere near there.
Chris Christie is in Iowa, raising money for wingnut Steve King and gladhanding donors in advance of his bid for the 2016 nomination. Tell me more about how he gives a damn about the health and safety of New Jersey.
Here's what Chris Christie's Saturday night was like.
Christie was in Iowa today headlining fundraisers for U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Ia) and Gov. Terry Branstad. Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said he’ll return to the state Thursday to campaign for Branstad a fourth time this election cycle.
During his first recent visit in July, Christie dismissed his trip to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus state had anything to do with presidential politics.
However, at the time, Branstad showed little signs he needed a boost to win re-election. He had far more cash on hand than his Democratic challenger, a double-digit lead and a 58 percent approval rating.
Branstad’s lead over his challenger has grown even larger since July – the same month Christie sparked controversy for saying the RGA doesn’t “pay for landslides … (or) invest in lost causes.”
Christie denied Branstad’s race is a landslide when asked about it today.
“I don’t think its a landslide, no,” he said. “And there’s also a very important United States Senate race here that the senatorial committee has asked me to help on.”
Christie went on: “You have to understand, I make these decisions based upon the races, but I also make these decisions based upon friendship. Terry Branstad has asked me to come … and he’s been a very good friend to me over the last five years, and I continue to count that friendship and support, and so if he asks and it’s reasonable and I can make it, I’m going to come.”
Oh, what a shame he's not pals with Nurse Kaci, because maybe then she could be eating a nice dinner somewhere instead of sitting in a tent with a cell phone dressed in a set of scrubs because they took all of her clothes.
While she is being provided with food and water, the tent is not heated and she is dressed in uncomfortable paper scrubs. She was permitted to bring personal belongings into the tent.
Kaci has written a detailed account of her experience.
Doctors Without Borders is very concerned about the conditions and uncertainty she is facing and is attempting to obtain information from hospital officials.
While measures to protect public health are of paramount importance, they must be balanced against the rights of health workers returning from fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to fair and reasonable treatment and the full disclosure of information to them, along with information about intended courses of action from local and state health authorities.
In a tent with no heat. The Sunday morning low is predicted to be 43 degrees. As I write, it's 56 degrees there, and she has no heat. Because she has no symptoms, she doesn't have contact with anyone other than those who show up to drop off her food and wkater.
In other contexts, we call that solitary confinement. Or prison. And we actually have trials before that happens. But in New Jersey, Chris Christie made the political decision to lock up Kaci Hickox so he could go to Iowa to raise money for Steve King and Joni Ernst while puffing himself up and bragging about how he's 'protecting' the citizens of New Jersey.
To anyone out there who thinks they should mansplain quarantines to me, I will remind you that she had no advance notice or knowledge that this would be her greeting upon returning to the United States. Generally, quarantines are not imposed on people by locking them in a damned tent with no heat.
Kaci Hickox is really an incredible person. Read about how she and her team helped people in Nigeria in 2011, and Myanmar from 2007-2009. There is more compassion in her little finger than in all of Chris Christie's body.
If Chris Christie doesn't have the resources to quarantine her properly, he shouldn't have done it at all until he did. That means making arrangements with the federal authorities to move her to a facility that is equipped to handle the quarantine of any health professional returning from West Africa.
But instead, he's just arbitrarily decided to lock her up. And leave the state.
I hope he gets his ass kicked in the primaries.
[Photo credit: Donkey Hotey]