Krauthammer: Ebola Quarantines Infringe on Civil Liberties, But Are Necessary
This evening on Special Report, Charles Krauthammer weighed in on the confusion surrounding mandatory quarantine procedures for people returning to the U.S. from Ebola-affected countries.
Most recently, the White House and the CDC pushed back against governors implementing quarantine measures in their states, taking the side of nurse Kaci Hickox, who was involuntarily quarantined in New Jersey.
Meanwhile, the Department of Defense recently placed U.S. soldiers who had recently been in West African countries under 21-day quarantine in Italy "out of an abundance of caution."
“This is a perfect contradiction,” Krauthammer said, explaining that putting asymptomatic soldiers in quarantine, but not requiring that protocol from aid workers coming from the same Ebola hot zone makes no sense.
Krauthammer said that one good thing to come from this policy confusion is a national consensus that if a person returns from a hot zone, particularly if they have a fever, they can and should be quarantined whether they agree to it or not.
He said this is an infringement on a person's civil liberties, of course, as it is effectively putting them in detention, but it is necessary.
"Whether it's at home or in a tent does not really matter in the end," he said. "It's the principle that we seem all to agree that quarantine - the state depriving you of liberty - is the way to go in a potential epidemic."
"It's the state exerting its authority over you, and in this potential epidemic, you have to do it."
Watch the clip above to hear the panel weigh in.