From the Associated Press:
FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Kaci Hickox is free to travel unrestricted after a Maine judge on Friday rejected the state’s bid to limit her movements as a medical worker who has treated Ebola patients.
Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Hickox must continue daily monitoring and coordinate travel with state health officials to ensure continuity of monitoring. The judge said there’s no need to restrict her movements because she’s not infectious because she’s showing no symptoms.
With the judge’s ruling, a state police cruiser parked outside her home drove away.”
Judge Laverdiere praised Hickox, noting that “We owe her and all professionals who give of themselves in this way a debt of gratitude.” And he didn’t mince many words about why he refused to abuse the authority of the law by imposing unnecessary restrictions on her liberty:
“The court is fully aware of the misconceptions, misinformation, bad science and bad information being spread from shore to shore in our country with respect to Ebola. The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational.”
That’s a far cry from the stupidity being perpetrated in Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to allow anyone who has traveled to West Africa in the past 21 days to enter his state. Again, that means anyone who has merely been in those countries, not merely those who have been exposed to Ebola patients.
The order includes scientists and health-care experts who had been planning to attend a high-level conference on tropical diseases scheduled in New Orleans Nov. 2-6. Several experts from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control will be unable to attend.
“These precautions are being taken out of an abundance of caution for the current situation, and certainly do not reflect a lack of appreciation for your service and sacrifice in efforts to treat and end the epidemic of EVD,” Louisiana officials wrote in a letter to attendees. “… We do hope that you will consider a future visit to New Orleans, when we can welcome you appropriately.”
It’s been instructive to see how quick some people have been to insist that another person’s liberty be sacrificed to placate their own groundless fears. Sure, they’re all for freedom and small government in a theoretical sense, but it doesn’t take much before they’re demanding that the full weight of that same government be brought down upon an individual who poses them no threat whatsoever.