Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Tuesday criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) controversial Ebola quarantine, urging the governor to prioritize "science, not politics" in his response to the deadly virus.
"He should bring out his scientists who are advising him on that because we know that we want to be led by the science," Warren said. "That's what's going to keep people safe. Science, not politics."
Warren continued: "Ebola is not new. We've known about it for a long time, and we were putting money into funding Ebola many years ago and Republicans have cut funding overall for medical research, for the National Institutes of Health, and Ebola has not been a priority. So now we’re in a position where instead of making those investments up front, we wait until people die, now we’re going to spend billions of dollars and some real risk to our country."
On Friday, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that all travelers who had direct contact with Ebola patients would be placed under a mandatory 21-day quarantine. The requirement exceeds the protocols recommended by the CDC, and has faced criticism from health care experts who warn that the policy could deter health care workers from traveling to West Africa to aid Ebola patients, threatening efforts to curb the spread of the disease.
Kaci Hickox, a nurse who was quarantined after returning from Sierra Leone despite testing negative for the virus, spoke out against the policy and threatened legal action. Hickox was released from isolation Monday.
Christie, however, has insisted that Hickox's release does not indicate a reversal in policy.
"I didn’t reverse my decision," Christie said Monday. "She hadn’t had any symptoms for 24 hours. And she tested negative for Ebola. So there was no reason to keep her."