POLITICS
10/29/2014 09:37 am ET Updated Oct 29, 2014

Chris Christie To Nurse Who May Sue Him: 'Whatever. Get In Line.'

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) brusquely dismissed a possible lawsuit from a nurse who was quarantined in his state after a recent trip to West Africa.

"Whatever," he said Tuesday at a campaign stop in Rhode Island, according to CNN. "Get in line. I've been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I'm happy to take it on."

Kaci Hickox was quarantined Friday after caring for Ebola-stricken patients in Sierra Leone on behalf of the Doctors Without Borders humanitarian organization. Although she tested negative for the deadly virus, Hickox was placed in isolation at a Newark hospital, where she spoke out against her treatment. The 33-year-old nurse was released Monday and threatened possible legal action.

Christie said he had no qualms over her quarantine, which included a tent with no shower or flushable toilet.

"Neither did the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], who was on the ground in University Hospital monitoring the conditions she was in," he said of the hospital environment. "She had access to the Internet and we brought her takeout food."

"There's been all kinds of malarkey ... about this," he added. "She was inside the hospital in a climate-controlled area with access to her cell phone, access to the Internet, and takeout food from the best restaurants in Newark. She was doing just fine."

Christie further argued he had a responsibility to protect the citizens of New Jersey.

Hickox spoke out against the governor over the weekend, questioning his earlier diagnosis that she was "obviously ill" despite having no fever or symptoms of the virus.

"First of all, I don't think he's a doctor," she said. "And secondly, he's never laid eyes on me. And thirdly, I have been asymptomatic since I've been here."

Despite the frenzy across the country for Ebola quarantines, which public health experts don't recommend, only one American citizen currently remains infected with the virus -- a doctor who recently traveled to New York from West Africa.

President Barack Obama addressed the issue offhandedly on Tuesday, urging officials to set policy in response to Ebola "based on the science" and "based on the facts."

"We don't want to discourage our health care workers from going to the front lines and dealing with this in an effective way," he said at the White House. "We have to make sure that we continue to provide the support of health workers who are going overseas to deal with the disease where it really has been raging."

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