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With no teachers immediately available to yell at, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has taken up yelling at nurses, we guess. In the latest twist on Chris Christie's War On Health Care Workers Who Volunteer To Fight Deadly Diseases, the New Jersey Department of Health announced this morning that Kaci Hickox, a still-healthy nurse who returned to the U.S. and was clapped in irons for her own good Friday night, would be allowed to return home to Maine:


“After consulting with her, she has requested transport to Maine, and that transport will be arranged via a private carrier not via mass transit or commercial aircraft. She will remain subject to New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine order while in New Jersey. Health officials in Maine have been notified of her arrangements and will make a determination under their own laws on her treatment when she arrives,” the department said in a statement.

Not surprisingly, it took Chris Christie just a matter of nanoseconds to insist that he hadn't reversed himself on his very wise decision to hold a healthcare worker against her will in an isolation tent -- in an unheated wing of a Newark hospital, no less:

Stumping for Gov. Rick Scott in Melbourne, Mr. Christie defended his decision to allow a nurse who was being quarantined in New Jersey to return home to Maine. Here are edited excerpts of his responses.

Q. Why the reversal on an at-home quarantine?

A. I didn’t reverse my decision. Why are you saying I reversed my decision? If she was continuing to be ill she’d have to stay. She hadn’t had any symptoms for 24 hours. And she tested negative for Ebola. So there was no reason to keep her. The reason she was put into the hospital in the first place was because she was running a high fever and was symptomatic. If you live in New Jersey, we will quarantine you in your home. That was always the policy. If you live outside the state and you are symptomatic, we’re not letting you go onto public transportation. It makes no common sense.

That’s a common-sense approach that the federal government wasn’t taking. We did it first in New Jersey and New York. It’s now been adopted by Chicago. It has now been adopted by Maryland. As I said yesterday, this will become national policy because it’s smart.

Christie also refused to back down on his earlier insistence that Hickox was "obviously ill," although Hickox herself seems to think that Dr. Christie's examination (performed through his preferred medical instrument, the FoxNewsOScope) may not have been accurate, telling CNN's Candy Crowley, "First of all, I don't think he's a doctor; secondly, he's never laid eyes on me; and thirdly, I've been asymptomatic since I've been here."

But Chris Christie will win this fight, because he is smart -- didn't you just see him say that a quarantine is smart, even though public health experts say it isn't? Asked if he intended to speak with Hickox, the man of science said that it was not necessary, no sirree, because the nurse lady is no longer his problem, and she was never what this was about anyway:

Listen, I have no reason to talk to her. My job is not to represent her. My job is to represent the people of New Jersey. And so she was ill. She was obviously ill enough that the C.D.C. and medical officials hospitalized her and gave her an Ebola test. They don’t do that just for fun. That’s a very specific, difficult, expensive test to do. And so the fact is I know she was upset and wanted to go home. Any of us have seen people who are traveling and they’ve been stopped whether they are late for a plane or whatever they are doing they get upset and angry. That’s fine. I have absolutely nothing but good will for her going forward. She’s a good person and went over and was doing good work over in West Africa. But she needs to understand.

That’s what we will continue to do.

When New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro pointed out that Hickox had taken offense at his remote diagnosis of her as "obviously ill," Chris Christie, who generally likes yelling at doctors anyway, made it quite clear that the silly selfish nurse was just didn't seem to appreciate what he was doing for her:

She took great offense at everything I did, Michael.

He also explained that someday, Kaci Hickiox will come to appreciate all of this.

"When she has time to reflect, she'll understand," he said. Oh, sure, silly nurse lady, you might resent being locked up when you're not actually a risk, but after all, don't we need to listen to the concerns of idiots who believe Fox News over the CDC?

Despite thrice denying her before sunrise, Chris Christie may still have to go drag Ms. Hickox back from Maine if he wants to continue being Tuff Enuff on Ebola, however. Rush Limbaugh is already decrying New Jersey's decision to allow Hickcox (who has no symptoms of Ebola and is therefore not a risk to anyone -- did we mention that? We should probably mention that) to go home as proof that Chris Christie is a big ol' RINO who's trying to bathe in Barack Obama's bodily fluids, just like he betrayed America during Hurricane Sandy. Limbaugh warned that "we need to quarantine Chris Christie," and then vomited forth this toxic spew of word salad which has, we must warn you, not yet been tested for potentially deadly pathogens:

“This is the second election in a row,” Limbaugh continued. “One week prior to an election, the governor of New Jersey ends up, oh I don’t know -- arm and arm, hand and hand, in bed with -- I don’t know how to characterize it, but responding to Obama’s demands. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but this -- I think the Republicans ought to make sure Chris Christie from now on, once we get to a week before an election. We need to find a way here -- in the middle here, taking center stage of another national crisis, another Obama hug moment and Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo doing the same thing. But that kind of makes sense because Gov. Cuomo and Obama are in the same party.”

Please stay hydrated, everyone.

[NYT / Breitbart / NYT again]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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