Rand Paul is horrified by Ebola quarantine.

Rand Paul Is “Horrified” by Ebola Quarantine, Calls for Halt on Elective Travel From Stricken Areas

Rand Paul Is “Horrified” by Ebola Quarantine, Calls for Halt on Elective Travel From Stricken Areas

The Slatest
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Nov. 2 2014 2:02 PM

Rand Paul Is “Horrified” by Ebola Quarantine, Calls for Halt on Elective Travel From Stricken Areas

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said he was a bit torn on the whole Ebola question, and whether it is right to quarantine returning health care workers. “The libertarian in me is sort of horrified at the idea of indefinitely detaining anyone without a trial,” Paul said, according to Mediaite. “One of the basic rights we inherited from the English and that we got from common law was the right of habeas corpus, to present the body. If the king were detaining you in the Tower of London or a governor or anybody who is detaining you, you have to have recourse to a lawyer and to a judge.”

Although Paul said that “we have to be very careful of people’s civil liberties,” he also said there was no reason for people to come to the United States from countries that are suffering an Ebola outbreak. The “American public sees people getting it who are fully masked and gowned and saying, ‘My goodness, I don’t think anybody should be riding on a bus or coming from Liberia to visit their aunt or uncle when they could be contagious,’” Paul said on CBS’s Face the Nation, according to the Washington Post. So that means that what the potential 2016 presidential candidate wants is to temporarily stop all travel from those areas that doesn’t affect humanitarian aid or health care workers. “If you’re coming to visit your relatives,” he said, “couldn’t that wait for a few months?”  

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Meanwhile, Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined in New Jersey after returning from Sierra Leone, apologized to her community in Maine and vowed to stay away from crowded areas as much as possible, even though a judge said she could not be required to stay in her home. “I will not go into town, into crowded public places,” she said on NBC. “You know, I have had a few friends come visit me in my home and that's absolutely fantastic.” Speaking to the Portland Press Herald, Hickox said that she never intended to be the center of a media frenzy. “I didn’t mean to bring this media storm onto this community, either, but I think unfortunately sometimes, especially when up against governors, you don’t always have an option,” she said. “I don’t feel like I was given an option.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.