While virtually all the establishment-media attention surrounding nurse Kaci Hickox in recent days has focused on her defiant attitude toward efforts to quarantine her over potential exposure to Ebola, one important detail in the saga has gone almost completely unnoticed by the press: Hickox was trained as an “intelligence officer” by the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The revelation has sparked widespread speculation, especially considering White House intervention on her behalf and the fact that most of the press entirely omitted such an important fact. So far, however, it is not clear whether her work for the federal government played a role in the ongoing story, or what that role might be.
As debate in the United States rages surrounding the Ebola quarantines implemented in New York, Illinois, and New Jersey last week for health workers returning from West Africa, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon once again injected the United Nations and himself into the discussion — and into domestic U.S. affairs, part of an accelerating trend that has analysts sounding the alarm. Suggesting that the controversial quarantine policies announced on October 24 by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were inappropriate, the UN boss called for Ebola measures based on “science” instead.
President Obama issued an executive order on October 16 authorizing the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to call up reserve units to active duty to provide support for civilian-led humanitarian assistance operations fighting the Ebola virus in West Africa. The anti-Ebola operation is called Operation United Assistance.