Philip Maddocks: Unapologetic Christie frees God from Ebola quarantine
Saying he has nothing but good will for Him and His work going forward, an unapologetic Gov. Chris Christie dismissed those who questioned his decision to keep God quarantined in a tent since His return from Ebola-stricken West Africa.
Christie said he knows God is probably upset and angry and wants to go home, but he cautioned that the Almighty has to remember He is no different from any other airline traveler coming into New Jersey.
“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. I’m sure He is angry, too,” he said.
But what God has to keep in mind, Mr. Christie said, is that the governor’s obligation is to protect the public health of all the people. That may inconvenience the Almighty from time to time, but if that is what New Jersey has to do to protect the public, then, said Christie, “that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
“He was doing good work over in West Africa, and we’re doing good work here in New Jersey,” the governor said. “After he cools down, I’m sure he’ll see it in a different light.” Even as New Jersey officials prepared to release God from quarantine, Christie remained adamant that there had been good reason to isolate the Almighty in a tent equipped with a portable toilet but no shower or television.
“He was obviously ill enough that the CDC and medical officials hospitalized Him and gave Him an Ebola test,” the governor said. “They don’t do that just for fun, even with God.”
The announcement that God is free to leave New Jersey capped a frenetic week of accusations, when first a nurse and then God criticized Christie’s quarantine policy and proceeded to hire legal teams to defend their civil rights.
“I didn’t reverse any decision,” Christie said, in announcing that God is free to go.
God hadn’t had any symptoms for 24 hours. He tested negative for Ebola. And so there was no reason to keep him isolated from the public, Christie said. He contended, however, that God had been running a high fever and was symptomatic earlier and so, out of an abundance of caution, He had been placed in quarantine. God’s treatment in New Jersey drew withering criticism from both public health officials and the Almighty himself, who described the New Jersey approach as inhumane and disputed Mr. Christie’s contention that He was “obviously ill” when He displayed no symptoms of Ebola.
President Obama, speaking at the White House on Tuesday, said that it was critical that policies dealing with all returning health care workers — including those who are omnipotent — do nothing that might discourage them from going to fight the disease where it is most needed in West Africa.
“I want to make sure that every policy we put in place is supportive of their efforts,” he said. While not commenting specifically on the orders issued by several states, which go beyond the federal guidelines, or God’s criticism of New Jersey, the president said it was important that decisions were made based on “science,” not “fear.”
Although New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned of the possibility of quarantine “at a government-regulated facility” when he and Christie first announced the policy last week, it is unclear whether either of them had anticipated the possibility of quarantining God.
And yesterday, Cuomo relaxed his state’s mandatory quarantine further, allowing New York resident health care workers and most deities to be at home and to be compensated for lost income.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines on Monday, calling for travelers returning to the United States who have had exposure to Ebola patients to voluntarily isolate themselves. The new guidelines expanded on previous protocols and called for some restricted movement, saying returning medical workers should not, for instance, fly on commercial airlines during the 21-day monitoring period. However, the federal guidelines do not go appear to require the quarantining of deities.
Christie, however, continued to defend his state’s mandatory quarantine program, even as a growing number of scientists and public health experts condemned the restrictions as overly broad and possibly harmful in the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
“I don’t understand the fuss,” Christie said. “If God were in my position, he’d be doing the same thing.”
Philip Maddocks writes a weekly satirical column. He can be reached at email@example.com.