In New Jersey, nurse Kaci Hickox tested negative for Ebola several times.
A faulty thermometer at the airport showed she had a fever, but she later tested normal for that as well.
According to the Washington Post, she may not have intended to become the center of a political debate, but she is one now.
When the registered nurse — fresh from fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone — spoke out against a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie was the first Republican to intervene.
While refraining from attacking Hickox personally, Christie took up an unusual rallying cry for a member of the party of Reagan: the need for big government to contain a mess.
“The government’s job is to protect [the] safety and health of our citizens,” Christie said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And so we’ve taken this action, and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it.”
Christie then apparently had second thoughts on Monday, when he freed Hickox from quarantine after supposedly talking to, among others, President Obama.
The left took up her cause. “When Kaci Hickox stood up to Governor Chris Christie for quarantining her against her will and claiming she was ‘obviously ill’ when she wasn’t, she did more than bring a little sanity to our Ebola-panic politics,” the Nation wrote. “She also struck a blow for all the teachers, nurses, public employees, minimum-wagers and workers of all kinds that Christie has bullied, belittled and silenced over the years.”
When back at home in Maine, Hickox defied another mandatory quarantine from another Republican governor, the partisan divide over her irresponsibility or moxie only deepened.
To the right, she was a do-gooder who fell from grace, trading praiseworthy humanitarian work for arrogant grandstanding as she and her boyfriend set off on a defiant bicycle ride with a group of TV camera crews in tow. To the left, she was a hero standing up to “bully governors.”
“There is something uniquely jarring about a display of selfish insolence from someone who is so praiseworthy in other respects,” Townhall wrote in a piece called “Kaci Hickox, Self-Absorbed Hero.” “Maddening traits usually come from maddening people, as their true character surfaces.”