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"Stop Calling Me The Ebola Nurse" —Kaci Hickox

The nurse who defied Maine's quarantine laws criticizes "fear-mongering, lying" American politicians in an op-ed for The Guardian.

Posted on November 17, 2014, at 10:19 a.m. ET

"I never had Ebola, so please stop calling me 'the Ebola Nurse' – now," Kaci Hickox wrote in a Guardian op-ed Monday.

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File
AP Photo/Steven Hyman, File

Hickox, who returned to the U.S. after caring for Ebola patients in West Africa, has been very vocal in her criticism of some states' Ebola quarantine laws.

She wrote:

"I never had Ebola. I never had symptoms of Ebola. I tested negative for Ebola the first night I stayed in New Jersey governor Chris Christie's private prison in Newark. I am now past the incubation period – meaning that I will not develop symptoms of Ebola.

I never had Ebola, so please stop calling me "the Ebola Nurse" – now!"

After confronting Christie, she defied quarantine laws in her home state of Maine, forcing the governor to seek legal action to enforce the quarantine. However, Hickox settled the lawsuit with the state and was allowed to travel freely in public during her 21-day monitoring period.

"I was quarantined against my will by overzealous politicians after I volunteered to go and treat people affected by Ebola in West Africa," Hickox wrote. "My liberty, my interests and consequently my civil rights were ignored because some ambitious governors saw an opportunity to use an age-old political tactic: fear."

She accused Christie and Maine Gov. Paul LePage of disregarding medical science and manipulating the public by "multiplying the existing fear and misinformation about Ebola" in the hopes of advancing their careers and proclaiming themselves "the protectors of the people."

"Politicians who tell lies such as 'she is obviously ill' and mistreat citizens by telling them to 'sit down and shut up' will hopefully never make it to the White House," Hickox said.

She also wrote that "Illegitimate fear" of the disease and its transmission prevented her partner from returning to his nursing school in Maine and discriminated against others who had returned to the U.S. from West Africa.

"I want to live in a country that understands Ebola," she said. "I want to live in a world that cares about those dying from this terrible disease in West Africa. Nobody should've had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, "We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now."

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