Mandatory 21-Day Quarantine for All Returning U.S. Military Approved
Washington (CNN) — A 21-day quarantine for all military personnel serving in Ebola stricken areas of West Africa was approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Wednesday.
The quarantine was pushed for by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hagel said.
Initially the measure will apply to all personnel leaving the West Africa area. But Hagel said the policy will be reviewed within 45 days.
The policy creates a separate set of rules for military members than what the White House has pushed for civilian health care workers. President Obama has argued that civilian volunteer health workers returning from aid trips to Africa should not be quarantined and the White House has urged states not to impose their own quarantine policies. Science, Obama has said, does not support the need for a quarantine.
Asked to explain the discrepancy between civilians and the military, he said Tuesday service members have been sent to the Ebola region by him and health workers are going as volunteers.
“It’s part of their mission that’s been assigned to them by their commanders and ultimately by me, the commander-in-chief,” the president told reporters on the White House’s South Lawn on Tuesday.”So we don’t expect to have similar rules for our military as we do for civilians,” Obama said. “They are already, by definition, if they’re in the military under more circumscribed conditions.”