On Sept. 27, the Portland Press Herald published an op-ed titled “Nobody should be embarrassed by Maine’s current governor.” Now I feel not only embarrassed but also shamed by his recent fostering and pandering to irrational fears held by some among us.

Kaci Hickox not only served heroically as a nurse at ground zero of the African Ebola epidemic but also stood up for values that should be part of the basic fabric of our society, values that protect all of us. These are rationality as manifested in the scientific method and the conclusions of science, and liberty as protected by the due process clause of the Bill of Rights. Gov. LePage has demonstrated that he respects neither.

The medical profession has had much experience with the Ebola virus since its first epidemic 40 years ago. The means by which it is transmitted is very well understood and informs the policies and public statements of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the professionals treating the disease in Africa.

Gov. LePage, who has in the past demonstrated his scientific ignorance, did not cite scientific experts in support of his efforts to confine Ms. Hickox. He had only political rather than medical reasons for doing so. Baseless fears abound, and he did nothing to abate them, only pandering to hysteria.

We should heed the words uttered by TV reporter Edward R. Morrow in response to the slanderous depredations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who fostered and exploited exaggerated anti-communist fears in 1954: “We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men.”

What kind of people are we becoming?

Meredith N. Springer