President Obama has approved his secretary of defense’s decision that military personnel returning to the U.S. from West Africa will be quarantined for 21 days. At the same time, he’s decreed that civilian health workers returning to the U.S. – like Kaci Hickox, who treated patients with the Ebola virus – need not be quarantined.

Since the health care workers are far more likely than the military personnel to be carriers of the virus, why are they free to intermingle with the public while the troops are isolated? Can anyone explain how the Ebola virus can distinguish between military personnel and civilian health workers?

Isn’t this confusing and possibly dangerous double standard caused by the lack of a clear and consistent presidential policy, which Obama could resolve by executive action? The president has the best and latest medical science at his disposal. Why leave the state governors holding the bag?

Emotion, fear, science or politics?

Walter J. Eno