New York’s top officials have a message for those concerned about the Ebola virus: relax.
“This is not a virus that lives for a long period of time outside of the human body,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Friday morning. “We’re erring on the side of caution but we feel good that we were fully prepared. There’s no reason for New Yorkers to panic or feel that they have anything to worry about on the subway system, et cetera. Everything that had to be done was done.”
A New York doctor who had treated Ebola patients in Africa tested positive for Ebola Thursday night. Three people, his fiancee and two friends, have since been quarantined, according to the Associated press.
But, speaking on CNN’s “New Day,” Cuomo vowed to ride one of the subway lines that the doctor recently took in order to demonstrate there is no reason for commuters to be alarmed.
“We have to separate sometimes … the fear from the reality — or the irrational fear if you will from the reality. And we have a dose of irrational fear. Being in New York, a little anxiety can keep you safe, right?” Cuomo said. “But undue anxiety is unproductive and there’s no reason for undue anxiety in this situation.”
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) also took the subway Friday morning. One of her aides tweeted a photo of the ride:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) similarly urged calm.
“But we emphasise again, Ebola is very difficult to contract. Being on the same subway car or living near a person with Ebola does not in itself put someone at risk. We are working very closely with our state and federal partners to ensure that we protect the health of all New Yorkers,” he said at a press conference Thursday night, according to a transcript.
In a readout of calls between President Barack Obama, de Blasio, and Cuomo, the White House also praised “the extensive preparations that New York City and, in particular, Bellevue Hospital Center, where the patient is being treated, have undertaken to prepare for this contingency.”
Updated (8:45 a.m.): Included a tweet about Mark-Viverito.
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