On Saturday, Kaci Hickox, the UT Arlington-educated nurse who was quarantined at a New Jersey hospital, after returning from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone as part of Doctors Without Borders, penned an article for The Dallas Morning News telling her side of the story, in which she said she was made to feel like a “criminal.”
Hickox is now at her home Ft. Kent, Maine. Earlier this morning, she appeared on the Today Show and Good Morning America, telling Matt Lauer that she was “appalled by these home quarantine policies that have forced upon me.” (She initially tested negative for Ebola and has not shown any symptoms since.) Her lawyer, meanwhile, hinted at filing a court order to spring her if Maine attempts to formally quarantine her. “If the restrictions placed on me by the state of Maine are not lifted by Thursday morning, I will go to court to fight for my freedom,” she says. Watch the full video above.
Despite being a University of Texas Arlington grad, what connection did Hickox have to Dallas and subsequently Morning News? Dr. Seema Yasmin. The name might sound familiar: she’s one of the doctor-journalist “subject matter experts” the paper hired in July. Currently a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, she also once worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Columbia Journalism Review reports Yasmin’s connections from the CDC might have had something to do with Yasmin landing the story for the Morning News:
Her CDC connections won the Morning News the exclusive. Yasmin and the nurse, Kaci Hickox, had worked together there and shared a network of friends, who alerted the reporter when the nurse was quarantined. The two began to text. Hickox shared her frustration at the misinformation already surfacing—particular from New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who had described her as “obviously ill.” Christie based his comments on reports that Hickox had a fever, information the nurse says came from an incorrect temperature reading.
“Why would they worry my family like that?” Yasmin recalls Hickox saying. She added: “Once we were texting, she said she really wanted her voice to be heard. She didn’t want her name out there until she had written something herself.”