Updated 4:33 p.m.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday defended his Ebola quarantine policy, dismissing complaints from a nurse quarantined under the policy, as well as worries that the approach would deter American health workers from traveling overseas to tackle the virus—a stance that has drawn the attention of the White House and could bring legal action against the state.
"The government's job is to protect safety and health of our citizens," Christie said on Fox News Sunday. "I have no second thoughts about it."
"I think this is a policy that will become a national policy sooner rather than later," the Republican governor said of the mandatory 21-day quarantine policy for health workers returning from countries where populations are living with the Ebola crisis. New York, Illinois and Florida have also put the policy in place.
However, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also appearing on Fox News Sunday, indicated that that wouldn't be the case anytime soon. According to Fauci, the science doesn't support the mandatory quarantining policy and adopting it would likely have "unintended consequences."
"Guidelines regarding how you handle people from coming back should always be based on the science, and the science tells us that people who are asymptomatic do not transmit," said Fauci. He added: "There are other steps that you can [take to] protect American people based on the scientific evidence that does not necessarily go so far as to possibly have unintended consequences of disincentivizing health care workers. The best way to protect us is to stop the epidemic in Africa, and we need those health care workers."