The Ebola virus

In 2014, a deadly strain of the Ebola virus killed a large number of people in West Africa, mainly in the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Many American doctors and nurses traveled to those countries to assist the victims of that virus. Shortly afterwards, some governors in the United States issued orders that anyone who visited those three countries must be quarantined in their homes for 21 days on returning to the United States.

Then-governor of Maine, Paul LePage, justified his quarantine order by saying, "While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits our great state."2 In response, American nurse Kaci Hickox refused to follow that quarantine order, saying, "So many states have started enacting these policies that I think are just completely not evidence-based. They don’t do a good job of balancing the risks and benefits when thinking about taking away an individual’s rights."27

After reading the scenario, respond to A, B, and C. A. Describe a political action Kaci Hickox could take to address the concerns raised in the scenario. B. Explain how the scenario illustrates a policy made by the State of Maine. C. Explain how the scenario illustrates the government’s role in balancing individual liberty with social order.