The 11th and 13th district legislators representing much of Monmouth County including the communities host Fort Monmouth sent a letter to Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Valez Esq. this afternoon asking for the legal and practical justification for quarantining individuals that may have been exposed to the Ebola virus at Fort Monmouth at a time when New Jersey is marketing the property as a place for businesses to grow, create jobs and to serve as an area for new housing opportunities for people who have not been exposed to Ebola.
The letter signed by State Senators Joseph Kyrillos and Jennifer Beck and Assembly Members Amy Handlin, Declan O’Scanlon, Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande was printed on Kyrillos’s letterhead. The letter can be viewed here.
The legislators pointedly ask Valez for the specific statute, rule or regulation that gives her the authority to designate parts of Fort Monmouth a Ebola quarantine facility.
They ask for the practical justification for a “fourth facility” given that there are empty beds at the primary facilities designated by Governor Christie; Hackensack University Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and University Hospital in Newark.
They asked if the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or other Federal agency requested that the state designate an additional facility and what procedures DHS followed in determining that Fort Monmouth could serve as a quarantine facility given that it currently sits vacant and that there are empty hospital beds across the state.
Finally, they asked why a facility like Fort Monmouth which requires a large amount of rehabilitation would be designated as a bio-containment center.