Christie Defends Quarantines: "We're Not Moving An Inch; Our Policy Hasn't Changed, And Our Policy Will Not Change"

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MATT LAUER, NBC: Is it possible that you're on the wrong side of science here, but the right side of public opinion?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: No, I’m going to be on the right side of both, ultimately, Matt. I understand that the CDC has been behind on this. Folks got infected in in Texas because they were behind and we're not going to have folks being infected in New Jersey and other states in this country. Governors ultimately have the responsibility to protect the public health and public safety of the people within their borders when folks come in with this problem.

Let’s be clear, Matt. All we're talking about is folks who have been directly in contact, as health care workers, with folks who are actively infected with the virus. Not all travelers -- the reporting has been very sloppy on this, Matt.

MATT LAUER: And yet a lot of people I’ve talked to, health care experts, say this. The best way to prevent new cases from Ebola from coming to the United States is to stop the outbreak in West Africa. If you start attaching 21 days to the commitment of any health care worker who wants to go there and help the crisis there, isn't that going to have a chilling effect?

CHRIS CHRISTIE: No, it's not, Matt. These folks go over there because they want to help and make a difference. And we applaud them. But by the same token, when they're in direct contact with people actively with the Ebola virus, asking them to quarantine at home for 21 days, unless they're symptomatic, I don't think, is draconian and I think the doctor is responding, unfortunately, as are many people from the CDC, in a really hyperbolic way because they've been wrong before and now are incrementally taking steps to the policy we put in effect in New Jersey and six other states have put in effect and the joint chiefs of staff have put in effect.

We’re all wrong and they're right, Matt? We’re trying to be careful here. This is common sense. The members of the American public believe it is common sense and we are not moving an inch. Our policy has not changed and our policy will not change.

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