The US Army has announced that it intends to quarantine every single US soldier returning from deployment to Liberia out of “an abundance of caution” about the possibility of Ebola exposure.
Dozens of soldiers have already been placed in 21-day quarantine in Italy over the weekend, including Major General Darryl Williams, the outgoing commander of the operations in Liberia.
Expanded across the operation, this would cover 882 troops already assigned to the region, as well as “thousands” of additional troops that are en route for the ever-expanding anti-Ebola campaign.
The White House downplayed the announcement, saying it did not represent a shift in Defense Department policy but rather the decision of a single commander, and hinted that the announcement was not set in stone and could be subject to change.
The move is still a surprise, as the administration has taken officials in New York and New Jersey to task for trying very similar Ebola quarantine standards, saying they are “burdening” the doctors and nurses who have traveled there.