In remarks here, Mr. Christie at first stopped short of recommending that parents immunize their children against measles, or any other illness, calling for “balance” and “choice.” But his remarks quickly set off an outcry, prompting the governor to modify his position about an hour later and declare, through a spokesman, that “there is no question kids should be vaccinated.”
Mr. Christie, when asked about the connection between the new measles cases and parents who object to the long-recommended vaccine against it, said that he and his wife had vaccinated their four children. He called that “the best expression I can give you of my opinion.”
But he added: “It’s more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well. So that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
Mr. Christie said that “not every vaccine is created equal, and not every disease type is as great a public health threat as others.”
Mr. Christie said he knew that Ms. Hickox was “upset and angry; she wanted to go home.” He then compared Ms. Hickox’s plight to that of any airline traveler.
“Any of us have seen people who are traveling and they’ve been stopped, whether they are late for a plane or whatever they are doing, they get upset and angry,” he said. “That’s fine. I have absolutely nothing but good will for her going forward. She’s a good person and went over and was doing good work over in West Africa.
“But she needs to understand that the obligation of elected officials is to protect the public health of all the people, and if that inconvenienced her for a period of time, that’s what we need to do to protect the public. That’s what we’ll continue to do.”
Mr. Christie said he had no reason to talk to Ms. Hickox. “My job is not to represent her,” he said. “My job is to represent the people of New Jersey.”
The later quote of course comes from a story on the quarantining of Kaci Hickox for possible Ebola exposure.
So, which Chris Christie do you side with?