MEDIA ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What: Protest and March Calling on Cuomo and Christie to End the Mandatory Ebola Quarantine and Support West African Nations
When: Thursday, 5pm (EST), October 30, 2014
Where: Meet Across The Street From Bellevue Hospital Center, 462 First Avenue at 27th St., New York City
Historic NYC AIDS Activist Group Marches On Cuomo's Office To Demand He Show Support For West African Nations
Thursday, October 30, at 5PM (EST), The AIDS activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) will rally and march from Bellevue Hospital to the governor’s office to demand that Governors Cuomo and Christie stop promoting panic-based health policies and start supporting West African nations fighting Ebola.
Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to announce a new policy at JFK and Newark International Airports to order immediate mandatory 21-day quarantine of any person who acknowledges having been in proximity to people with Ebola. Such policies will do nothing to protect the American public and serve as a major deterrent to the recruitment of desperately needed healthcare workers to help stop the deadly outbreak that has killed over 4500 individuals in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Already, Kaci Hickox, a volunteer nurse from Doctors Without Borders, was inhumanely confined for days in New Jersey, even after testing negative for the disease.
Cuomo and Christie’s mandatory quarantine policies go against
evidence-based public health practices which are grounded in science. They contribute to the ongoing misperception of how Ebola is transmitted. Activists say that the policy is contributing to growing stigma of the disease and unwarranted public hysteria.
For local AIDS activists, the calls for quarantine hark back to an ugly time in NYC history. Longtime AIDS activist Mark Milano said, “In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, government officials mistakenly called for the quarantine of people with HIV, a measure that contradicted the science of how HIV is transmitted and spread misinformation to the public. Now, with Ebola, we’re seeing Governors Cuomo and Christie do the same thing.”
ACT UP activists demand that Cuomo and Christie avoid enacting fear-based policies that will only hinder our ability to fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa. ACT UP member Annette Gaudino said, “Governor Cuomo should be supporting NY-state health workers who go to West Africa to fight the disease, rather than spreading misinformation about transmission risks by mandating quarantines.”
ACT UP activists plan to rally across the street from Bellevue Hospital at 5pm and then march to Gov Cuomo’s office at 633 Third Avenue (at 41st Street) in Manhattan. They will be joined by local group Health GAP. At Bellevue Hospital, activists will drop off Get Well cards showing support and appreciation for Dr. Spencer’s courage.
Contact: Brandon Cuicchi; 646.284.2948; media@actupny
Founded in 1987, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. ACT UP meets every Monday night in New York City at the LGBT Community Center, 208 West 13th Street off 7th Ave.