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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

People walk near an entrance to University Hospital of Newark Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, in Newark, N.J. Nurse Kaci Hickox, who was quarantined at the  hospital after working in West Africa with Ebola patients, was released Monday and left the hospital in a private vehicle. The state Health Department says she will be taken to Maine, where she lives. A statement released by the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said health officials in Maine had been notified of her arrival and that they could decide on her treatment and monitoring from there. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

White House steering clear of Ebola quarantine fight in Maine

The White House on Wednesday sidestepped the fight over Ebola quarantine policy that's brewing in Maine, where state officials want to legally quarantine a nurse who recently returned from West Africa and proclaimed she will not be confined to her home under protocols that put politics over science. Published October 29, 2014

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly during an event with American health care workers fighting the Ebola virus, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Obama praises health care workers, 'American exceptionalism' in Ebola fight

President Obama on Wednesday forcefully defended U.S. health care workers returning from the Ebola outbreak's front lines in West Africa as "heroes" deserving respect, in a White House pep rally designed to lift up volunteers fighting the virus at its source while rebuking those who let "fear" and "hysteria" dictate the country's response. Published October 29, 2014

Nurse Kaci Hickox was placed into an isolation tent at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, where she was quarantined after flying into Newark Liberty International Airport following her work in West Africa caring for Ebola patients. (AP Photo/Steven Hyman)

Ebola nurse in Maine to test limits of quarantine laws

Maine is on track to be the first state to see its quarantine laws put to the test since Ebola arrived on American shores, pitting broad state powers designed to protect public health against the liberties of health care workers who have an increasingly vocal ally in President Obama. Published October 29, 2014

White House: 'Not unusual' for Ebola quarantine rules to differ for military, general population

The Obama administration said Tuesday that a quarantine policy in place for Army troops leaving Ebola-stricken West Africa would not work for the civilian population — its latest attempt to explain the dissonance between its military policy and the criticism it doled out to states with strict solution measures in place for returning health workers. Published October 28, 2014

Obama tries to tamp down Ebola fears

Battered by criticism on the home front, President Obama turned the nation's focus to the fight against Ebola at its source in West Africa, taking pains to praise health care workers doing "God's work over there" to keep Americans safe. Published October 28, 2014

CDC Director Tom Frieden (Associated Press)

Federal officials unveil tiering system for triaging Ebola patients

Federal health officials released a risk scale Monday designed to smooth out state efforts to fight Ebola while bolstering the Obama administration's plea for calm, even as the Pentagon quarantined troops returning from the West African epicenter of the outbreak. Published October 27, 2014

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., right, casts his ballot with his wife Franki, left, during early voting at the Ford County Elections Office in Dodge City, Kan., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Democrats and Republicans are confident of winning the Senate

Democrats and Republicans gazed Sunday into starkly different crystal balls ahead of midterm elections a little more than a week away, doubling down on their chances to retain or retake the upper chamber and backing their respective leaders as men of vision. Published October 26, 2014

Health workers  load a body of a man at a back of a truck suspected to have died of Ebola virus in Paynesville Community situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said Ebola has killed more than 2,000 people in her country and has brought it to "a standstill," noting that Liberia and two other badly hit countries were already weakened by years of war. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

Fauci: Quarantines could hamper efforts to fight Ebola abroad

The U.S. fight against Ebola must be driven by science and not fear, and stricter rules on workers returning from Africa could effectively heighten the risk to the U.S., the nation's top infectious diseases official said Sunday. Published October 26, 2014

Kaci Hickox, a health care worker who returned from fighting Ebola in West Africa, wrote a scathing review of "inhumane" treatment by inspectors at Newark Liberty International Airport and her ongoing quarantine. Ms. Hickox is the first traveler quarantined under new guidelines established in New Jersey and New York. (University of Texas at Arlington via Associated Press)

Ebola health worker quarantines pit politics against science

The nation's top infectious diseases official blasted states for putting into place "draconian" quarantine rules that they said could dissuade workers from volunteering on the front lines of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and raise the threat to the U.S. Published October 26, 2014

First lady Michelle Obama campaigns for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., during a rally urging voters to re-elect the incumbent candidate, on the campus of Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colo., Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Does Michelle Obama want Sen. Dianne Feinstein'​s seat?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sunday she hasn't settled on her political future, as rumors swirl that Michelle Obama is being urged to run for the California seat, should the veteran lawmaker retire. Published October 26, 2014

President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Nina Pham, first nurse to get Ebola in Dallas, now virus-free: NIH

Hailing it as a "very special moment," the director of the National Institutes of Health said Friday the first nurse to contract Ebola while treating a patient in Dallas is cured and will be discharged from their campus in suburban Washington. Published October 24, 2014