Nursing Student in Ebola Controversy Leaves Program

November 10, 2014

The boyfriend of the nurse at the center of the controversy over Ebola quarantines has withdrawn from his accelerated nursing program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent due to concerns about the university’s handling of the situation, the Portland Press Herald reported. Ted Wilbur, whose girlfriend, Kaci Hickox, fought government efforts to enforce a mandatory quarantine after she returned from volunteering as a nurse in West Africa, had agreed to temporarily stay away the university “under duress” and opted to withdraw from the program after university officials declined to preemptively communicate to students that any harassment or threats against him would not be tolerated upon his return to campus. (University officials reportedly told him that there had been threats against him.)

“They didn’t show any leadership or support to me and they had an opportunity, as a nursing school, to act like a medical community, and they didn’t,” Wilbur said.

A spokesman for the University of Maine system, Dan Demeritt, told the newspaper that the university had worked hard to address “community concerns” about the Ebola virus. “Unfortunately he feels we weren’t accommodating enough, but we worked hard to balance the students’ needs and the overall concerns of the campus and the community.”

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