TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said he would quarantine Americans returning from Brazil after the summer Olympics to keep the country safe from the spread of the Zika virus.
Christie made the comment in response to a question asked by ABC News moderator Martha Raddatz at the GOP National Debate on Saturday, WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported.
RADDATZ: “Is there a scenario where you would quarantine people traveling back from Brazil to prevent the spread in the United States?”
CHRISTIE: “You bet I would.”
Christie also defended his position in the Kaci Hickox case, where the so-called “ebola nurse” was put under a mandatory quarantine in New Jersey after returning from West Africa.
“This was not just someone, like we picked her up off the street just for the heck of it,” Christie said of the case. “We did it because she was showing symptoms.”
GOP candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said quarantining people is not an effective way to stop the spread of the virus.
“Do we quarantine people if we have evidence that they are infected — and there is evidence that that infection can spread by something that they’re doing, yes,” Carson said.
The Center for Disease Control declared the recent outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus an international emergency last week, due to its prevalence in South American countries.
Authorities had already announced free testing for anyone exhibiting signs of the virus. So far, 11 New Yorkers have tested positive for Zika.
The virus has also been reported in Mexico, the Caribbean, tropical Asia and parts of southeast Africa.
Meanwhile Sunday, Christie had a town hall crowd in New Hampshire laughing at him doing his Donald Trump impersonation. But then he turned serious, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
“How is he going to make the Mexicans pay for the wall? How? They are a sovereign nation,” he said.
Christie said he likes Trump, but he’s not the right choice for president.
“He’s a very good guy, he’s a very smart guy,” Christie said. “He has not the first idea of how to run a government.”