NBC Medical Editor Violates Ebola Quarantine, Dodges Responsibility

After their cameraman Ashoka Mukpo contracted ebola while covering the epidemic in Africa, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman and her team of reporters were supposed to be under a voluntary 21-day quarantine. Instead, Snyderman herself was recently spotted in public in her New Jersey neighborhood, reportedly getting take-out.   

In response to the growing controversy over the clear violation, Snyderman released a statement on Monday in which she completely dodged any personal responsibility: "While under voluntary quarantine guidelines, which called for our team to avoid public contact for 21 days, members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed."

While blaming "members of our group," Snyderman forgot to mention that she was one of the violators. She defensively declared: "As a health professional, I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public, but I am deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused."

What made the whole episode worse was the fact that anchor Brian Williams recited the statement on Monday's NBC Nightly News without mentioning that Snyderman was guilty of violating the quarantine. He simply told viewers: "Our chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has been in the news herself these past few days." In the news for what?

The same glaring omission occurred on Tuesday's Today, as co-host Matt Lauer similarly quoted Snyderman without acknowledging her share of the blame.

So much for media transparency.

Here are transcripts of NBC covering Snyderman's statement on October 13 and 14:

NBC Nightly News
10/13/14
7:05 PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: We have an update on our team tonight. Our cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo is improving at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is eating and drinking, sitting up in the hospital, generally much better.

And our chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has been in the news herself these past few days. We spoke with Nancy earlier today during which time she said, quote, "While under voluntary quarantine guidelines, which called for our team to avoid public contact for 21 days, members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed. We remain healthy and our temperatures are normal. As a health professional, I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public, but I am deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused. We are thrilled that Ashoka is getting better and our thoughts continue to be with the thousands affected by ebola whose stories we all went to cover."


Today
10/14/14
7:11 AM ET

MATT LAUER: Meantime, one more update on our team that covered the ebola outbreak in Africa. NBC's chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman released this statement. Quote, "While under voluntary quarantine guidelines, which called for our team to avoid public contact for 21 days, members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed. We remain healthy and our temperatures are normal. As a health professional, I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public, but I am deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused. We are thrilled that Ashoka is getting better and our thoughts continue to be with the thousands affected by ebola whose stories we all went to cover."

Health Care NBC NBC Nightly News Today Video Nancy Snyderman Brian Williams Matt Lauer

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