White House press secretary Josh Earnest compared the decision to “restrict the movement” of U.S. troops back from West Africa fighting Ebola to rules that require them to get a haircut.
On Wednesday it was announced that troops returning home from Operation United Assistance would be supervised in isolation for 21 days. American civilians are not required to undergo a similar procedure upon landing stateside.
“There might be some members of the military who think that the haircut that is required may not be their best, but it’s a haircut that they get every couple of weeks because it is in the best interest of their unit and it maintains unit cohesion,” Mr. Earnest said, Real Clear Politics reported Thursday.
The White House spokesman said the government’s decision was prudent because the sheer number of troops involved would make monitoring their health difficult without restricted movement.
“There are a wide range of sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make for the sake of efficiency and for the sake of uniformity and for the success of our military,” Mr. Earnest said.
When Associated Press reporter Nedra Pickler implied that a comparison between an extended quarantine for military personnel and a regular haircut was bizarre, he replied, “I’m not trying to suggest that it’s somehow unimportant. I think it is a useful illustration, though, that the kinds of sacrifices that our men and women make in uniform range from very simple, elemental things like a haircut to more serious things like a medical quarantine,” Real Clear Politics reported.
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