NBC’s freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, officially declared Ebola free this afternoon by experts at the Nebraska Medical Center biocontainment unit, celebrated by attempting today to rescue the network’s chief medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman from the career-nuking situation she created when she violated the voluntary quarantine she’d agreed to, on-air.:
Mukpo will be released from the medical facility tomorrow — coincidentally, the same day Snyderman’s now-mandatory quarantine is set to end.
NBC News announced Mukpo’s good news on its web site, but it did not have any report on Snyderman’s soon-to-end quarantine. She does, however, appear in a report on the site called “Ebola In America: Who’s Being Watched Most Closely.” She’s listed under the subhead: “Quarantined.”
Mukpo’s tweeted attempt to rescue her from her bad press comes a day after an AP report spread like wildfire across the media landscape in which various TV industry navel lint gazers suggested she may be useless to employer NBC going forward on the Ebola story, owing not just to the quarantine violation but also to Snyderman’s “arrogance” and “dismissiveness”.
A public health nurse has monitored Snyderman and her crew members twice a day, and police conducted surveillance of her New Jersey home area, Princeton health officer Jeff Grosser assured town council members, the day after public health officials slapped her with a mandatory quarantine. That came after the website Planet Princeton first broke the news Snyderman — under voluntary quarantine upon returning to the U.S. from Africa after Mukpo was diagnosed with Ebola — had been spotted in her black Mercedes, double-parked outside the Peasant Grill restaurant, while a passenger went inside to get food. The day after her food-run sighting, the New Jersey Health Department slapped her with the mandatory quarantine, which is in effect until 11:59 PM tomorrow.
Snyderman was being flamed in comments on NBC News’ website and, more recently, on her Facebook page, over her statement about her quarantine nose-thumbing. In the statement, read on air by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams after her quarantine violation became national news, Snyderman did not acknowledge participating in the violation, instead describing it as “members of our group” having violated “those guidelines.” In her statement, Snyderman said, “As a health professional, I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public,” adding she was deeply sorry for the “concerns” this “episode” caused.
And yet, NBC News’ Matt Lauer, buttonholed by TMZ the next day, insisted Snyderman “admitted she was wrong.”