Several Planet Princeton readers have reported seeing NBC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman in public over the past day.
Snyderman allegedly was seen sitting in her car outside of the Peasant Grill in Hopewell Boro this afternoon. A reader reported that a man who was with her got out of the car and went inside the restaurant to pick up a take-out order. Another man was in the back seat of her black Mercedes. Snyderman had sunglasses on and had her hair pulled back, the reader said.
An American freelance cameraman working with Snyderman in Liberia last week tested positive for Ebola. Snyderman, a resident of Princeton, was flown back to the United States with a crew member on a private charter flight this weekend. Snyderman and her crew were going to be placed under voluntary quarantine for 21 days as a precaution, NBC News President Deborah Turness announced in a written statement on Oct. 3 (see the letter below). NBC said the group would be closely monitored and was showing no symptoms or warning signs of Ebola.
On Tuesday, NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a statement sent to staff members that Snyderman and her crew were doing well and in good health. “While they are deemed to be at low risk, we have agreed with state and local health authorities that our team will not come to work, and they will stay at home taking their temperatures twice daily and staying in touch with the local health authorities for the remainder of the recommended 21-day period,” Turness said.
Snyderman is not under any kind of mandatory quarantine order by the CDC or the state because she is at a very low risk of contracting Ebola. Any confinement is voluntary.
NBC did not respond to inquiries about Snyderman today, and Snyderman could not be reached for comment.
Snyderman has been NBC’s chief medical correspondent since 2006. She joined the network after 15 years as a correspondent with ABC. She also previously served as a vice president at Johnson & Johnson.
The infected cameraman, age 33, was hired last week to be a second cameraman for Snyderman, who was with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Liberia reporting on the Ebola outbreak. The cameraman, who is also a writer, came down with symptoms on Oct. 1. He felt tired and achy, and was running a slight fever. He immediately quarantined himself and sought medical advice. He tested positive for the Ebola virus about 12 hours later. He is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola in Liberia. He has been working in Liberia on various projects for the past three years. He is being flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients. Two American aid workers were infected in July while working for Samaritan’s Purse in Monrovia. Last month another doctor as diagnosed with the virus after working at a local hospital in Liberia. Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan died this week in Dallas.
Editor’s Note: Planet Princeton took the information given by readers such as the detailed descriptions of the car, and the other information and used other sourcing to verify that Snyderman had been out. Some officials talked to us for background but did not want to be on record.
Update Saturday, Oct. 11: State of New Jersey Issues Mandatory Quarantine for Snyderman and crew.
The text of the letter to NBC staff from Turness:
As you know, Dr. Nancy Snyderman and our news team are in Liberia covering the Ebola outbreak. One of the members of their crew is an American freelance cameraman who has worked in Liberia for the past three years and has recently been covering the epidemic for US media outlets. On Tuesday he began working with our team. Today, he tested positive for Ebola.
We are doing everything we can to get him the best care possible. He will be flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients. We are consulting with the CDC, Medicins Sans Frontieres and others. And we are working with Dr. Nancy on the ground in Liberia.
We are also taking all possible measures to protect our employees and the general public. The rest of the crew, including Dr. Nancy, are being closely monitored and show no symptoms or warning signs. However, in an abundance of caution, we will fly them back on a private charter flight and then they will place themselves under quarantine in the United States for 21 days – which is at the most conservative end of the spectrum of medical guidance.
We know you share our concern for our colleagues and we will continue to keep you up to date and informed.