Dr. Craig Spencer was free to go bowling and anywhere else in New York City on Tuesday after being released from the hospital and cured of Ebola. Bellevue Hospital Center held a press conference to announce Spencer's discharge. He had been there since showing symptoms of contracting the deadly disease Oct. 23. Spencer now poses no public health risk.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on the scene to give Spencer a congratulatory hug. "Dr. Spencer is Ebola-free, and New York City is Ebola-free," de Blasio said. "Dr. Spencer has shown what it means to help your fellow human."
Spencer, New York's first and only Ebola case, caught the virus while volunteering with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. Between his flight to New York City and his hospital admission, Spencer ate at The Meatball Shop, walked the High Line, visited The Gutter bowling alley and rode the A, L and 1 trains. Spencer's apartment is in Harlem.
Now cured, Spencer urged people to focus back on "the true heroes that we are not talking about," Mashable reported. Volunteers need support -- they should not receive threats or experience stigma when they get back to the United States, Spencer said. He was likely referring to controversial quarantine mandates imposed by states like New Jersey.
But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the precautionary measures made by the city's government in a statement. "Today is proof that proper preparedness and erring on the side of caution can save lives," he said. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I am greatly relieved to hear of Dr. Spencer’s recovery and thank him for his important and heroic work on the front lines of this devastating epidemic in West Africa."
Also under quarantine were Spencer's fiancée, Morgan Dixon, and two of his friends. None were found to have Ebola.
See more tweets about Spencer's release:
— ABC News (@ABC) November 11, 2014
Number of subway riders and bowlers infected by Craig Spencer:0.
— ashoka (@unkyoka) November 11, 2014
— msnbc (@msnbc) November 11, 2014
Congrats to Dr. Craig Spencer, now cured of Ebola and ready to leave hospital in NY. Of 9 Ebola patients in US hospitals, 8 have survived.
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 11, 2014
"He's a hero," says Mayor De Blasio of Dr Craig Spencer on release from NYC's Bellevue Hospital pic.twitter.com/H4kHeWkpHe
— Matthew Diebel (@MatthewDiebel) November 11, 2014
Where is the hug line for Dr. Craig Spencer? Can I hug him?
— Michael Roston (@michaelroston) November 11, 2014
Dr Craig Spencer walked in to loud applause with NYC Mayor pic.twitter.com/7i3vOLP35G
— Kate Snow (@tvkatesnow) November 11, 2014
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) November 11, 2014
Dr. Craig Spencer is now officially home. His parents are here too. Quick entrance. Can imagine he just wants to rest pic.twitter.com/sqIDj6FD5t
— Jon Weinstein (@jonweinstein) November 11, 2014