Snyderman traveled to Liberia to cover the Ebola outbreak more than two months ago, and while there, a photojournalist on her team was diagnosed with the disease. Snyderman agreed to a voluntary 21-day quarantine upon returning to the U.S., which she later violated, leading the state of New Jersey to issue a mandatory quarantine.
“I’m very sorry for not only scaring my community and the country but adding to the confusion of terms that came as fast and furious as the news about Ebola did,” she told Lauer. “When I came back from Liberia with my team, we had already been taking our temperatures four, five six times a day, and we knew our risks in our heads — but didn’t really appreciate, and frankly, we were not sensitive to, how absolutely frightened Americans were.”
She continued, “I wear two hats — I have my doctor hat and I have my journalist hat, and when the science and the messaging sometimes collide, and you leave the optics of, in this case a hot zone — and come back to the United States, good people can make mistakes. I stepped outside the boundaries of what I promised to do and what the public expected of me, and for that I’m sorry.”
Snyderman’s colleague eventually recovered from the disease, and Snyderman and the rest of her team remained symptom-free. She added that she hopes her mistake hasn’t drawn attention from the bigger story.
“My concern is that this has been a distraction from the real issue at hand,” she said. “And we can’t afford not to concentrate on West Africa. This epidemic isn’t going to go away, the Ebola epidemic, and there will be viruses in the future that jump from animals to humans.”
View Snyder’s interview here: