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Craig Spencer

Craig Spencer34 posts

Craig Spencer is a New York physician, who works at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. He is the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He contracted the disease while working with Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders in Guinea.

10 Nov, 2014


NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation announce Spencer is free of the virus. This means there are not current cases of Ebola in the United States.

Dr. Spencer poses no public health risk and will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow, Tuesday, November 11th.

1 Nov, 2014

Condition upgraded

Officials say Spencer’s condition has been upgraded from “serious but stable” to “stable”. Authorities have said Spencer was awake, communicating and undergoing plasma and antiviral therapies, treatments that have been used to treat Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and at the Nebraska Medical Center.

30 Oct, 2014

Disputes reports of lying

The New York state Health Department says Spencer cooperated fully with authorities and dismisses a report that he initially lied about his activities. Health Department official:

Dr. Spencer cooperated fully with the Health Department to establish a timeline of his movements in the days following his return to New York from Guinea, providing his MetroCard, credit cards and cellphone. He followed protocol by contacting his employer immediately upon developing fever and remained in his apartment until being transported to the hospital, which is why the chance anyone else contracted Ebola is extremely small. Dr. Spencer is a hero who deserves our thanks and thoughts for a speedy recovery

29 Oct, 2014

May have lied about NYC travels

A law enforcement source says Spencer initially told officials he isolated himself in his apartment in Harlem. Source:

He told the authorities that he self-quarantined. Detectives then reviewed his credit-card statement and MetroCard and found that he went over here, over there, up and down and all around.

Police reportedly phoned the city Health Department with questions, after which he admitted to going bowling at The Gutter, going to the High Line, and eating at The Meatball Shop.

Frantic search for experimental drug

ebola-drug-searchCity health officials send out an email marked URGENT asking if New York area hospitals, researchers and pharmacies have supplies of the experimental Ebola drug Brincidofovir. It’s not clear if the drug was obtained. Email:

The drug would presumably be under the jurisdiction of your investigational drug or research area. If you do have this drug, please contact Dr. Scott Harper at DOHMH as soon as possible.

Bowling alley, meatball shop face uncertainty

The businesses that Spencer visited say they are concerned over how customers will react. Todd Powers, the owner of The Gutter, has hired a cleaning crew at his own expense although the CDC said he could reopen the business immediately. Powers:

Once that’s taken care of, we’ll open the doors to the public and we hope the mayor and governor come down and bowl.

City officials visited The Gutter and The Meatball Shop, in Greenwich Village, which Spencer visited, in order to reassure the public there is no risk. He also visited the Blue Bottle Coffee on High Line park.

Race to decontaminate apartment

Decontaminate ApartmentCity officials are rushing to decontaminate the New York building where Spencer was living. Police moved people back around 9:15 am as two officers with the Sanitation Department’s Environmental Police Unit arrived on the scene and entered the building through a side entrance. They were joined by several people in plain clothes who exited a truck belonging to the Bio-Recovery Corporation, a full service crime scene cleanup and bio remediation company.

Seventh district City Council member Mark Levine:

Today we’re expecting a specialized crew [to] come in full protective gear and will clean and sterilize Dr. [Craig] Spencer’s apartment for signs of bodily fluid. [Officials will] confiscate material that might have come into contact with his body such as sheets and pillowcases and bath towels and toothbrushes.

Addressing the crowd:

We’ve had neighbors understandably concerned that live right across the street, maybe they live down the hall, maybe they’ve seen him in the local bodega and they’re worried. But the truth is and the facts they need to understand are they’re really not at risk.

Enters next phase of illness

Spencer experiences gastrointestinal symptoms. He is awake and communicating. Bellevue:

In addition to the required supportive therapy, we initiated antiviral therapy within hours of admission. We also administered plasma therapy yesterday. These therapies have been used at Emory and Nebraska.

Dines at restaurant visited by Spencer

New York City Mayor De Blasio, his wife his wife Chirlane McCray, and New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett dine at The Meatball Shop in West Village, a restaurant visited by Spencer before he was diagnosed with Ebola. The restaurant reopens to a packed house after being closed for a brief time following Spencer’s visit. De Blasio:

We are not only resilient, we are not only tough, we stand by each other. It’s an example of how New Yorkers deal with a challenge.

24 Oct, 2014

Staffers call in sick

A high number of staffers Bellevue call in sick after Spencer tests positive, and those who do show up are too terrified to enter the isolation chamber. Source:

The nurses on the floor are miserable with a ‘why me?’ attitude, scared to death and overworked because all their co-workers called out sick.

Temperature 100.3, not 103

Gov. Cuomo says Spencer’s temperature was 100.3 degrees, not 103 degrees as previously reported. When he went out bowling and to a restaurant, he:

obviously felt he wasn’t symptomatic

Cuomo also says Spencer ‘went out in a limited way’.

Ebola response team in NY

The CDC says its Ebola response team is arriving in the city to offer support. It adds that Spencer cleared enhanced screening on Oct. 17 at JFK. He wasn’t showing symptoms at the time.

Family speaks out

Spencer’s family defends him against the critics who are upset that he did not quarantine himself upon his return to the United States. Arnie Spencer, Spencer’s uncle to Mail Online:

‘As far as I’m concerned he did nothing wrong. I’m angry that he is getting trashed. I don’t like what’s being said at all. ‘He’s a hero to me,’ said his uncle. He’s a fantastic humanitarian and that is how people should think of him. He wanted to be a doctor without borders from when he was a kid. It’s all he wanted to do.

Angry tweets

Twitter users post angry tweets after learning Spencer travelled around New York City for three days while at risk for Ebola. Many tweets revolve around his visit to the Williamsbug bowling alley, The Gutter.


Not told to self-quarantine

Spencer follows guidelines set by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders that say he does not need to self-quarantine upon returning from Guinea. MSF guidelines ask that those returning from Ebola infected areas self-monitor their health for 21 days. MSF statement:

‘Our colleague in New York followed the MSF protocols and guidelines since returning from West Africa.

Fiancee, 2 friends quarantined

Spencer’s live in fiancée, Morgan Dixon, is quarantined at Bellevue Hospital. Two of Spencer’s friends voluntarily quarantine themselves in their homes. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

We are as ready as one can be for this circumstance.

Tracing steps in New York City

Health and New York City officials are tracing the steps of Spencer, who travelled the city for three days before being diagnosed with the Ebola virus. They determine Spencer rode the subway, rode in a taxi and visited ‘The Gutter’, a Williamsburg bowling alley. The Gutter, shuttered after hearing the news, issues the statement:

We’ve been in constant contact with the Health Department and they have determined that there was no risk to our customers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio:

Being on the same subway car or living near someone with ­Ebola does not in itself put someone at risk.

23 Oct, 2014

Tests postive

Spencer tests positive for the virus at Bellevue Hospital. Spencer recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa. He is the fourth confirmed case in the U.S. and the first in the city. He is being treated in a special isolation ward. City officials say the doctor’s symptoms developed Wednesday, prompting him to isolate himself in his apartment.

The CDC has dispatched an Ebola response team to New York, and the city’s disease detectives have been tracing the doctor’s contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk. His Harlem apartment has been cordoned off, and his fiance, who is not showing symptoms, is being watched in a quarantine ward at Bellevue.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said proper protocols were followed every step of the way and it didn’t appear the doctor had been showing symptoms for very long.

The patient is in good shape and has gone into a great deal of detail with our personnel as to his actions the last few days so we have a lot to work with. We have a patient who has been very communicative and precise and who has only been back a very short time and has been quite clear about individuals he had close contact with.

Uber driver among four being monitored

New York state officials are monitoring four people who had contact with Spencer. His fiancee and two friends are healthy but have been quarantined. The fourth person is who is in contact with the state is the driver of an Uber car that Spencer took when he bowling Wednesday night in Williamsburg. The driver had no direct contact with Spencer, and is not believed to be in any danger.

Tests positive for Ebola

Spencer tests positive for the Ebola virus at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Spencer is the only diagnosed case in New York City, the fourth case diagnosed in the United States. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio:

There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are not at all at risk.

Goes to hospital with fever

Spencer is rushed to Bellevue Hospital in New York City with Ebola-like symptoms. Spencer tells authorities he began to feel sluggish on Tuesday but did not develop a fever until this morning. At 11 a.m., the doctor found that he had a 103-degree temperature and alerts the staff of Doctors Without Borders, who calls the New York health department, which in turn called the Fire Department. Emergency medical workers, wearing full personal protective gear, rush to Spencer’s apartment, on West 147th Street, and he is transported to Bellevue and arrived shortly after 1 p.m. He is placed in a special isolation unit and is being seen by the pre-designated medical critical care team. They are in personal protective equipment with undergarment air ventilation systems. Health Department:

After consulting with the hospital and the CDC, DOHMH has decided to conduct a test for the Ebola virus because of this patient’s recent travel history, pattern of symptoms, and past work.

22 Oct, 2014

Visits Highline, goes bowling

Spencer visits the High Line in Manhattan, a park built above the streets on a section of an old elevated train line. He takes the A subway line and the L line  as he crosses the East River to Brooklyn. In the evening he attends a bowling party, where he bowls with friends at a vintage alley called The Gutter in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. At some point, Spencer takes a ride in an Uber car.

18 Sep, 2014

Travels to Guinea

Craig Spencer Hazmat SuitSpencer departs Brussels, bound for Guinea. He posts a photo on Facebook of himself in his new hazmat suit.

Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history.


Master of Public Health

Spencer graduates from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a Master of Public Health (MPH), Forced Migration and Health.


Becomes a doctor

Spencer graduates Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Wayne State University School of Medicine, in Detroit.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Craig Spencer, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more