NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman still on the bench

Where's Dr. Nancy Snyderman?

NBC News said she'd return to work sometime in November, but November is over. And the network is not giving a new date for her return.

But sources at the network say she is still expected to be back on the air sometime soon.

Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor, stoked controversy in October when she violated a voluntary Ebola-related quarantine, seemingly contradicting what she'd said on television about safe medical practices.

Snyderman had been covering the Ebola outbreak in Liberia with a team that included Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance cameraman. When Mukpo was infected with Ebola, Snyderman and the rest of the team members returned to the United States. She said they would "self-quarantine on our own."

"We'll approach this very cautiously, and probably more judiciously than other people, because we want to send the right message," Snyderman said on NBC's "Today" show on October 3.

She said the self-quarantine would last for 21 days. But within days of touching down in the U.S., Snyderman was seen outside her home in New Jersey. The sighting was soon reported by local news media, leading the state of New Jersey to enforce a mandatory quarantine.

Snyderman said in a subsequent October 13 statement that "members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed." She said she was "deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused."

Since then, Snyderman hasn't been heard from -- not a peep on television, Twitter or Facebook.

Meanwhile, people continue to leave comments on her Facebook page.

"Are you still NBC's chief medical editor?" one person asked last week.

"She violated the public trust for take-out," another person wrote on Snyderman's Facebook page, apparently addressing NBC. "Don't think we won't notice if you slip her back in."

Related: How NBC News quarantined Snyderman story

With Snyderman's apology in October came mounting questions about her credibility.

"NBC must now decide whether Snyderman's credibility is too damaged for her to continue reporting on Ebola or other medical issues and, if so, for how long," the Associated Press said.

But the network signaled that it still supported her. At the end of Snyderman's 21-day quarantine period, on October 22, NBC News president Deborah Turness said the correspondent and her crew would be taking some additional time off. The network had encouraged this -- partly to let some time pass before putting Snyderman back on TV.

Turness said in an internal memo, "we very much look forward to their return next month," meaning sometime in November.

But Snyderman never appeared on the network in November. Employees at NBC News, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the only people who know her fate are the top executives of the news division. And those executives aren't talking. A network spokeswoman declined to comment on Sunday.

But several of the employees said they do expect to see Snyderman back on the air soon, in one form or another. One of the employees said Snyderman may be reintroduced through an interview on "Today" or "NBC Nightly News" that allows her to clear the air about her absence.

Snyderman did not respond to requests for comment.

In the meantime, NBC News has signed up another medical correspondent, Dr. Natalie Azar, on a part-time basis. Azar is a rheumatologist who teaches at New York University's Langone Medical Center and discusses medicine on local and national television shows.

She spoke about Ebola many times on NBC's newscasts in October, and in early November she was given the title of "NBC News medical contributor."


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