Importing a Potential Epidemic
The dark truth about disease and Obama’s border lawlessness.
By now most Americans are familiar with the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to force-feed amnesty for illegals to a largely recalcitrant American public. The most egregious part of this effort occurred during last year’s border “surge” when the administration not only embraced the admittance of tens of thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) into our nation, but the purposeful and secret dispersal of them into all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. What Americans don’t know is that the Obama administration ignored Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines that apply to legal immigrants and prevent the unvaccinated, or those with a “communicable disease of public health significance,” from entering the country. As a result, it is quite possible the outbreak of unknown diseases or those mostly eradicated in the U.S. for quite some time is no coincidence. The administration’s stance on the issue? A combination of silence, denial, or blame-shifting to the anti-vaxxer crowd.
We begin with last year’s outbreak of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a disease that paralyzed and killed American children. That in and of itself should have elicited a media firestorm, along with demands for establishing the origins of the outbreak beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet coverage was scant. Reporter Sharryl Attkisson revealed the disease was first identified in California in 1962, but that outbreaks had been relatively rare. She further noted the CDC “hasn’t suggested reasons for the current uptick or its origin.” Sundance at theconservativetreehouse.com attempted to correlate the outbreaks of the disease with the location of UAC shelters. And while part of his investigation was stymied by the reality that the administration kept many of those shelter locations secret, “there are significant numbers of them in both cities in which the current outbreak was first identified,” he explained.
Ultimately, it was the Daily Caller that reported the disease “was likely propelled through America by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow tens of thousands of Central Americans across the Texas border, according to a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence,” further noting “the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.”
Nonetheless the CDC simply denied the link, despite the reality that the EV-D68 outbreak in 2014 infected at least 538 people in 47 states, even as a study published on the CDC’s own website reveals the disease “is one of the most rarely reported serotypes, with only 26 reports throughout the 36-year study period (1970 through 2006).”
Last July, the El Paso Times revealed that 89 illegals detained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, NM tested positive for tuberculosis. Officials were initially reluctant to tell the media because of the concern that it might spread fear. Last September at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso, TX, five infants tested positive for the tuberculosis infection, with an additional 700 infants and 40 hospital workers potentially infected. All of them were exposed to the disease by an unnamed hospital employee. Again, most Americans are unaware the U.S. Department of Education issued guidelines for school attendance by UACs, stating that such children cannot be excluded even if they fail to provide “requisite health or immunization information required of other students,” the memo stated. Last May, 28 people tested positive for TB at Olathe Northwest High School in Kansas.
All coincidental, or unrelated to illegal aliens? In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the three nations where most of last year’s border surge originated, the tuberculosis infection rate is nearly 10 times that of the United States.
In July of 2014, Former Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) wrote a letter to the CDC expressing concern about the “grave public health threats” posed by the influx of illegals, insisting that reports of illegal migrants “carrying deadly diseases … are particularly concerning.” The 30-year physician urged the agency to take immediate action to assess the risk and notify the public.
Unfortunately, the CDC is an agency with a credibility problem. Last year it bungled the handling of Ebola “index patient” Thomas Eric Duncan, resulting in two healthcare workers contracting the deadly disease. One of them was allowed to board an airliner despite calling the CDC several times to report early symptoms. This year a report compiled by 11 experts in biosafety, laboratory science and research, stated the CDC’s “laboratory safety training is inadequate” and the agency is “on the way to losing credibility.” Two incidents were highlighted. In May, avian bird flu samples were unintentionally mixed with the deadly H5N1 influenza strain and shipped to a USDA lab, and in June, dozens of employees risked exposure to anthrax because the agency did not follow proper sterilization protocols.
Thus when the CDC largely dismisses any connection between illegals and the surge of measles in 2014, (along with a 2015 pace on track to top it), one must remain skeptical, especially when the agency itself makes unprovable assumptions. “Although we aren’t sure exactly how this year’s outbreak began, we assume that someone got infected overseas, visited the Disneyland parks and spread the disease to others,” said Anne Schuchat, an assistant surgeon general and director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. That statement is hardly reassuring from the same agency that declared measles had been “eliminated” in America — defined as the absence of continuous disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area — by 2000.
Media defenders are quick to point out that Mexico and Central American countries largely responsible for the illegal influx have higher vaccination rates than the U.S.
But as Border Patrol veteran Chris Cabrera pointed out last August, many potentially diseased illegals are “slipping through the cracks” because he and his fellow agents have been overwhelmed by the onslaught. “This problem isn’t contained in the border areas. [They] are coming in here, they’re going north, and it’s going to affect the entire country,” he warned.
A Fox News report last July brings another element to the mix. At Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, doctors and nurses working there were threatened with arrest if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at that illegal refugee camp. Members of BCFS, a security force hired by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), likened themselves to Brown Shirts, and workers themselves were stripped of cellphones and other communication devices during their shifts. Anyone found with a phone was immediately terminated. Nonetheless, workers revealed camp children had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat. “They’re going to crush the system,” warned a nurse who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “We can’t sustain this. They are overwhelming the system and I think it’s a travesty.”
Thus the obvious question arises: how many other facilities involved with illegals and dangerous diseases are operating under the same veil of secrecy and threats? Sadly in an Obama administration dedicated to an amnesty onslaught by any means necessary Americans may never learn the answer to that question. And the administration will be aided and abetted by a leftist media more than willing to label any attempt to establish causation between illegals and disease as fear mongering and/or xenophobic.
Regardless, reality intrudes. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is another disease being attributed to illegals. “The big picture here is that we are getting all these diseases brought into the United States by the ‘imported disease people’ from Latin America,” insists Dr. Lee Hieb, past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. “We don’t generally test for dengue fever, because until recently we have not had hordes of people coming into the United States from areas of the world like Latin America where dengue fever is endemic,” she added.
Dengue fever, as well as the equally grim affliction known as the chikungunya virus, are spread by mosquitos. It is believed both diseases are fueled by people who became ill while traveling abroad, as well as illegals who brought them into the country on clothing, baggage, liquids, and food. In September, 120,000 cases and 60 deaths attributed to dengue fever were declared in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and the CDC warns it is only a matter of time before native mosquitos are impacted. Their “solution” for both afflictions since there are no vaccines for either? “Avoid mosquito bites,” their website advises.
In their piece on EV-D68, the Daily Caller pressed a number of government researchers, health experts and academics to provide data exonerating Obama administration officials with regard to the possible linkage between the disease and the influx of UACs. The DC noted that all of them “refused to comment, or else urged self-censorship,” because “it could spike existing public opposition” to the efforts of a pro-amnesty president and his party, as well as Republicans beholden to their Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Vally masters, who want cheap labor as much as Democrats want guaranteed votes. The website further noted Democrats could make life exceedingly difficult “for grant-dependent American scientists who discover politically damaging information.”
And once again, if such dynamics apply to EV-D68, it stands to reason they apply to the rest of the “politically inconvenient” diseases that could derail so-called comprehensive immigration reform.
As for the media, their behavior is nothing short of reprehensible. Putting aside the politicization of the issue reduced to the banal idea of right-wing nativism versus left-wing compassion, the notion that establishing the causation of any disease threatening the health and well-being of the American public would be scrupulously avoided because it might not accrue to pro-amnesty sensibilities reeks of ideological bankruptcy bordering on totalitarianism. Since when have the deaths and paralysis of children been met with a collective media shrug? Why has the CDC, the agency that should be leading the charge in this arena, been given a pass for a series of denials, best exemplified by Steve Oberste, chief of the CDC’s polio and picornavirus laboratory branch who insisted the agency was “unaware” of any UAC testing positive for EV-D68? How does “unaware” establish no link at all?
And why has there been no media pressure put on the Obama administration? It isn’t hard to figure out that the deliberate dispersal of illegals throughout the nation — a dispersal that included the policy of handing children to family members who might also be illegals — would make virtually impossible to establish causation or lack thereof, even as that dispersal has the potential for exponentially affecting more and more Americans exposed to dangerous diseases. “As the unaccompanied children continue to be transported to shelters around the country on commercial airlines and other forms of transportation, I have serious concerns that the diseases carried by these children may begin to spread too rapidly to control,” Gingrey stated in his letter to the CDC.
For the pro-amnesty proponents a potential epidemic — courtesy of diseases previously eradicated in the United States — is seemingly a reasonable price to pay in order to maintain an illegal immigration policy that puts the Border Patrol on pace to catch “an additional 39,000 unaccompanied children and about 53,000 members of families on the southern border this fiscal year,” the LA Times reports. And while that surge is smaller than the one last year, it is still “large enough to overwhelm shelters and courts.” And so it begins — all over again. When is enough enough?
Originally published at FrontPage Magazine.