Press Releases

Chairwomen Roybal-Allard, DeLauro Call for Answers from DHS and HHS on Children Being Put at Risk of Infectious Diseases

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Washington, August 5, 2019 | Ben Soskin ((202) 225-1766) | comments
Today, House Homeland Security Appropriations Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) sent a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting answers on how the agencies are dealing with the risk of infectious diseases.  This is especially important as flu season is just a few months away.

“Enclosed you will find a letter from doctors from Harvard and Johns Hopkins expressing concerns about the threat of infectious diseases, especially influenza, inside ORR and DHS facilities holding children who have entered the United States through the Southern border,” wrote the chairwomen.  “We share their concerns that poor conditions in these facilities may be exacerbating the spread of infectious diseases that poses significant health risks to the other children around them.”

“When we visited the Homestead detention facility on July 15, 2019, we left with serious questions about the screening, treatment, isolation, and prevention protocols of infectious diseases, particularly influenza,” continued the chairwomen.  “Given we are mere months away from the start of flu season, it is imperative that we receive answers to the questions posed by these preeminent health experts.”

A signed copy of the chairwomen’s letter can be found here.  The doctors’ letter to Chairwomen Roybal-Allard and DeLauro can be found here.

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