Multiple immigrant children being held in cages by the Trump administration, in a perfect environment for the rapid spread of infectious disease, have already died from influenza, yet they are refusing to follow the advice of doctors and public health experts and make sure they’re all getting the influenza vaccine.
The U.S. won’t be vaccinating migrant families in holding centers ahead of this year’s flu season, despite calls from doctors to boost efforts to fight the infection that’s killed at least three children at detention facilities in the past year.
“In general, due to the short-term nature of CBP holding and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody,” a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.At least three children who were held in detention centers after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico have died in recent months, in part, from the flu, according to a letter to Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., from several doctors urging Congress to investigate health conditions at the centers.
The United States had previously gone almost a decade without any children dying while under U.S. immigration custody.
Holding children in vastly overcrowded facilities where they sleep on the ground and lack basic hygiene and medical care is an ideal breeding and spreading ground for infectious diseases. Trump and other anti-immigrant bigots have trotted out the idiotic myth of the diseased immigrants, but they’re actually creating the conditions that make the spread of disease far more likely. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.