Social distancing is like immigration law: For the moment, neither really applies at the southern border.
Exhibit A: Dr. Anthony Fauci’s testimony under oath Thursday before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus. One of the key criticisms from Republicans had to do with how President Joe Biden’s administration was handling the border crisis — and, most notably, how the nation’s official spokesperson for coronavirus restrictions was staying quiet about it.
The tensest exchange along these lines came as GOP House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana brought up pictures of overcrowding at a Donna, Texas, overflow detention facility for unaccompanied minors who came to the United States illegally, mostly from Central America.
Scalise said the facility was holding upward of 4,000 minors, according to the New York Post. The Louisiana Republican had traveled to the border with his colleagues last week.
He contrasted the conditions at the border first with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on Mexico, which was at “level four, which is the highest level — very high level of COVID-19 in Mexico.”
Scalise went on to point out that the CDC had warned Americans off of any travel to Mexico: “Because of the situation in Mexico, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Mexico.”
“Then we talk about traveling back into the United States — this is only if you’re an American citizen,” Scalise continued, quoting CDC guidelines again: “All air passengers coming to the United States, including citizens and fully vaccinated people are required to have COVID-19 test results no more than three days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months before they board a flight to the United States.”
Scalise then noted that, on his flight back to Louisiana from his border visit, “about half of the plane” was filled with people from facilities like Donna, Texas, ” who were getting on these flights not being tested for COVID, in violation of [CDC] guidance.”
🚨 I visited the Donna processing facility yesterday.
These are the videos Joe Biden & Kamala Harris don’t want you to see.
This is the devastating result of their disastrous left-wing immigration agenda.
RT so everyone can see what they’re trying to hide. This is child abuse. pic.twitter.com/7y7sQp50Pn
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) April 10, 2021
Again hoisting the pictures of the facility in Donna, Texas, Scalise asked Fauci if “this look[s] like social distancing to you, that you require when you talk about six feet [of personal space].”
“No,” answered Dr. Fauci, suddenly monosyllabic.
Scalise went on to say that “they’re violating the very guidance that you tell Americans to follow — a restaurant in the United States would be shut down today if they were being run like this, yet the federal government, the Biden administration, is running this facility.”
“All of these young children who are next to each other, six inches apart, many without masks, by the way, does that follow your guidance that you’ve issued?”
“No,” Fauci, again lost for words, replied.
Scalise then asked why the Biden administration wouldn’t put an end to the border crisis — and why certain administration officials wouldn’t visit the border and see the situation for themselves. This included Fauci, who he urged to go so he “could at least give recommendations.
“They’re violating every [piece of] guidance that Americans are required to follow,” Scalise said.
“No doubt it’s a very difficult situation at the border,” said Fauci, suddenly regaining the ability to answer Scalise in complete sentences. “I mean, obviously everyone would like to see that situation fixed, I know that it’s a very difficult situation.”
Fauci was evasive on the subject throughout the hearing, particularly when it came to Scalise’s questioning. According to the Daily Mail, he answered the queries “delicately,” particularly when it came to reports that “COVID-positive migrants are released into the country.”
“And that’s allowed — but a vaccinated person can’t go to a restaurant?” Scalise said, referring to one of Fauci’s more ludicrous pronouncements of late. “Kids packed in crowded, poorly ventilated cells six inches, not six feet, apart for 20 hours a day or more — but we can’t open schools for in-person learning?”
Fauci’s silence on the border crisis wasn’t just a Thursday thing. Appearing on Fox News earlier this month, he told Neil Cavuto that “I have nothing to do with the border. … Having me down at the border, that’s really not what I do.”
This is an interesting stance for Fauci to be taking at this point in the game because — well, what doesn’t Dr. Fauci do? This is the other edge of the sword that comes with being the all-knowing oracle of life under COVID. A man who gives frequent advice on the state of hand-shaking going forward (he’s said we ought to do away with it entirely) also has to opine when the Biden administration’s border policies end up with thousands of unaccompanied illegal alien minors being detained and transported in conditions that both Fauci and the CDC would proscribe.
There’s another problem, too, when Fauci says “everyone would like to see that situation fixed.” No, they wouldn’t. The Biden administration created the conditions whereby a surge of migrants would appear at the border with Mexico, assuring many of them would be unaccompanied minors or family units by revoking part of former President Donald Trump’s guidance called Title 42, which allowed for any illegal immigrant to be summarily returned to Mexico if there wasn’t space for them in our detention facilities under the reasonable assumption that packing detention centers would lead to the spread of COVID-19.
Biden kept Title 42 in place for adults but exempted minors. Thus, if you’re wondering why the border crisis seems to be driven by unaccompanied minors and family units with children, there you go. That’s why the Biden administration is violating CDC guidelines — although they could put an end to that in an instant by reinstating Title 42 for minors. They won’t.
“We have made a decision that we can address the public health imperative while addressing the humanitarian needs of vulnerable children,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said regarding Title 42 last month, according to USA Today.
The pictures from Donna, Texas, are proof they either can’t or haven’t figured out how to. Don’t expect the answer to come from Dr. Fauci, either — he’s too busy muttering monosyllables when he gets confronted with the problem.
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