Guest Column by Dr. Jane Orient, M.D. – Executive Director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:
PREVIEW: There is no talk of vaccines. It is too late for many or most migrants, as they have already been infected. Many are too young. And how could we get uncoerced, informed consent for these still-experimental products from masses of non-English speakers? Injecting them would violate international law. How would we find adverse effects in untraceable people? How would we get them their second dose, or manage the large proportion suffering disabling immediate side effects, or treat severe allergic reactions in Border Patrol facilities? Would we deport refusers?
If an American citizen crosses the Oregon-Washington or the New York-Pennsylvania border to shop at a nearby store, he might have to quarantine for two weeks. If the U.S. follows Israel’s example, a person might have to show a vaccine passport to drink a beer in a pub.
The police may be out in force to arrest rule violators for not wearing a mask even outdoors, for sitting on a park bench, for entering a deserted park to play, or for being at an Easter service with too many worshippers. So far, no disabled or elderly people or young mothers have died after being tased or knocked to the ground by officers in riot gear—as far as we know. But while shrinking police forces are thus occupied, homicides and other crimes escalate, and many calls go unanswered.
All of this masking, physical distancing, obsessive testing of healthy people, travel restrictions, quarantining people who have been near a test-positive person, constant disinfection, etc. must be necessary (and effective) to protect us from a third or fourth wave of COVID, right? No matter how many livelihoods and unalienable civil rights are destroyed, or how many suicides or drug overdoses occur.
Obviously, the authorities do not believe this themselves. Not only do they famously violate their own rules, but they are silent about what’s happening at our southern border.
Migrants are pouring in from Central America and Mexico, where there are large outbreaks, traveling under crowded conditions where good hygiene is impossible.
Some of the migrants are tested for COVID-19. According to the National Sheriff’s Association, as many as 50 percent may test positive in some areas. In February, the Border Patrol apprehended more than 100,000 illegal immigrants at the southern border, and about 26,000 evaded capture. Of course, none of the latter are tested.
What would one expect the rate to be after three days in Border Patrol facilities for unaccompanied children, where more than 4,100 may be crammed into space intended for 250?
These migrants are probably on their way to where you live, maybe by bus, maybe by charter flight. After all, the town of Ajo, Arizona, population 3,700, can’t absorb 60 asylum seekers per day. The health precaution is to make those being transported by bus wear an N95 mask. Such masks are used by medical workers to protect themselves, but they do NOT protect others, especially if they have an exhaust valve to permit easier breathing. They are NOT suitable for potentially infected persons.
Asylum seekers are supposed to be given a court date, but many are now being released without one because of the huge numbers. In the past, 90 percent did not show up in court. Unlike for Americans tagged by the COVID authorities, there is no tracking mechanism.
Where are the public health officials, the fear-mongering media, the American Medical Association, the mayors who continue to keep businesses closed, the people eager to snitch on their neighbors for inviting too many people to dinner? Why are they not raising a hue and cry?
There is no talk of vaccines. It is too late for many or most migrants, as they have already been infected. Many are too young. And how could we get uncoerced, informed consent for these still-experimental products from masses of non-English speakers? Injecting them would violate international law. How would we find adverse effects in untraceable people? How would we get them their second dose, or manage the large proportion suffering disabling immediate side effects, or treat severe allergic reactions in Border Patrol facilities? Would we deport refusers?
One proposal the Administration has evidently not considered: Give all the migrants and the agents caring for them a dose of ivermectin, repeated in 48 hours. This would wipe out the COVID threat, along with scabies, head lice, and all manner of parasites. It has been safely taken by billions of people since 1981.
Why not protect the migrants, along with people who will be in contact with them?
This wouldn’t solve all the problems of a leaky or absent border, or all the public health issues, but it might show us how to stop the pandemic fears in the rest of the country and free us all from COVID tyranny.