GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Congressman Greg Murphy is leading a letter signed by 12 other members of the House Republican Doctors Caucus calling on Dr. Anthony Fauci to express concern over the situation at the southern border of the United States.
Murphy and the others who signed the law pointed to the “national health crisis” created by “The enormous number of migrants coming into this country who are COVID-19 positive cannot help but to fuel a feared fourth surge.” Murphy was part of a group of Republicans who went to the border last Friday to check out the situation firsthand.
Below is the letter, which was also signed by representatives from Texas, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Ohio.
Dear Director Fauci,
Several of us, who are your fellow physicians and healthcare professionals, recently visited our southern border and have come away with grave concerns over the lack of COVID-19 accountability during this world-wide pandemic. The Border Crisis is a public health emergency as well as an issue of national security. In your role as Chief Medical Advisor to the President, we feel it is imperative that you use your position to publicly express your concerns over the national health emergencies created by this surge in illegal immigration.
The enormous number of migrants coming into this country who are COVID-19 positive cannot help but to fuel a feared fourth surge. We witnessed first-hand how our Customs and Border Protection agents are being overwhelmed. At one illegal immigrant processing facility we visited, there were over 3,500 immigrants in a holding facility with a capacity of 250. We were informed that there had recently been over 5000 immigrants in the same facility. These conditions do not meet your COVID-19 mitigation measures. As you well know, the spread of infectious diseases is horribly exacerbated in these conditions. As the top disease expert and director of a national agency overseeing an unprecedented virus, proper management of our country’s border and public health seems to fall precisely within your purview. As healthcare professionals with a wide range of specialties, we are extremely concerned about the pandemic worsening because of the crisis at the border.
Earlier this week, after being asked to visit the border, you responded that you “have nothing to do with the border”. As Chief Medical Advisor to the President, you are neglecting to weigh in on the public health emergency at the border, and we as physicians and healthcare professionals find this especially concerning. We believe the threat of COVID-19 spreading at the border an issue that is directly under your jurisdiction. There have been claims that thousands of migrants, many of whom have been released without a COVID-19 test or court date, are spreading the disease because of overcrowding and forced proximity at border facilities. These migrants, left unwatched and untested, have basically become an army of COVID-19 carriers overnight. For you to not address this in your particular position borders on neglect of duty. You have a duty to address this carelessness and lack of health security.
Your silence, and subsequently President Biden’s, is disappointing and distressing. Mexico has the highest per capita COVID-19 fatality rate currently in Latin America, and immigrants are flowing into our country with no testing. Please work with Members of Congress and the President to find ways to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus at the border. At a minimum, we should work to slow the catch and release of thousands of COVID-19 untested migrants into the United States. We must work with the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to thwart the infectious onslaught that now threatens this nation.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this issue. The threat grows each day, and failure to take action will threaten the health of American citizens.
We look forward to hearing from your agency on this calamity and public health emergency.