Amid alarming reports of measles cases among Afghan refugees brought to the United States, the Biden administration on Friday added that illness to the list of those that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services are able to issue quarantine orders, according to The Hill.
The executive order issued by the president gives those agencies the power to require self-isolation on the part of anyone already diagnosed with or exposed to measles as a way to safeguard broader public health.
An administration spokesperson said in an email to The Hill, “This action was taken at the request of public health officials, who cited the cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the U.S. as well as several previous outbreaks of measles in recent years.”
Concerns about measles infection among recent arrivals came to the forefront earlier this month when multiple cases were detected among Afghans who had been flown to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin as part of mass evacuation efforts undertaken in the waning days of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
Worries about the possible influx of measles-infected Afghans coming stateside even resulted in the temporary halting of inbound evacuation flights, as CNBC recently noted.
According to the CDC, measles is a “highly contagious” virus and if one individual contracts the illness, upwards of 9 out of 10 of those near that person who do not already possess immunity will also contract it, as Fox News reported earlier this month.
The Hill noted that the new federal quarantine power could have consequences that stretch beyond the situation surrounding recent arrivals from Afghanistan, as there has reportedly been a rise in the incidence of measles in the general U.S. population in recent years.
CDC data revealed that cases of measles in America rose to 1,282 in 2019, a figure that represented the largest tally dating back to 1992, with vaccine hesitancy blamed for the increase.
As the federal government continues its full court press to compel COVID-19 vaccination of all Americans and is expanding its quarantine powers to cover yet another illness, it all begs the question of why a hypocritical – and dangerous – blind eye continues to be turned to the thousands upon thousands of migrants at the country’s southern border who not only elude heath screenings but are not subject to vaccine mandates of any kind.