With the cases of the Mexican flu (that is the country where it originated, after all) spiraling, why does Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano say the costs of closing the border outweigh the medical benefits of doing so?
Although Cuba and Argentina have already banned flights from Mexico, Sky Harbor International Airport continues to run 18 daily nonstop flights between Phoenix and cities in Mexico, according to a report on KPHO.
Napolitano has said closing the border with Mexico, as many have recommended, would not help the situation, “given the speed with which the disease has spread.” Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has become the first member of Congress to call for halting travel between the two countries. His thoughtful statement is here.
But Napolitano remains insistent even as the confirmed cases and deaths continue to climb. “Closing the border is something one would do if one had a realistic hope of containment, but given that we already have outbreaks in at least five states and probably more, and in at least two provinces in Canada, that really wouldn’t make sense,” Napolitano said. “We are simply in preparation mode, we do not yet know how widespread this flu will be within the United States.”
“And, of course, closing the border is not only complicated but would really cost millions of dollars in terms of trading commerce. So that, right now, is not something that we are looking at,” she stated.
We’re already doing passive surveillance at the border,” Napolitano said. “You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States.”
Noting that those infected with the flu may not show symptoms for a few days, Napolitano said “more draconian enforcement steps are not yet necessary,” even as she acknowledged that officials ”anticipate confirmed cases in more states.”
In other words, no matter the severity of the situation she will remain entrenched in her illogical policy.
KTAR reports on the administration’s “passive surveillance” policy here.