On this week's episode of Yeah, I Kinda Figured That Was Happening, we take a look at some whistleblowers down at the border in Texas who say the Department of Health and Human Services—that's a cabinet-level executive branch department of the U.S. federal government—asked them to downplay a Covid outbreak at the Fort Bliss Emergency Intake Site.
Yes, tell me more about how serious Covid-19 is, and how I should wear a mask even if I'm vaccinated as I prepare for another 2020-style lockdown.
Sorry. I'm upset.
Okay, so these two whistleblowers recently sent a complaint to government watchdogs and four Congressional committees concerning the conditions over at Fort Bliss where they were employed earlier in the year.
Here's the document, and you'll want to check it out because it's way more than just a complaint about Covid, and it shows you just how messed up the situation at the border really is.
COVID was widespread among children and eventually spread to many employees. Hundreds of children contracted COVID in the overcrowded conditions. Adequate masks were not consistently provided to children, nor was there use consistently enforced. Every effort was made to downplay the degree of COVID infection at the site, and the size of the outbreak was deliberately kept under wraps.
So that's bad already. But trust me, it gets worse:
At a "town hall" meeting with detailees, a senior U.S. Public Health Service manager was asked and refused to say how many were infected because "if that graph [of infections] is going to The Washington Post every day, it's the only thing we'll be dealing with and politics will take over, perception will take over, and we're about reality, not perception."
This manager also thought it was no big deal that the INFECTED MIGRANTS were not wearing the proper N95 masks, which are of course necessary in such a tight space. He said it was fine for infected people to be wearing those disposable masks all of us non-Covid-spreaders are wearing just for show.
So that's cool. Nothing to worry about there.
And then there's this:
Regularly, when detailees reached the end of their term, a sheet was passed around with detailed instructions from the HHS Public Affairs Office on how, when asked, to make everything sound positive about the Fort Bliss experience and to play down anything negative.
Yeah, so this looks like a real bleep show; and I'm willing to bet this is happening in many other places along the border.
A few other things I noted from the document.
- There seems to be a shortage of basic items such as underwear, socks, and shoes.
- The two whistleblowers "reportedly spent hundreds of their personal funds on books, visual aids, games, and other items for the children."
- [Sorry in advance] at one point, "construction workers lewdly and loudly gawked at girls as they walked outside to the meal tent."
Employees tried to report this sexual harassment, but "managers resisted taking their complaints."
So there you have it, folks: Covid—in particular, the Delta variant—is so incredibly serious in this country that we have to cover up outbreaks at border facilities lest Americans start to believe that this is as much about power as it is about a virus.