❝ Health officials in Arizona say the largest current measles outbreak in the United States is in part because some workers at a federal immigration detention center refuse to get vaccinated.
Authorities have confirmed 22 measles cases in Arizona since late May. They all stem from the Eloy Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility managed by the private Corrections Corporation of America.
❝ Pinal County health director Thomas Schryer said the outbreak likely began with a migrant but that detainees have since been vaccinated. Convincing employees to get vaccinated or show proof of immunity has proven much tougher, he said.
“And so they’re actually the ones that are passing along the measles among each other and then going out into the community,” Schryer said.
❝ The facility includes about 350 CCA employees and an unknown number of ICE staffers, although Schryer estimates it’s about 100. ICE doesn’t publicly release staffing levels, nor does it require employees to be immunized. There are currently over 1,200 detainees being held at the facility…
❝ Arizona Department of Health Services Director Cara Christ says the facility has been more responsive in the past few days and that a large number of CCA employees were immunized late last week. “Once they understand how important it is and the outcomes it can have on the community, they tend to cooperate. So we hope to get a cooperative response from ICE,” Christ said.
The problem is reckoned to be one of ignorance rather than stupidity.
❝ Measles is highly contagious and preventable through vaccines. It was eradicated in the US in 2000. But the past couple of years have seen new cases in large part because of
unfoundedstupid fears that the vaccination causes autism in children, Schryer said. The symptoms are usually mild but can be deadly in babies, who cannot be immunized until they’re a year old…
In Arizona, health officials are providing free vaccines, sending physicians to the detention center and providing educational outreach to staffers in an effort to contain the measles spread.
Now, imagine a whole nation run by Reaganomics hustlers like CCA. Tax dollars diverted into for-profit replacements for public service systems. Increase the profit structure by hiring less-educated, less-qualified scabs. Cross your fingers and hope you don’t end up with so many people dying you attract attention.
Enough to make a Congressional Republican cry with joy.