Top CDC scientist said data did not support Title 42 border expulsions

The U.S. government’s top public health expert on migration informed Congress that he never gave the green light to Title 42, which allowed Border Control to effectively close th U.S.-Mexico border, citing health concerns.

Dr. Marty Cetron said that the legislation, which was initially signed into law by former President Donald Trump and retained by President Joe Biden, turns migrants into scapegoats for Covid outbreaks.

Dr. Cetron spoke with the House Select Subcommittee in May in regards to Covid, during which Cetron called Title 42, a “wholesale border closure” that suspended the rights of migrants and “risked the misuse of a public health authority,” according to a transcript.

“I was concerned that there may be a motivation that was beyond the specific public health agenda,” Cetron said during the closed-door interview, which has not been previously reported.

Cetron has been the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Global Migration and Quarantine for 2 decades. The role of the department is to prevent communicable diseases from entering the U.S. This involves overseeing the screening of immigrants, refugees and travelers.

Prior to Covid, Title 42 was last utilized in 1929 to prevent ships bringing passengers from Philippines and China to the U.S. during meningitis outbreak.  Dr Cetron said that it was Trump’s aides who enacted Title 42 for Covid, and not CDC health experts.

“It did not originate from CDC,” Cetron informed Congress, adding that he “refused” to sign an order to invoke Title 42 after his team did not find sufficient public health evidence to justify the move. “We could not substantiate that the threat was, quote/unquote, being addressed by this,” he went on to say.

Government figures show that Title 42 was used to expel migrants on 2.2 million occasions when it was in force.

Cetron said that on top of stigmatizing migrants, Title 42 was also responsible for “[l]eaving unaccompanied minor children in camps at the mercy of many other both diseases and other consequential health risks.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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