The Centers for Disease Control estimated that just over 61,000 Americans died and another 600,000 were hospitalized during last year’s flu season.
The year before was even worse with more than 80,000 deaths and just under a million people admitted to hospitals. On average, nearly 75% of the children who die from the flu each year were never vaccinated.
In August, the Trump administration announced that flu vaccines would not be given to anyone in detention centers on our southern border. The administration’s reasons for this policy were that the procedure would be too complex to carry out and the detainees would only be in the facilities temporarily.
I contacted Sen. Tillis’ office with the hope that he might work to offer some protection to the migrants, who, being locked away in large numbers, will obviously be especially susceptible to any communicable diseases. Instead, his response was a recitation of the Trump administration’s aforementioned talking points.
Of all of Trump’s vindictive policies, this one seems especially cruel, and its consequences will almost inevitably turn deadly.
The migrants held in U.S. detention are our responsibility, and we are all accountable for what happens to them.