Measles Concerns May Delay Afghan Resettlement By Weeks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending Afghan evacuees housed at U.S. military bases overseas be tested and vaccinated for measles — a process that could delay efforts to resettle as many as 12,000 by several weeks, according to three senior administration officials.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Evacuees from Afghanistan disembark from a U.S. airforce plane at the Naval Station in Rota, southern Spain, Tuesday Aug. 31, 2021. © (Marcos Moreno/AP Photo) Evacuees from Afghanistan disembark from a U.S. airforce plane at the Naval Station in Rota, southern Spain, Tuesday Aug. 31, 2021.

The Biden administration announced Sept. 10 that it would halt flights for Afghan evacuees at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany and the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar after four individuals tested positive following their arrival in the U.S. last week.

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The CDC is carrying out contact tracing of those individuals in an attempt to detect if any other Afghan evacuees may also have contracted the virus. Military and U.S. government medical personnel are already helping screen evacuees and will help with vaccinations at the bases, one of the sources said. The U.S. is also testing Afghan evacuees domestically and quarantined the four individuals who already tested positive.

The senior administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations about the evacuation process. The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Pentagon did not comment. The National Security Council referred POLITICO to comments made by White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday that the administration will pause flights for “at least seven additional days.” But the senior administration officials who spoke to POLITICO said they are preparing for the flights to be halted for longer, pointing to the time it would take to vaccinate thousands of individuals and for the immunity to develop.


Video: Raab says Government is considering Afghanistan resettlement scheme (Daily Mail)

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