Hospitals and expats denounce Trump’s plan to block US citizens over COVID-19

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LOS ANGELES: A southern California-area hospital system, immigrant advocacy groups and Americans living in Mexico on Tuesday, August 11, criticized a draft U.S. government proposal that could bar U.S. citizens and permanent residents from ” enter the country if they are suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus.

The pushback comes a day after Reuters and other media reported that the administration of US President Donald Trump was considering a settlement that would give the government permission to prevent Americans suspected of having contracted COVID-19 or ‘other diseases.

Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health, which operates five hospitals in San Diego County, told Reuters the hospital system “would never approve of American citizens who cannot get the care they need.”

Scripps and Sharp HealthCare, which operate hospitals serving large numbers of COVID patients in the San Diego area, sent a joint letter to Trump officials in April, calling for border medical checks and mandatory quarantine for them. people suspected of being infected with coronavirus. But Van Gorder said they never supported blocking the Americans.

In addition, Van Gorder said the percentage of coronavirus patients who recently crossed the border declined at Scripps Hospital in Chula Vista.

READ: Half of the 100,000 daily COVID-19 cases in the Americas are in the United States: WHO director

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Phil Canete, co-director of the Refugee Health Alliance, a San Diego-based organization that provides medical care to migrants, called the reports “extremely disturbing.”

“The irony of this regulation is that it presents a barrier for medical workers and (organizations) like ours to mitigate the spread of COVID across the border,” he said.

Americans living in Mexico were also shocked by the news.

Bruce Newby, who practiced law for two decades in California before retiring in 2003 to Guadalajara, Mexico, called it “ridiculous” and said a 14-day quarantine for US citizens would be longer. meaningless.

“They can’t stop you from coming in,” he said. “You have the right to be there. “

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