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Nine Refugees With Active TB Sent To a Single Kentucky County Since 2013

Fayette County, Kentucky is not only the site of the University of Kentucky’s Lexington campus and home to the NCAA basketball powerhouse Kentucky Wildcats.

It’s also where nine of the 842 refugees who arrived between 2013 and 2015 were diagnosed with active TB, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department (LFCHD)

Kentucky is now the fourth state in which Breitbart News has found refugees with active TB have been sent by the federal government. Ten refugees with active TB were sent to Colorado between 2011 and 2015. Four refugees with active TB were resettled in Indiana in 2015, and eleven refugees with active TB were resettled in Florida in the three years between 2013 and 2015.

Breitbart News has obtained information from public health departments in three additional states, the names of which and numbers of affected refugees will be reported throughout the week in advance of the upcoming June 20 World Refugee Day where refugees were also diagnosed with active TB shortly after their arrival.  That will bring the total to seven known states where refugees with active TB have been sent by the federal government.

World Refugee Day is a public relations and propaganda blitz organized by the powerful and politically connected refugee resettlement industry.

The 842 refugees who arrived in Lexington-Fayette County during the three year period between 2013 and 2015 accounted for only 13 percent of the 6,674 refugees who were resettled in Kentucky during that period.

The other Kentucky refugees were resettled in Louisville, Bowling Green, and the Owensboro area.

Kentucky withdrew from the federal refugee resettlement program in 1992. It is one of fourteen states that have now done so where the federal government operates the program under the statutorily questionable Wilson Fish alternative program.

The Tennessee General Assembly passed a joint resolution in April declaring its intention to sue the federal government on Tenth Amendment grounds for its operation of the refugee resettlement program in the Volunteer State.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, could initiate a similar lawsuit on behalf of the Bluegrass State, but to date has has not offered any indication he intends to do so.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, selected the Kentucky Office for Refugees (KOR), a department of Catholic Charities of Louisville, as the voluntary agency (VOLAG) contracted to manage the refugee resettlement program in Kentucky.

As Breitbart News reported previously, VOLAGS comprise the powerful refugee resettlement industry, which was paid more than $1 billion by the federal government in FY 2015 to resettle refugees, and is asking for $2 billion in FY 2017.

KOR, in turn, signs contracts with local resettlement agencies to provide a wide array of services, including initial domestic medical screenings and treatment for diagnosed diseases.

One of those local resettlement agencies recently announced plans to resettle hundreds of Syrian refugees in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The proposal has generated a great deal of local controversy, especially in light of President Obama’s recent decision to accelerate the vetting process for Syrian refugees from 18 months to 3 months.

As Ann Corcoran wrote at Refugee Resettlement Watch last month:

I’m sure there will be more reports today about what went down in Senator Rand Paul’s hometown last evening when the local resettlement agency honcho held a meeting to explain to the community that he had applied for 40 Syrians to add to Bowling Green’s already large Muslim community, but here are two reports: (WKU Public Radio and WKBO)

Both indicate that the meeting went longer and got angrier than organizers expected, and the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) employee indicated there will be another public meeting before the close of the fiscal year (Sept. 30th). We will be watching for that.

The bottom line however is the refugee industry spokesman says (too bad folks!) the local community will have no say anyway!

Though LFCHD readily provided active TB data for refugees who arrived in Lexington-Fayette County, it did not provide latent TB infection (LTBI) data.

More significantly, neither the Kentucky Department for Health nor Catholic Charities’ Kentucky Office for Refugees provided Breitbart News with statewide tuberculosis data for refugees statewide for either active or latent TB.

Ten percent of those who test positive for LTBI develop active TB. Numerous medical reports have found that high rates of LTBI among resettled refugees pose a public health risk.

Four percent of the general population of the United States tests positive for LTBI, while approximately 33 percent of the world population tests positive for LTBI. Refugees arriving in the United States test positive for LTBI at a rate ranging from 12 percent in California to 35 percent in Vermont.

LFCHD “does not conduct medical screenings for the refugee population, but rather receives a referral for those who have a positive TB skin test or an abnormal chest x-ray or who have been exposed to an active case of TB,” a spokesperson tells Breitbart News.

“Catholic Charities does not have the total who tested positive for LTBI in our records,” Allison Pauly, a spokesperson for Kentucky Office for Refugees, a department of Catholic Charities of Louisville, tells Bretibart News.

Breitbart News asked Gov. Bevin whether he will order the Kentucky Department for Health to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980 and provide the public with the following refugee health data for the entire state:

1. Number of B1, B2,and B3 tuberculosis notifications sent to the Kentucky Department for Public Health by the CDC.

2. Number of refugees who completed domestic medical screening who tested positive for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) at the time of that screening, expressed as an absolute number and also as a percentage of total refugees screened.

3. Number of refugees who completed domestic medical screening and tested positive for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) at the time of that screening who successfully completed LTBI treatment within one year, expressed as an absolute number and also as a percentage of total refugees screened.

4. Number of refugees who completed domestic medical screening who were diagnosed with active TB at the time of that screening, expressed as an absolute number and also as a percentage of total refugees screened.

Bevin’s office referred Breitbart News to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (KCHFS), which was not forthcoming with this data.

Beth Fisher, a public information officer at the KCHFS, advised Breitbart News to file on Open Records Request to obtain this data.

When Breitbart News reminded Fisher that this important tuberculosis refugee health data should be available to the public under the terms of the Refugee Act of 1980, Fisher was unmoved.

“Well, it looks like there are varying opinions on what is required in the Refugee Act. If you want to send us an Open Records Request, I will get it moving through the channels and we can supply the data we have on file,” Fisher responded.

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