Exclusive – Homeland Security Secretary Details Efforts to Combat Coronavirus Spread: Must ‘Keep Sick Individuals Out of This Country’

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf told Breitbart News exclusively at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday that President Donald Trump’s administration is prioritizing keeping sick individuals out of the country.

“President Trump really took a leadership position on this. So, several weeks ago when he stopped flights coming or individuals coming from China that had a nexus to China, as well as funneling a number of flights into 11 airports. We were the first country to do that,” Wolf said when asked to describe U.S. efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus. “We were out in front of everyone else and a variety of other countries have now followed suit. The president and the administration got criticized for doing that too soon, too fast, and I think in hindsight it was absolutely the right move. Now we have some of those same critics saying we’re not doing enough, so I think it’s very interesting. We continue to lean forward at the department. Our primary role at the department on this is making sure that we keep sick individuals out of this country. So we do that at airports of entry, land ports of entry, that’s our Canadian border and also our southwest border, we also have coastguard monitoring a number of ships that have a nexus to China, mainly cargo ships. But every ship has passengers and crew aboard, so we are taking an all variety look at this.”

When asked to detail the review and screening process for people entering the United States, Wolf explained how travelers will encounter Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and if needed then face Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials as well for examination.

“So, individuals coming off flights will first come in contact with a CBP officer, which is a normal immigration officer,” Wolf said. “From there, they will go to contract medical personnel that DHS has stood up at these 11 airports. They’re going to take a variety of information from you, they’re going to ask you a number of questions. How long have you been in China? Where have you visited? They’re also going to take temperature checks and other visual medical checks and if they determine they don’t like what they see or you need additional medical checks, we’re going refer you to CDC officials at those 11 airports that will go further into your medical history to get further checks. … For those individuals that are not symptomatic, we are directing them to self-quarantine so they will continue on to their home. They’ll self-quarantine for 14 days, again we are tracking all of these individuals, so we are making sure we turn over their data and information to local and state health officials so those officials in those jurisdictions can also track those individuals. So, it’s a pretty comprehensive program we are putting in place, making sure those individuals that have visited or have an excess to China in the last 14 days are being medically screened and we know where they are.”

Wolf’s interview came Saturday afternoon at CPAC hosted by the American Conservative Union, and aired Tuesday morning on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 on Breitbart News Daily. He also covered several successes of the Trump administration on combatting illegal immigration and terrorism. This part of the interview, on the Trump administration’s fight with coronavirus, is the first of multiple pieces on this front.

Coronavirus originated in Wuhan in China, a Communist country controlled by the Communist Party of China. It has since spread around the world. In response to the outbreak, President Trump has named Vice President Mike Pence to lead a task force combatting the virus and working to protect the United States from it.



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