When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced he was lifting all COVID-19 restrictions in the state, the Joe Biden White House warned of a possible resurgence of the coronavirus, insisting the governor should have kept “the course” on requiring masks.
But when Fox News reported COVID-positive illegal aliens had been released in Texas, sources said only the White House was “aware.”
At least 108 illegal aliens who tested positive have been released by Border Patrol officials in Texas, and local and state officials have no authority to prevent them from traveling as they will.
Officials in Brownsville are advising them to go to non-governmental organizations or nonprofits in the area to find shelter and places to isolate.
But Eva Orellana, a 29-year-old from Honduras who came to the U.S. with her 3-year-old daughter, said she has purchased tickets to travel to North Carolina by bus.
“On the way, we were wearing a mask all the time, gel-washing our hands,” she said. “Really, I don’t feel anything.”
Others dislosed plans to travel to Maryland and New Jersey.
The Fox News report said Miriam Izaguirre, a 35-year-old from Honduras who also tested positive, was going to Houston.
The migrants said they were told of their positive test result by station workers and simply were instructed to stand in a different waiting area.
Brownsville spokesman Felipe Romero said 108 positives represent 6.3% of the migrants who, since Jan. 25, have been rapid-tested at the city’s main bus station.
That’s the dropoff point for Border Patrol officers who are releasing the illegal aliens.
The Biden administration Centers for Disease Control also complained about Abbott’s decision.
“We at the CDC have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions,” said Rochelle Walensky, the director.
Abbott announced that beginning next Wednesday, Texans no longer will be required to wear face masks, and businesses will be allowed to operate at will. Mississippi followed Tuesday with an announcement of similar plans.
White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt said Biden could not have been clearer “about the need for masks.”
“We know that it can save tens of thousands of lives if people do this, and we strongly encourage people to continue to wear masks. And mayors, governors, and others — recognizing that they have difficult decisions to make to keep the course.”
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