Op-Ed by Janet Phelan
With the Supreme Court granting that Trump has the power to requisition Pentagon monies under a state of emergency to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, one might wonder what all the drama is about. As we enter the campaign season for the 2020 Presidential elections, it should be excruciatingly obvious to observers that many of Trump’s previous campaign promises have fallen by the wayside. The Swamp has not been drained and the Clintons have not been imprisoned. Other than a whole lot of tweets and bombast, Trump’s attacks on the press have eventuated in one solid action– his administration’s efforts to imprison the icon of non-fake news, Julian Assange. The Wall represents a concrete (no pun intended) testimony to Trump’s keeping his word. However, there are more insidious implications to The Wall, which seem to be absent from the current political dialogue.
Indeed, the dialogue has focused on the impact of Central Americans and Mexicans flooding into the US. Trump has made certain claims about the importance of The Wall to protect the US. Some of these claims are clearly bogus and meant to fan hysteria.
Trump claims that The Wall will keep out terrorists. However, terrorists are not undocumented Mexicans. There has been not one instance reported where a terrorist gained access to the US through sneaking across the Southern border. Of equal concern are the proliferation of claims that those attempting to enter the US from the south are rife with horrific diseases which are going to spread throughout the US population.
If this were so, would there not be a health check and even quarantine for ALL persons entering the US from the South? Would there not be medical checkpoints at all international airports to screen anyone coming in from the South?
Americans often travel to Mexico and Central America on vacation or more extended trips. On return, they are not screened for all these diseases that a plethora of semi-hysterical YouTube videos and more are stating are being brought into the US and spread through the population. It is generally known that Americans traveling to other destinations in the Americas may come down with a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, which is transmitted through food or tainted water. It is not transmissible person to person and no one has suggested that US citizens returning from the South need to go through medical checks and quarantine due to their travel to the South
This focus on medical dangers, however, brings up another point. Walls not only keep people out; they keep people in. Emergency protocols are in place that, should a significant pandemic arise in the US quarantines will be invoked. The CDC has been mandated with the task of examining and detaining those suspected with carrying a deadly disease.
However, in the case of a massive pandemic, other, more extreme protocols kick in. The “Final Rule” governing the scope of quarantine activities, passed in 2017, gives the CDC power to institute containment and quarantine.
In 2007, the World Health Organization published its “WHO interim protocol: rapid operations to contain the initial emergence of pandemic influenza,” which outlines a “containment” protocol, involving restriction of movement in and out of the containment zone. This document states that the ultimate decision for containment lies in the hands of the national authorities.
The International Health Regulations has stated its reluctance to impose travel restrictions. In the face of the Ebola crisis, massive travel restrictions were invoked in multiple countries, however. The restrictions involved border closings as well as refusal to allow those from affected countries to enter through international airports.
The global pandemic is long overdue. The mounting concerns that the US is engaged in covert bioweapons research has not seemed to staunch what appears to be preparatory activities in regards to launching a pandemic. As delivery through critical infrastructure ranks high on the concerns, Trump’s signing of CISA last year could well be seen as an effort to further cover the tracks of the delivery system.
Walls keep people in as well as keeping people out. If a global pandemic hits, it is entirely possible that The Wall will keep Americans from leaving the US. All the present focus about the evils of immigrants and the necessity of protecting the US from Mexican terrorists and Central American disease-laden asylum seekers needs to take into account the ultimate utility of The Wall.
It may indeed keep a few desperate and hungry Mexicans out. But it will also keep you in. And if the pandemic is indeed covertly delivered through critical infrastructure, “in” may be the last place you’ll want to be.
Janet Phelan is an investigative journalist and author of the groundbreaking , EXILE. Her articles previously appeared in such mainstream venues as the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast Magazine, Long Beach Press Telegram, etc. In 2004, Janet “jumped ship” and now exclusively writes for independent media. She is also the author of two collections of poetry—The Hitler Poems and Held Captive. She resides abroad. You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012703457651
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