Covid crisis on the border
Mask up America and get your shot, you have to protect unvaccinated ILLEGAL aliens.
Two additional whistleblowers have come forward, accusing federal contractors and senior federal employee managers at a Department of Health and Human Services migrant shelter in Fort Bliss, TX of mistreating children and telling them to downplay hundreds of COVID-19 infections among the children detained at the facility.
"Covid was widespread among children and eventually spread to many employees. Hundreds of children contracted Covid in the overcrowded conditions. Adequate masks were not consistently provided to children, nor was their use consistently enforced," whistleblowers Arthur Pearlstein and Lauren Reinhold alleged in a federal whistleblower complaint filed on Wednesday, according to NBC News.
According to the complaint, workers at the camp were given regular written instructions from HHS public affairs that told them "when asked, to make everything sound positive about the Fort Bliss experience and to play down anything negative."
At a town hall with employees, a senior manager from the U.S. Public Health Service refused to share the rate of infections, explaining that he did not want the number to end up reported by the media, they said.
Pearlstein and Reinhold are federal employees who volunteered to be detailed to the shelter when the Biden administration ramped up staffing to accommodate the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border by building emergency intake shelters like Fort Bliss and others.
NBC News previously reported that Servpro [!?], a company that specializes in disaster cleanup and has no child welfare experience, oversaw the care of nearly 5,000 children in Ft. Bliss in early May and June.
In their complaint, which was filed by lawyers from the Government Accountability Project, Pearlstein and Reinhold said two other contractors in addition to Servpro — Chenega Corporation and Rapid Deployment Inc. — also handled the close to $1 billion in contracts the federal government paid to operate Fort Bliss. None of the three companies had child care experience and they did not properly vet applicants to be sure they had relevant experience, they said.
As a result of the government using contractors with no childcare experience, federal detailees with no background in child psychology were tasked with interviewing over 5,000 children to determine whether they need special attention due to sex or labor trafficking, or a history of other abuse.
"They did their level best, flagging those who required special attention," reads the complaint.
A spokesperson for Servpro said on July 7 that a franchise holder operated the contract and that the company "immediately advised the franchise operator that these are not approved Servpro offerings," adding "We have been informed by the franchise operator that it is no longer providing these services through the Servpro franchise."
The same day, a HHS spokesperson said: "HHS has taken action to improve the conditions at Fort Bliss and at all Emergency Intake Sites. Children are receiving nutritionally appropriate meals and there are now 60 mental health professionals on site at Fort Bliss and counselors at all other emergency intake sites."
Perhaps the worst part about all of this - according to Pearlstein and Reinhold, "the contractors gave children false hopes of reuniting with family members only to pull them back at the last minute, even taking children out of lines for buses and off airplanes before takeoff."
They also alleged there was widespread lice in girls' tents that was left untreated. And in May, they said, there were riots in some of the boys' tents.
"Ms. Reinhold witnessed security contractors surrounding a tent during one incident. Detailees were never briefed about the riots or trained on how to act in the event a riot broke out," the complaint said.
They were not specific about which company was to blame for giving children false hope, manage lice outbreaks or riot response.
Pearlstein and Reinhold said they voiced their concern to Chenega about children having no clean underwear.
"The problem persisted for weeks and months," they said. "Each time the answer was that the shipments had not come in."