The administration of President Joe Biden and the Department of Defense has blacked out press and media coverage of Afghan refugees arriving at bases throughout the United States. It’s a policy move similar to the border crisis when the administration worked overtime to block imagery from the immigrant migration crisis at the southern border.
Once again the federal government has created an intentional fog of war around a humanitarian crisis that affects all Americans.
It wasn’t until Friday that the Biden administration actually allowed some press photographers inside the Fort Bliss, Texas military base to take a quick peek inside the process.
The public information corps of the Department of Defense has also been silent. Usually eager to photograph and tell the stories of operations ongoing within their command, they have also fallen silent. The journalist warriors of our military have been ordered not to take pictures or write stories about the Afghan rescue operations taking place at the bases.
Afghan refugees are being sent to 7 bases across the U.S. Those bases include Joint Base MDL here in New Jersey, Fort Lee, Fort Bliss, Fort McCoy, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Fort Picket, and Holloman Air Force Base.
A visit to those base public affairs pages shows little or no photos of the effort other than rooms full of donated supplies or soldiers preparing for their deployment to assist in the effort.
The media and the public have basically been kept in the dark about the conditions at the bases in a similar fashion to the media fog created during the Biden Border Crisis.
So what’s it like inside Fort Bliss?
Here’s what we do know. Refugees are being housed in a large tent city called “Dona Ana Village”. They are provided three full meals a day and all-day-long ‘grab and go’ meals. Children play soccer in the gaps between the tents and according to the Department of Defense, every evacuee is being vaccinated and given medical screening.
Each tent holds up to 100 people and they are segregated. Single men and single women are not housed together. Evacuees inside the village are free to come and go as they please. Nobody is being forced to stay.
So far, 50,000 evacuees are housed at the 7 bases. They will eventually be released to resettle wherever they choose in the U.S.
For now, the flights into the U.S. have been halted after several of the evacuees were diagnosed with the measles.
“Operation Allies Welcome flights into the United States have been temporarily paused at the request of the CDC and out of an abundance of caution because of four diagnosed cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the United States,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday.
She added, “These individuals are being quarantined in accordance with public health guidelines, and the CDC has begun full contact tracing. All arriving Afghans are currently required to be vaccinated for measles as a condition of entry into the United States. And critical immunizations including
MNR [MMR] are being administered for Afghans at military bases in the United States. And we are also — MMR, sorry. We are also exploring measures to vaccinate people while they are still overseas, so that’s something we’re looking into. But it was, again, a step recommended by the CDC out of an abundance of caution, given four measles cases.”
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