Dr. Fauci: 'Migrants Coming Over the Border…That's Not How You Get Diseases Into the Country'

By Susan Jones | February 5, 2019 | 10:10am EST
(Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said "migrants coming over the border" are not bringing diseases into the United States.

Fauci told a C-SPAN caller:

You know, if you are talking about migrants coming over the border and all that kind of story about that, that's not how you get diseases into the country.

Most of the time, you get diseases like tuberculosis where someone would come in, usually in a very legal, above-the-board way, coming into the country from an area of the world where they have tuberculosis, because many of the cases of tuberculosis that we have in this country are from people who come from outside the country, usually legally.

And even measles, we often get people who have measles in countries in which the vaccination programs are not as they are here in the United States who might bring in measles.

Your typical example, relatively recently, is the Hasidic Jewish community in New York, in the Brooklyn area were very low in their vaccinations. Someone, a visitor, came in quite legally from Israel, with measles, brought it into the community and that's how you have the outbreak among the Hasidic community in Brooklyn.

So certainly, diseases can come in from the outside, but that is something that happens all the time, and it is less of a problem than the diseases that are already within our country.

Fauci came on the program to talk about the recent measles outbreak in parts of the United States. "The vast majority" of victims had not had been vaccinated, Fauci said.


He noted that the Somalis in Minnesota, like the Jewish community in Brooklyn, have very low levels of vaccination.

Fauci said there are four main reasons why people avoid vaccination:

"One is religious reasons. One is medical reasons, which is valid, because if you are immuno-suppressed or if you have a situation like a disease that lowers your immune system, you really don't want to get vaccinated.

"The other is a philosophical reason, which is the area that tends to get abused, because anyone can say I have a philosophical reason," Fauci said. "Many of the hard-core anti-vaxxers are in that group, saying they have philosophical reasons because they think the vaccines are more harmful than helpful.

(Fauci said fears of the measles vaccine producing autism are "unwarranted" and "based on fraudulent information that came out of the U.K. several years ago.)

The fourth reason for failure to vaccinate, according to Fauci, is the lack of access to health care in general and vaccinations in particular.

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