Friday, March 20, 2020

‘We’re Taking An Overabundance Of Caution’: Border Patrol Braces For Spread Of Coronavirus

John Moore/Getty Images
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials said its agency, including Border Patrol agents, is following all the necessary steps to combat the coronavirus outbreak in a conference call with reporters Friday.
CBP expressed confidence that the agency has the necessary resources to deal with potential contact of the novel COVID-19 virus. Namely, officials remarked that it has ample personal protective equipment, or PPE, for the entire U.S.-Mexico border, keeping Border Patrol agents more safe as they continue enforcing immigration laws.
“We’ve done PPE inventory of the entire border. We are good,” said a senior CBP official. Agency staffers wished not to be named, citing the high number of employees involved in the call.
“We have sufficient PPE to deal with this. I think the important message here for the Border Patrol, in particular, and probably all of CBP, is that we deal with contagious diseases and the potential for our employees to be exposed all the time,” the official continued.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
PPE incompases a range of equipment that can protect agents from outside contagions, including gloves, face masks, N95 respirators and even surgical gowns.
The statements came as the coronavirus pandemic is worsening within U.S. borders. President Donald Trump is expected to officially declare a state of emergency Friday, allowing the federal government to tap tens of billions to fight the pandemic.
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