‘Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Commissioner!’: Lou Dobbs Calls Out Customs Official for Massive, Daily Exemptions to Trump’s Pandemic Travel Bans
Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs directly challenged acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan for the massive loopholes to President Donald Trump’s travel bans and that previously promised screening procedures for incoming air travel passengers were only put in place in recent days.
Dobbs, a hardline immigration restrictionist and vocal champion of the president, kicked off his Thursday evening show by lauding Trump’s coronavirus-based travel bans from China, Iran, and most of Europe. But he then pivoted to detail the daily flights still coming from those destinations and the millions of air passengers that have entered the country in the midst of the pandemic. An incredulous Dobbs followed that up to press Morgan on what he as negligent delays by the administration when to came to the rigorousness of its screening of all those incoming international arrivals.
“A lot of questions are arising. The announcement that some airports would be, for example, screening for temperatures,” Dobbs noted. “What I think much of the country just assumed that that was taking place in the face of this pandemic. Why is it only taking place now?”
“Well, Lou, let’s go back to what you started and what this president did, the historic, unprecedented travel restrictions…” Morgan began, clearly trying to pivot back to Dobbs’ initial praise of the president. But Dobbs was not having it.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Commissioner!” Dobbs cut in. “Let me say, Mark, you and I, we know each other well. I respect you deeply, and I always felt that was reciprocated. Let’s deal with what I’m asking because it’s important, it’s very important. This audience understands the history. The reality is that those temperature checks, most Americans believed they were already in place. Why were they not?”
“Well, Lou, right now, look, I’m coming at this from a law enforcement perspective. I’m not the medical expert here,” Morgan replied. “So what we are doing though is we are working with the CDC, HHS and other health care providers to come up with a solution that is effective, a common sense, effective solution is. And right now, Lou, what we’ve done, those entering the countries including those areas, CDP, we have screened almost 300,000 people.”
“Okay. And that’s terrific,” Dobbs allowed, but then bore back into Morgan for not addressing the fact that there have been far more than 300,000 foreign arrivals since the outbreak began. “We’re three months into this, and the reality is that temperatures, apparently, haven’t been taken to this point or there wouldn’t have been an announcement last week that you were beginning those temperature screenings. Secondly, there’s a ban, a ban on travel from China. There is a ban, as you know, the other regions and countries. And yet I think, again, most Americans are surprised to learn we’re talking about millions of people, not hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands, coming into this country from nations that were banned. And we’re not talking about U.S. nationals, we’re talking about foreign nationals.”
Morgan’s answer: that Trump’s ban was not a real ban in the everyday sense of the word.
“Look, Lou, this president’s been very clear as well, there has to be a balance. There has to be a balance between the very real concerns from a public health standpoint as well as an economic standpoint,” Morgan explained. “We have to take both of those into account, we have to be thoughtful and methodical as we’re applying that. We just can’t turn off and shut everything off. We have to be reasonable and methodical and balance that. And right now one of the things we’re doing is we’re piloting certain additional screenings to see if it’s effective. Lou, you know as well as I do, look, a lot of people are asymptomatic with this. Even a temperature check — look, I’m not a medical health professional. We know there are a lot of people who have had screening who are completely asymptomatic including the temperature check that later were found out to have had Covid.”
After a back and forth on border crossings, Dobbs returned to the CBP’s numerous exemptions to Trump’s ban and gave a rather back-handed compliment to Morgan, who had acknowledged that more is to be done.
“Well, and I commend you for that because so many government agencies, in fact, never, never acknowledge that there is room for improvement, never acknowledge, in point of fact, that their systems are in place are not perfect,” Dobbs said. “And I know you as a person and as a leader. I have the highest regard for the fact that you take a look at the prospect of failure and recognize deficiencies and move to meet them.”
Watch the video above, via Fox Business Network.
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