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Government Accountability Letter to
United States House of Representatives
Committee on Energy and Commerce
Committee on Oversight and Reform
Washington, DC 20515
U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street NW # 218
Washington, DC 20036
United States Senate
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs
Washington, DC 20510
Office of Inspector General
U.S. Department of Health & Human
330 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
July 28, 2021

Second Protected Whistleblower Disclosures of Gross Mismanagement by the Department of Health and Human Services at Fort Bliss, Texas
Causing Specific Dangers to Public Health and Safety

To Whom It May Concern:

This is Government Accountability Project’s second protected whistleblower disclosure concerning abuses and mismanagement at the Fort Bliss Emergency Intake Site (EIS) operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). This letter supplements our first disclosure, dated July 7, 2021, detailing harm to unaccompanied immigrant children caused by ORR’s and its private contractors’ gross mismanagement. A copy of the July 7 letter is attached as Exhibit 1…

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.

Every effort was made to downplay the degree of COVID infection at the site, and the size of the outbreak was deliberately kept under wraps.

At a “town hall” meeting with detailees, a senior U.S. Public Health Service manager was asked and refused to say how many were infected because
“if that graph [of infections] is going to The Washington Post every day, it’s the only thing we’ll be dealing with and politics will take over, perception will take over, and we’re about reality, not perception.”

All the manager would acknowledge is that several children had to be hospitalized.•
The manager also dismissed a detailee’s concern that the children in the COVID tents were wearing basic disposable masks instead of N95 masks. The manager said N95 masks were unnecessary for the infected even though uninfected detailees were working with the infected children.

In response to a question about a shortage of lice kits, the manager said that it was not a problem because there was no significant presence of lice. When it was pointed out that the spread of lice was so serious that a girls’ tent with hundreds of occupants was on lockdown due to lice, the manager’s flippant remark was that girls tend to have long hair and so obviously they would be more subject to getting lice

US Senator Lankford photos of Donna illegal immigrant facility 2019 vs March 2021