WaPo: Biden admin mulling quarantine period for all *legal* entries to US

The Washington Post reports that this will apply to “all travelers.” Wanna bet?

The Biden administration is preparing stricter testing requirements for all travelers entering the United States, including returning Americans, to curb the spread of the potentially dangerous omicron variant, according to three federal health officials.

As part of an enhanced winter covid strategy Biden is expected to announce Thursday, U.S. officials would require everyone entering the country to be tested one day before boarding flights, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure. Administration officials are also considering a requirement that all travelers get retested within three to five days of arrival.

In addition, they are debating a controversial proposal to require all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to self-quarantine for seven days, even if their test results are negative. Those who flout the requirements might be subject to fines and penalties, the first time such penalties would be linked to testing and quarantine measures for travelers in the United States.

The two testing measures are detailed in a draft public health order written by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is under review by officials at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and the White House. The self quarantine-related measures are not in that draft but could be added later if the proposals win broader sign-off, said the officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the order has not been finalized.

Let’s ask this question: does the Biden administration enforce the existing testing requirement on illegal entries at the southern border? Or do they let those “travelers” enter regardless of COVID-19 exposure status or testing? We already know the answer to those questions. Two months ago, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas estimated that 20% of border crossers carried COVID-19, although that was only an estimate because DHS doesn’t do testing at the border.

They don’t test on the southern border, nor do they quarantine. The Biden administration is preparing to go back to the Remain in Mexico policy that will mitigate this issue somewhat, but only with asylum seekers who present themselves at a border station properly. And that’s only coming back because courts have ordered Biden and his team to re-adopt the policy.

If the Biden administration wanted to apply this policy on illegal “travelers,” they would already have had all the authority they need to do so. Instead, they had returned to the “catch and release” policies that Donald Trump reversed, and in many cases transporting illegal immigrants to all parts of the country for temporary resettlement rather than keeping them in quarantine.

That makes this new policy absurd, even if there might otherwise be a rational reason for heightened testing and even quarantining on entry. They’re locking the front door and quarantining people who come into the US legally to show that they take the pandemic seriously, while they leave the back door wide open and completely ignore the health-care implications of the border crisis. In fact, they routinely argue that there are no health-care implications from illegal immigration. Remember this response from Jen Psaki?

As Allahpundit wrote at the time:

Families are coming across the border without proof of vaccination and being released into the United States to remain for months and potentially years. Meanwhile, until literally this morning, fully vaccinated tourists with proof of immunity were barred from entering the U.S. even just to enjoy a vacation of a few days.

The people who really do intend to stay only briefly are asked to prove they’re no threat to the population while the people who hope to stay permanently aren’t. Go figure.

We can continue to “go figure” that this administration is entirely performative rather than substantive, and they’re even incompetent at the performative.

Addendum: Worth noting: the WaPo article doesn’t make a single mention of the border crisis, illegal immigration, or asylum seekers.