Posted on September 16, 2021

U.S.-Bound Afghan Evacuation Flights Will Be Halted for a Week After Measles Cases

Christina Wilkie and Kevin Breuninger, CNBC, September 13, 2021

Inbound flights of Afghan refugees to the United States will remain suspended for at least another week, a White House spokeswoman said Monday, after four cases of measles were discovered among recently arrived Afghans.

The flights, which were first halted Friday, “will remain paused for at least 7 additional days,” deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said to reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Boise, Idaho. A White House official later clarified this meant a week from Monday, not a week from last Friday.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can be spread through coughing or sneezing. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control declared that measles was no longer being transmitted among Americans.

The Afghans who were diagnosed with measles “are being housed separately in accordance with public health guidelines, and the CDC has begun full contact tracing,” Jean-Pierre said.

The tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who are currently housed on U.S. army bases are being administered “critical immunizations including [measles, mumps and rubella],” Jean-Pierre said.


By the end of September, the United States anticipates it will admit approximately 65,000 refugees {snip}