How does Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, have a job right now? pic.twitter.com/EyjQUzmaq3— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) July 5, 2018
His out-of-touch comments may sound like part of an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” But the truth is that he really said them.
Azar was being interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday when he said that the United States government is doing Americans a favor by keeping children detained.
“It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our country or come across illegally,” Azar said -- with a straight face.
Then, Blitzer pressed him on how the Trump administration is keeping journalists from having access to the detention centers.
“People all over the world are wondering what’s going on,” Blitzer said.
Azar then went on to claim that because facility workers and case managers are busy trying to get these families together, they simply cannot sit with the media.
“These are groups of the most well-meaning, altruistic individuals,” he said. “These kids are happy, they are loved, they are cared for, it is a compassionate environment.”
"We have nothing to hide about how we operate these facilities … it is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids" HHS Secretary Alex Azar says https://t.co/FMtVbt3AsB pic.twitter.com/YEfLIpgMRg— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) July 10, 2018
While nobody doubts that the individuals working in many of these facilities are, indeed, compassionate, the public has never been reassured that is the case precisely because of what is seen as a media ban.
And what’s worse, many of us still have a hard time believing the administration when it says it wants to reunite these families as only 38 of the 102 children under the age of 5 have been reunited so far.
The administration was given until July 26 to reunite the approximately 2,000 children left, but the fact that the federal government asked the judge to extend the deadline makes it clear that the administration is having a difficult time making it happen.
While we cannot blame case workers for doing their best and, perhaps, doing all they can to give these children some comfort and hope, what the administration must understand is that children are better off with their parents, no matter what the situation is.
Hopefully, attorneys trying to help these children will be successful in their battle against Trump.