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Letter from CDC in Response to Human Rights Watch

Regarding Immigration and Public Health Policy Concerns Related to Covid-19

Thomas J. Rachko, Jr.
Senior Coordinator, U.S. Program
Human Rights Watch
1275 K Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Rachko:

Thank you for your letter regarding immigration and public health policy concerns related to the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. I am responding on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As directed by Executive Order 14010 dated February 2, 2021, CDC is reassessing to determine whether continuation of the Order is warranted. While the CDC Director has the authority to issue these Orders under the Public Health Service Act, the Director requested that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implement the Orders because CDC does not have the capability, resources, or personnel needed to alternatively issue quarantine or isolation orders to individuals. Questions regarding the implementation of the Orders should be directed to DHS.

HHS and CDC will continue to work with federal partners to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the American public as we learn more about this emerging infectious disease, and we will continue to update our guidance and recommendations to ensure that they protect the public's health as the pandemic evolves. Please share a copy of this letter with the co-signers of your letter.


Martin Cetron, MD
Director, Division of Global Migration and
Quarantine, CDC

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