Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) did his best on Tuesday to link the recent measles outbreak to undocumented immigrants, but he didn’t get much help from the CDC’s Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
“Tell me, of those infected in the California epidemic, how many were native born Americans and how many had immigrated here?” Cassidy, himself a physician, asked Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC in a Senate hearing on vaccinations.
“Most of the importation that we have of measles each year are in Americans who are traveling abroad and come back,” she answered, specifying that the Americans in question were born in the U.S.
Schuchat also assured Cassidy’s doubt that many of the recent cases are stemming from wealthy areas of California.
“There are a lot of immigrants,” Cassidy pressed on. “And a lot of those immigrants may have fallen between the cracks.”
Schuchat answered that there used to be a higher rate of importation from immigrants, but that in recent years Latin America “really took on the elimination of measles.”
Finally, Schuchat assured Cassidy’s concerns that adults coming to America from the Philippines would not be likely to spread measles, since the region recently experienced an outbreak.
Watch the video, courtesy of CSPAN:
Correction: This post has been updated to list Schuchat’s title as the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.