Acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf took heat after acknowledging in a tweet early Sunday morning that passengers are experiencing long lines at airports amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In his Sunday morning tweet, Wolf said that Homeland Security is “aware of the long lines” due to an increase in medical screening requirements and that it’s “working with the airlines to expedite the process.”
2/2 I understand this is very stressful. In these unprecedented times, we ask for your patience. It currently takes ~60 seconds for medical professionals to screen each passenger. We will be increasing capacity but the health and safety of the American public is first & foremost.
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) March 15, 2020
Wolf’s tweet comes on the heels of President Trump’s 30-day European travel ban announcement — with the exception of Ireland and the United Kingdom — in order to prevent new cases of COVID-19 from entering the country.
On Saturday, Trump revised the ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Wolf’s attempt at assuring the public that help is on the way did nothing to calm social media’s users reactions to the long lines at airports.
Below are some of the reactions to Wolf’s tweet:
These airport scenes are *infuriating*. A policy designed around propaganda rather than science and announced suddenly is now resulting in possibly exposing *thousands* of Americans to infection right before bringing them into the country. This is almost criminal malpractice.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 15, 2020
You weren’t prepared and now it’s probably going to lead to many more people getting sick. Unconscionable.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) March 15, 2020
if the health and safety of Americans was "first & foremost" you would've done the math and realized you were creating a pile of germanity
— shauna (@goldengateblond) March 15, 2020
Too little, too late. pic.twitter.com/Fspt3aeK24
— Lori Thombs (@LoriThombs) March 15, 2020
Not true. We’re in Toronto airport via Paris, waited 4.5 hours to be prescreenned by US Customs. Pre-screening by US Customs talking 30 mins/person. And that is not even a test. All the while, we’ve been packed together in lines. #COVIDー19 #USCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/cWWzY37kUB
— Laurel Dub (@lolliedub) March 15, 2020
Social media users had begun airing their grievances online hours before Wolf’s tweet, however.
Another look at what's happening inside @DFWAirport and the lines at customs. Travelers say they've been in line 3-5 hours… Airport telling people delays are due to "enhanced screening for passengers" who have been abroad. @NBCDFW Video: Dorothy Lowe pic.twitter.com/beVj4TAsDM
— Katy Blakey (@KatyBlakeyNBC5) March 15, 2020
Corona Screening lines in Chicago airport. After 7 hrs of lines and a missed flight we r still in line trying to reschedule a flight for tomorrow. Lord please be with us 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/eY8KbBlWTl
— Micheal B. H. (@BeezyBaby20) March 15, 2020
Scenes at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport's (DFW) customs line. This line stretches for at least 50 meters. The line has been longer due to screening procedures for coronavirus, as well as customs checks.#coronavirus #texas #COVIDー19 #Coronavirustexas pic.twitter.com/0y4B6FKFD0
— 马基雅维利 – Winnie Dynasty (@WinnieDynasty) March 15, 2020