‘We must ensure that we…provide the necessary medical care to anyone in the custody of the United States government…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The father of the Guatemalan child who died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied medical treatment for his son, even though the child’s symptoms worsened after an initial examination from doctors.
A spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security told reporters on Wednesday that the 8-year-old boy, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, was given multiple medical examinations by doctors before being released with prescription medications.
The child was under the supervision of agents throughout his stay in a temporary holding facility.
Shortly after arriving at the facility, the boy complained of being nauseous and began vomiting. But the father declined further medical treatment and told officials the boy “had been feeling better,” the official said, according to the Daily Caller.
Agents at the facility noticed the child’s condition was worsening and rushed him to the hospital. The boy later lost consciousness en route to the hospital and passed away shortly after.
Infectious disease experts said it appears Felipe Alonzo-Gomez likely had the flu. CBP has not said whether the boy received a flu test.
“The child’s death could have been prevented,” Dr. Flor Munoz, an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told CNN.
Rep.-elect Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., attacked President Trump for the boy’s death and said the Democratic Party will force the president and his administration to care about immigrants and their children.
“When it’s our brown or black babies dying, those in power to change it, don’t give a sh**,” Tlaib tweeted. “Come Jan 3rd, @realDonaldTrump and his enablers will be forced to care! #NotOnMyWatch.”
Texas Rep.-elect Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, also released a statement shortly after the child’s death: “Many questions remain unanswered, including how many children have died in CBP custody.”
“While the CBP notified Congress within 24 hours as mandated by law, we must ensure that we treat migrants and asylum-seekers with human dignity and provide the necessary medical care to anyone in the custody of the United States government,” Castro said in a statement.