The US federal government has granted itself the power to apprehend and quarantine individuals infected with measles, with the White House ordering the move after the illness was detected among newly arrived Afghan refugees.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday evening that added measles to a federal list of “quarantinable communicable diseases,” which outlines regulations for the “apprehension, detention, or conditional release” of people carrying dangerous illnesses.
Though Biden’s order gave no reasoning for the decision, a White House spokesperson later told the Hill that the list was amended due in part to measles outbreaks among Afghan refugees who landed in the US in recent weeks.
“This action was taken at the request of public health officials, who cited the cases of measles among Afghans who recently arrived in the U.S. as well as several previous outbreaks of measles in recent years,” the spokesperson said. …