Acting DHS head ripped over too-late promise of help for panicked travelers swamping airports: 'Incompetent colossal failure'

Acting DHS head ripped over too-late promise of help for panicked travelers swamping airports: 'Incompetent colossal failure'
Image via Screengrab.

Long after social media users flooded Twitter with pictures of jam-packed airports filled with travelers trying to catch flights before President Donald Trump’s coronavirus-inspired travel ban goes into effect at midnight Sunday, acting DHS head Chad Wolf tweeted that help is on the way — and was promptly hammered for not anticipating the crush and staffing up.

After midnight on Saturday, Wolf tweeted, “DHS is aware of the long lines for passengers who are undergoing increased medical screening requirements. Right now we are working to add additional screening capacity and working with the airlines to expedite the process,” before adding, ” 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.”

Commenters quickly pointed out his concern and plan for more help are “too little, too late,” as travelers were already likely exposed to the coronavirus in the packed airports.

You can see some comments below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.