Medical Officer Reassigned After Migrant Youngster’s Loss of life in Border Company Custody


U.S. Customs and Border Safety has eliminated its chief medical officer from his place after an 8-year-old lady died in the agency’s custody final month.

The medical officer, David Tarantino Jr., has been quickly reassigned, in accordance with a Homeland Safety official who was not licensed to talk publicly in regards to the matter.

David Tarantino Jr. was eliminated because the chief medical officer of U.S. Customs and Border Safety.

Dr. Tarantino is the primary C.B.P. worker whom the company has publicly acknowledged confronted motion within the inner investigation into the lady’s demise. The kid had been seen by medical professionals 11 instances whereas she was in custody earlier than she was taken to a hospital the place she died. Dr. Tarantino couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.

The Washington Post reported earlier Dr. Tarantino’s reassignment. The border company has previously been criticized for its therapy of migrants in custody.

The Customs and Border Safety Workplace of Skilled Duty has been investigating the demise of the kid, Anadith Danay Reyes Álvarez, a Panamanian nationwide, who had important pre-existing well being circumstances earlier than she was apprehended together with her household on the Texas border final month.

Over a three-day interval, medical employees members examined Anadith 9 instances, in accordance with preliminary findings within the inner investigation. Nobody contacted an on-call pediatrician. A nurse practitioner dismissed Anadith’s mom’s a number of requests to name an ambulance or go to the hospital.

Dr. Tarantino is the primary individual on the company to carry the title of chief medical officer, which was created in 2020. He helped to develop the medical care offered to folks within the border company’s custody.

In a podcast interview in December, Dr. Tarantino mentioned the company’s medical employees grew from about 12 contracted personnel on the southern border just a few years in the past to about 1,400 by the tip of final yr.

In build up C.B.P.’s medical capabilities, Dr. Tarantino mentioned it was vital for folks to grasp the inhabitants within the company’s custody.

“These are individuals who’ve had lengthy journeys,” he mentioned. “They could have had underlying medical circumstances earlier than they began, they usually actually encounter medical points and challenges alongside the way in which.” He added that medical officers can ship migrants with “advanced or emergent” circumstances to a hospital.

Customs and Border Safety declined to say the place Dr. Tarantino, a former Navy physician, had been reassigned.

“We’re bringing in further senior management to drive motion throughout the company,” a spokeswoman, Rhonda Lawson, mentioned in a press release on Thursday.

The company depends closely on contract medical personnel in its services.

Kitty Bennett contributed analysis.


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