October 26, 2018 Press Release

Trump’s Health Department and Its Troubled Relationship with the Truth

10.26.18 – Time and time again, when faced with questions about separated children in their care, Secretary Alex Azar and his staff, including Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Director Scott Lloyd, chose lies, obfuscation and minimization instead of truth and transparency.

Azar’s Agency Told a Flat Out Lie When It Said There Was A Joint Database With The Department Of Homeland Security To Track Children

  • “There is a central database which HHS and DHS can access and update when a parent(s) or minor(s) location information changes.” (HHS Press Release, 6/23/18)
  • A report from the Office of the Inspector General found no evidence of such a database. (Washington Post, 10/1/18)

The Head of the Refugee Office, Scott Lloyd, Fudged The Number of Kids in His Care Which Left Children Stranded

  • “The Trump administration failed to include at least 14 migrant children in its count of minors whom officials separated from their parents at the border, which has left the overlooked children in HHS custody for months, the administration told a federal court late Thursday night.
  • Following a June 26 court order to promptly reunite thousands of separated families, [HHS and ORR] undertook its own reviews to understand the scope of the problem but arrived at different counts.
  • An official with knowledge of the process told POLITICO that Scott Lloyd “made the decision to go with the lower number.” (Politico, 10/26/18)

Azar Proudly Boasted During Senate Testimony in June 2018 That He Could Find Any Kids In HHS “Within Seconds” But His Refugee Office Database Didn’t Include A Designation For Separated Children Until July 2018

  • “Minors come into HHS custody with information provided by DHS regarding how they illegally entered the country and whether or not they were with a parent or adult and, to the extent possible, the parent(s) or guardian(s) information and location.” (HHS Press Release, 6/23/18)
  • A new report issued by the Government Accountability Office found that the HHS database did not have a systematic way to indicate whether a child was designated as separated until July 2018. (New York Times, 10/24/18)

When Asked By A Reporter About How Many Pregnant Teens Were Custody at ORR, Internal Emails Show Lloyd Said He “Couldn’t Answer” But His Staff Said They Could. Ironically, Lloyd Is Clearly Obsessed With Tracking Pregnant Woman Yet Can’t Do The Same For Children in His Care

  • “Each week, Lloyd receives a spreadsheet with detailed information on all the pregnant teens in ORR. custody nationwide. (There were four hundred and twenty last year.) ORR staff members are now forbidden from allowing any of them to have abortions without Lloyd’s personal authorization.” (New Yorker, 3/8/18)