The father of a pregnant Texas girl who is at the center of a travel ban has issued a public statement that he won’t be traveling to the United States to care for her due to the Zika virus.
Dr. Michael McFarland, who is the president of the Texas Children’s Hospital, said in a statement Monday that he is “proud of what we’ve done and what we’re trying to do” in Texas.
“As the president has said repeatedly, the U.S. is a place of hope and opportunity, and that is why I am here to help and support those children and families,” McFarlands statement said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an advisory for pregnant women to avoid traveling to areas where Zika has been reported, and the National Guard has been activated to protect people in the area.
“This has been a very challenging time for Texas and the nation, and it is with deep regret that I must publicly and unequivocally say that I will not be traveling and caring for my daughter Kayla in Texas due to a travel restriction that is currently in place,” McFarlane said in his statement.
“My daughter and I were thrilled when the President announced the first Zika outbreak in Texas, and we will continue to work with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to support the children and family of Kayla as they recover from this devastating pandemic,” he added.
McFarland is the father of three-year-old Kayla, who was born on July 7 and has been diagnosed with the virus.
He has also been diagnosed in the United Kingdom, and McFaralls daughter’s condition has worsened.
“We are devastated by the current state of health and the ongoing travel restrictions in Texas,” McAfee said.
“I hope that you will know that we are doing everything we can to support Kayla and her family during this difficult time.”
McFarlands family is the subject of a government probe into the birth of his daughter.
The Texas Medical Board on Monday issued an order that he be released from quarantine until the state completes its investigation, according to the Houston Chronicle.
McAfee’s daughter was born in May.
She has been treated in the hospital and at home, and she has been placed in the intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
She underwent a heart transplant, which has not been completed.
The United States has been in a lockdown since Friday, when the Centers for Diseases Control and Infectious Diseases (CDC), citing a “laboratory-confirmed case of Zika virus disease,” ordered travel bans on residents of Dallas, Houston and Austin, as well as in San Antonio, the city with the highest number of confirmed cases.
The state has imposed restrictions on all people, except for employees, with the exception of federal employees, and those with valid business licenses.
The CDC has also closed its investigation into the Zika outbreak, according with the San Antonio Express-News.