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Border agency reassigns chief medical officer after in-custody death of child

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reassigned its chief medical officer after the in-custody death of an 8-year-old girl whose mother’s pleas for an ambulance were ignored despite her daughter’s chronic heart condition, rare blood disorder, high fever and other ailments, authorities said Thursday.

Dr. David Tarantino was CBP’s first person to hold the job, which was created in 2020 amid growing numbers of families and young children who have presented Border Patrol agents with complex medical challenges.

CBP commended Tarantino for “years of service” and role in expanding medical services for people in custody but signaled it was time for change. He is expected to take a temporary position next week at the Department of Homeland Security, which includes CBP. His reassignment was first reported by The Washington Post.

8-YEAR-OLD MIGRANT GIRL DIES IN TEXAS WHILE IN BORDER PATROL CUSTODY

A nurse practitioner reported denying three or four requests from the girl’s mother for an ambulance, despite the girl having a 104.9-degree Fahrenheit temperature, nausea and breathing difficulties, according to CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility. She was given medications, a cold pack and a cold shower.

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