Widow of Border Patrol border agent who contracted Covid on the job decries ‘injustice’ of benefits battle

Corporate media pays little attention to the historic flow of humanity coming across the wide open southern border with Mexico — seemingly at the behest of the Biden administration — and even less attention to the toll the unprecedented crisis takes on Border Patrol agents.

With thousands of illegal immigrants crossing daily, hundreds of thousands monthly, the COVID-19 pandemic had little impact in slowing the numbers or bringing on a change in policy from the White House to stem the tide — all the while, the administration arm-twisted Americans to get a jab that not only failed to protect them from contracting Covid-19 but also did not prevent them from spreading it. Encountered migrants were being processed and released all across the country without any testing, with no concern about the impact this was having on the nation as a whole.

Border Patrol agents were exposed to Covid-19 in the course of carrying out their duties and Freddie Vasquez, a K-9 handler, contracted the virus in the line of duty in February of last year and died in May 2021. Inez Vasquez, the wife of the 19-year Border Patrol veteran, shared her harrowing story with Fox News Digital on the day her husband was taken to the hospital and his rapid decline, while calling attention to the “injustice” playing out regarding benefits for the family.

“Even with a very real threat of Covid, they did not back down,” Inez said of Border Patrol agents and law enforcement in general.

She explained that she was not able to visit him in person and could only communicate via Face Time, and said that a neurologist told her that what they thought was a series strokes was actually inflammation around the brain. He would eventually be transferred to a long-term care facility and she would be allowed to see him, explaining that he has unresponsive and had lost a lot of weight.

“Seeing him wasting away — that was just heart-wrenching,” Vasquez said, tears welling up. “Prior to all this, he was a person who was very full of life. He was a people person, very social. This man never met a stranger, honestly. He was somebody who could strike up a conversation with anybody anywhere.”

He remained in a coma for three months before passing away in May.

U.S. Border Patrol Chief for the El Paso Sector Peter Jaquez extended his condolences for the loss of Freddie Inez in a tweet on May 19, 2021.

When Vasquez was first taken to the hospital, he had filed a claim stating the virus was contracted while working, Inez told Fox News Digital, further explaining that the Department of Labor accepted the claim. She then said the family’s benefits are set to expire in 2030 and that they were told they could then start receiving her husband’s retirement benefits — her husband was 43 when he died and still had at least 13 more years before reaching retirement age.

There is “significant difference” in the reduced retirement benefit, which Inez called an “injustice.”

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law in March 2021, and the law set an ending date of Sept. 30, 2030, for benefits to surviving family members of federal employees who died from COVID-19.

“Now this peace of mind has been ripped away,” Inez said. “We find ourselves trying to fight to keep our benefits like any other surviving spouse who lost their spouse in the line of duty.”


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