A recent poll found that Republicans viewed immigrants as one of the groups mainly responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, and during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health shut down that nonsense. No matter the falsity, Republican leaders themselves have helped push the notion that immigrants are leading the spread of the disease. In Texas, for instance, Republican Governor Greg Abbott has been seeking to restrict the transportation of migrants within the state under the guise of concern about the spread of COVID-19, even as the governor feverishly fights the implementation of basic safety precautions against the virus, like school mask mandates.
Asked while on CNN whether the perception that immigrants are driving the spread of COVID-19 in the United States reflects reality, Fauci indicated that such was not the case. He said as follows:
‘No, absolutely not. I mean if you just look at the data, and look at the people who’ve gotten infected, look at the people who are in the hospital, look at the people who’ve died — this is not driven by immigrants. This is a problem within our country, the same way it’s a problem with other countries throughout the world. I mean, the idea when you have 700,000 Americans dead, and millions and millions and millions of Americans getting infected — you don’t want to look outside to the problem. The problem is within our own country. Certainly immigrants can get infected, but they’re not the driving force of this. Let’s face reality here.’
Check out Fauci’s comments below:
Dr. Fauci on polling showing Republicans are blaming immigrants for Covid: "This is not driven by immigrants … the problem is within our own country … let's face reality here." pic.twitter.com/kEjKdk8pHi
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 3, 2021
The suggestion that immigrants are somehow responsible for the spread of the pandemic-causing virus reflects the frequent Republican tendency to fall into ignorance and looking for an easy answer instead of addressing reality. It also, of course, connects to the racism that seems to so often drive Republican policy positions. The excuse for Abbott’s attempted restrictions on migrant transportation of thwarting the spread of COVID-19 seems like merely a flimsy smokescreen for ignorance and racism. Specifically, he had sought to block anyone other than law enforcement personnel from transporting migrants, and he simultaneously sought to use Texas law enforcement against vehicles suspected of providing such transportation — even though federal authorities often work with non-governmental entities in procuring transportation for migrants.