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Coronavirus Response Not a Time to Play Politics and “Blame the Immigrants”

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As we predicted, the Trump administration is using the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic to point the finger at immigrants and the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Friday at the annual CPAC conference, Acting DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli linked southern border security measures to coronavirus response – a call amplified by President Trump during his Friday night rally speech in South Carolina, when he said, “border security is also health security.” Trump proceeded to call concerns over the coronavirus and criticism of his administration’s handling of it the “new hoax.”

While unsurprising, the effort to stoke divisiveness and scapegoat immigrants is exactly the wrong approach at a moment when we need to put aside politics and bring people together around the best scientific evidence and recommendations.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

Our nation and our planet is in the midst of a public health crisis that requires smart decisions made on the basis of good science, strong coordination and clear communications. Efforts by President Trump and his allies to blame immigrants, sow distrust and score political points distract from the urgent task of dealing with a challenge that could cost millions of lives. We need science, not scapegoating; leadership not political gamesmanship; skill not spin. Unfortunately, our President disdains science, knows nothing of unity, and specializes in blame-shifting, distrust of experts, and xenophobia.