“We need a national mobilization to ramp up on testing, hospital beds, ventilators, masks and protective equipment. Instead, Trump ramps up xenophobia.”
Recapping President Trump’s decision to shut down the southern border to all asylum seekers, CNN’s Evan Perez, Geneva Sands, and Priscilla Alvarez report:
The administration is pushing to use the coronavirus pandemic to accomplish some of the tough immigration restrictions that hardliners have struggled to put into practice since President Donald Trump took office, including blocking entry to asylum seekers, according to US officials briefed on the plans.
As we said last night in reaction to this news last night, “Leave it to Donald Trump and Stephen Miller to use the cover of a global public health crisis to act with cruelty and cynicism.”
Frank Sharry expands on the “why” behind the administration’s decision to close borders and blame foreigners:
President Trump is furiously trying to distract attention away from his mismanagement and incompetence. His failure to respond effectively to the coronavirus crisis will cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. In addition, it may cost him reelection. Trump and his sycophants, obsessed with hanging onto power at all costs, are desperate to point the finger elsewhere.
Divisiveness and xenophobia define Trump’s history, character, presidency and reelection campaign. We should be appalled, but not surprised, that these define his administration’s response to this public health crisis.
We need a national mobilization to ramp up on testing, hospital beds, ventilators, masks and protective equipment. Instead, Trump ramps up xenophobia. He touts his decisions to keep out the Chinese and the Europeans, and calls the coronavirus the Chinese virus, and yet two months into this crisis, most symptomatic Americans can’t get tested. Now, he intends to block asylum-seekers and is asking for hundreds of millions of dollars to build camps along the southern border. Meanwhile, our healthcare providers can’t get the masks and protective gear that will enable them to continue their heroic work without becoming infected themselves.
This is a public health crisis needing a multidimensional public health response in our cities and states. It is not a border crisis calling for Trump’s go-to playbook of nativist policies and divide-and-distract politics. History will judge harshly a President who, in a moment of truth for our nation, relies on racism rather than competence.