Not that it will really do anything to change the minds of people who believe—or pretend to believe for advancement of their political futures—that immigrants have been to blame for worsening the pandemic. The poll that Fauci was asked about is a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finding that 55% of Republicans “say immigrants and tourists bringing COVID-19 into the U.S. is a major reason for the high number of cases.” That poll found that 40% of unvaccinated adults said it’s immigrants and tourists to blame. Jesus, take the wheel.
When it comes to the people in elected office, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tried to pin superspreading on asylum-seekers just one day after recklessly lifting pandemic restrictions. He would later test positive himself, one day after attending a maskless fundraiser. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, noted tourist himself, would also seek to falsely blame asylum-seeking families. Over in Florida, the thin-skinned Gov. Ron DeSantis turned what was supposed to be a press conference about hurricane assistance into a rant about immigrants.
“Ron Desantis and his incompetence led Florida to a place where the state accounts for 23% of hospitalizations nationwide and hospitals are suspending elective procedures,” Florida activist Thomas Kennedy tweeted at the time. “To deflect, he scapegoats immigrants as usual. What an absolutely disgusting and cowardly thing to do.”
And also just false, Fauci backed up. He also notably addressed the Biden administration’s continued use of Title 42, an unsound public health order implemented by the prior administration that uses the pandemic as an excuse to quickly deport asylum-seekers. Forbes reports that while Fauci said during the interview “he didn’t know enough about the ‘intricacies’ of the policy to comment,” he said his “feeling has always been that focusing on immigrants, expelling them … is not the solution to an outbreak.”
It’s not, a top public health expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said before being bullied into implementing the policy last year. People within the federal government have continued to agree with the assessment that Title 42 shouldn’t be in place after a State Department official issued a memo calling the policy “illegal” and “inhumane,” and urged a halt to Haitian deportations. Per CBS News, more than 7,000 Haitian asylum-seekers and migrants, including kids, have been deported through 65 Immigration and Customs Enforcement flights in the past several weeks.
And now, here we have the chief medical adviser to the president saying “expelling them … is not the solution to an outbreak.” So why is this cruel and illegal policy still in place? Right now, the plausible explanation seems to be politics and trying to appease the right-wing part of this country that will lie about the border and immigrants anyway, and that’s a terrible explanation.