Fox News is relentlessly pushing the age-old myth that immigrants bring disease with them and infect our red-blooded American citizens. This argument has been made against every single new immigrant group and it has never actually been true. But that’s feature, not a bug, in Trumpworld, for which Fox News is the official “news” outlet. Let’s start with Brian Kilmeade, the 2nd dumbest man on television:
DAN BONGINO (NRATV): By simple numbers, if thousands of people enter unvetted at any time, you’re going to have people enter the country that shouldn’t be here. That’s not a fear tactic, that’s just the truth, and I’m glad you brought that up.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): What about diseases? I mean, there’s a reason why you can’t bring a kid to school unless he’s inoculated. There’s things that happen in this country. We already give 40 to 50 percent of our taxable income to the government for social programs. Is it too much to say that we just can’t have countries, entire populations come in here without being looked at as hard-hearted? To me, it’s a practical way of having a nation that everyone looks up to and wants to be a part of. That’s part of the reason why America’s America. There’s a process.
Then a guest on Neil Cavuto’s show gets really specific and claims, with no evidence whatsoever, that the refugees have leprosy, smallpox and TB:
DAVID WARD: The military is going to be a tremendous asset at the ports of entry to prevent the people from coming across the ports of entry. However, what we need to look at is what happens between the ports of entry and what the border patrol is going to have to face. We have three tenants of problems here, we have national security, public safety and public health issues with these caravans coming to the United States. Now in the national security realm, we’ve got all sorts of people, not only Central America but they’re coming in from Africa, from the Middle East and other places in this caravan. It has already been documented, it has already been noted by our intel people that are down there.
Then public safety we have already had people interviewed in this caravan that have already been deported from the United States for crimes such as attempted homicide. Now these are prior deports that are coming in. And they will not come through the port of entry, they’re going to come between the ports of entry where it’s the path of least resistance. Then public health, we have these individuals coming from all over the world that have some of the most extreme medical care in the world. And they’re coming in with diseases such as small pox and leprosy and TB that are going to infect our people in the United States.
Really? He thinks people with leprosy, smallpox and TB are walking 3000 miles in the heat of the desert and they’re gonna make it? In what world does he live in? Oh yeah, Trumpworld. This same argument was made by the same lying bigots in 2014, when the first wave of refugees from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador arrived. It was wrong then too:
But as numerous sources, most notably The Texas Observer and the New Republic, have reported, the immigrants have more to fear from us than we do from them. The fact is, children from Guatemala, where health care is fully subsidized by the government, have a better chance of being vaccinated than kids in Texas, where one in six people is uninsured. The fact is, in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala again, the vaccination rate for measles is 93%, compared to 92% in the U.S.—and it’s much lower in some poorly vaccinated pockets like New York City, where there has been a recent measles outbreak.
The myth of the diseased immigrant is not exclusively an American phenomenon. All cultures exhibit it and none can completely avoid it. The behavior is deeply, deeply rooted in our brains—specifically in our amygdalae, where base feelings like rage and suspicion and impulsiveness lie.
It is our instinctive tribalism that creates all of this. And while that tribalism may have been useful in prehistory, it is now a major problem for the human species, causing wars and hatred and terrorism and lots of other bad things. It’s time we jettison this artifact from our evolutionary past and advance to humanism instead.