COVID-19 In Immigrants Is A Legitimate Concern, But Not The Primary One, NIH Director Explains

On the right, there is a contradictory mix of narratives about COVID-19. While politicians and public figures downplay the virus, and fight against measures to minimize the damage it can do in this country, they’re simultaneously scrambling to blame someone for it, especially if the scapegoat happens to also fit their political agenda.

UNITED STATES – MAY 26: Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, arrives for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies hearing on the NIH FY2022 budget and the state of medical research, the in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Right-wing media and politicians have pointed blame at Biden, for instance, for saying before the election that he would trust doctors and scientists but not Donald Trump, and some conspiracy extremists are actually blaming the vaccinated, claiming they ‘shed’ infectious particles (they don’t), and of course, plenty have blamed China, Wuhan scientists, and Dr. Fauci.

However, the latest trend is to blame immigrants. It’s a two-birds-one-stone tactic: they get to demonize immigrants, while also suggesting that the resurgence of cases is the Biden Administration’s fault for allowing immigrants into the country. Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes for Health, says that this is “a bit of a distraction.”

He pointed out that the infection rate is actually lower in Mexico currently than in parts of the United States, and said, “We’ve got enough of a problem with our own citizens who have refused to roll up their sleeves, so maybe that would be a better thing to focus on if we’re trying to end this.”

“It’s an issue,” he affirmed, “but it’s certainly not the cause of our current dilemma.”

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