NIH director: Claims linking undocumented immigrants to COVID spread a "distraction"
NIH Director Francis Collins told "Fox News Sunday" claims that undocumented immigrants crossing the Southern border have played a major role in the U.S. spread of COVID-19 are a "distraction."
What he's saying: "It's an issue, but it is certainly not the cause of our current dilemma," Collins told host Chris Wallace. "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 are trying to end this."
Why it matters: Prominent Republicans, including governors like Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, have attributed a surge of COVID-19 cases across the country to undocumented immigrants.
- In July, Abbott issued an executive order aimed at restricting people outside government from transporting undocumented immigrants, saying the act would "reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities."
- DeSantis has said President Biden is "not shutting down the virus, he's helping facilitate it" by not taking a tougher stance on securing the border.