Trump tried to claim his border wall 'stopped' coronavirus in Arizona – but cases have just soared

Joanna Taylor
Wednesday 24 June 2020 09:00
news
(The Independent )

Donald Trump seriously just tried to credit his US-Mexico border wall with stopping coronavirus from spreading to Arizona.

Inspecting a new section of concrete on the infamous wall, on which he and other officials scrawled their names, he said:

It stopped Covid. It stopped everything.

He then expanded on this comment in a press conference.

Using our emergency public health authorities we prevented a coronavirus catastrophe on the southern border, shutting down human smuggling and swiftly returning the crossers. 

Without these public health measures the southern border would be a global epicentre of the viral transmission.

Arizona recorded 3,591 cases of Covid-19, a record high, on the day Trump made these comments.

One day prior, hospital cases in Arizona exceeded 2,000 for the first time.

Trump hoped to pick up some of the momentum his re-election campaign lost after the embarrassing fiasco of his Tulsa stadium rally by drawing attention back to his border wall with Mexico.

But his failure to impart clear guidance on coronavirus is plaguing him.

At the Tulsa rally, Trump claimed to have told his people to "slow the testing down" because it was revealing so many coronavirus cases. His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, later tried to pass off this comment as a joke.

The US currently has the highest number of recorded Covid-19 deaths of any country in the world.

No matter how desperately Trump tries to turn the US's attention back to his wall (this seemed to work as a campaign strategy in 2016, after all) he is unable to escape that fact.

And no, the wall did not stop the spread of coronavirus, in the same way that drinking bleach isn't an effective treatment.

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