Trump sparks fury by blaming surge in US cases on BLM protesters, Mexico and 'young drinkers'

Joanna Taylor
Thursday 23 July 2020 06:15
news

Trump has sparked fury by blaming a rise in coronavirus cases on Black Lives Matter protesters and Mexico.

The president opened his latest press conference by assigning blame for the recent spike in states like Texas, Arizona, California and Florida.

As far as the outbreak in the sun belt, I said yesterday we continue to vigorously combat the rise of cases. 

There are likely a number of causes for the spike in infections. Cases started to rise among young Americans shortly after demonstrations, which you know very well about, which presumably triggered a broader relaxation of mitigation efforts nationwide and a substantial increase in travel also was a cause.

Increased gathering on holidays such as Memorial Day as well as young people closely congregating at bars and probably other places.

We're also sharing a 2,000 mile border with Mexico as we know very well and cases are surging in Mexico unfortunately. It's a big problem for Mexico. 

The groups Trump chose to single out and blame for the recent spike likely tells us more about his election strategy than it does about any actual probably cause.

He did not, for instance, refer to possible factors like people failing to wear masks in reopened shops, restaurants and other businesses or visiting friends and family.

Nor did he allude to the strain coronavirus has put on health services, instead repeating misleading claims about how many people are being tested in the US.

It seems like Trump wants to appear tough on protesters as he styles himself as the 'law and order' presidential candidate.

Indeed, he recently announced that he will be sending a "surge" of federal troops into Chicago and Albuquerque to combat crime rests, with other cities likely to follow.

In assigning blame to protesters, Trump apparently did not consider the fact that the Black Lives Matter protests began in Minnesota and spread all over the world. They were not contained in the sun belt where the US is currently seeing a spike in coronavirus cases. Also, coronavirus symptoms typically take around two weeks to physically manifest, while the height of the protests was over a month ago.

Trump's own campaign rallies were not, of course, mentioned as possible causes.

Trump did take a moment to praise himself for his foresight in reinforcing the US's border with Mexico.

257 miles of newly constructed wall along the southern border has had a great positive impact on people coming in. We have record low numbers of people coming in illegally, that's helped greatly. It was really meant for a different purpose but it worked out very well for what we're doing right now and for the pandemic.

This isn't the first time Trump has claimed his border wall with Mexico helped to stop coronavirus entering the US.

In June, he claimed the wall "stopped Covid".

Clearly, Trump wants to focus people's minds on his perceived achievements achievements and tough stance on immigration ahead of the election (talking about building a wall seemed to work last time...) but hasn't quite decided whether to blame Mexico for coronavirus surging in the southern states or credit his wall with stopping this from happening.

Either way, Texas and Arizona have seen a surge in coronavirus cases so his claim that the wall stopped this is clearly false.

Trump has sparked anger by blaming coronavirus's spread on others, while claiming to take 'no responsibility'.

This latest press conference only serves to reinforce the idea that Trump is using his renewed daily press conferences to campaign rather than keep the American people updated and informed on the continued threat of coronavirus.

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