‘We let everybody come in. It’s like a death wish, like a death wish for our country!’
Former president Donald Trump once again hit out against refugees seeking asylum in the US, this time claiming Haitians “probably have AIDS” and labelling their arrival a “death wish for our country.”
Mr Trump was speaking on Sean Hannity’s primetime show on Fox News on Thursday when he was questioned on Covid-19 testing protocols for refugees. He went on to make several unfounded claims about immigrants and even spoke of a conspiracy by other countries against the US.
“There’s one other thing that nobody talks about,” the former president said.
“So we have hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti. Haiti has a tremendous AIDS problem. AIDS is a step beyond. AIDS is a real bad problem.”
“So hundreds of thousands of people are coming into our country and if you look at the stats and you look at the numbers, if you look at just – take a look at what’s happening in Haiti, a tremendous problem with AIDS,” Mr Trump said.
“Many of those people will probably have AIDS and they’re coming into our country,” he said. “We don’t do anything about it. We let everybody come in. It’s like a death wish, like a death wish for our country!”
Mr Trump also said dozens of countries are “emptying-out their prison” by purposely sending newly-released prisoners to America.
“I hear it’s 50 countries! They are emptying out their prisons into the United States,” Mr Trump claimed. “Their jails, some of the toughest people on earth are being dumped into the United States because they don’t want them. They don’t want to take care of them for the next 40 years.”
The comments triggered criticism online, where some users pointed out his previous racist statements while many also pointed towards his own administration’s inability to tackle Covid.
“Not a joke. Trump is spewing about people coming in from Haiti and “they all have AIDS” but he doesn’t give a shit that he killed over 600,000 Americans from Covid,” Twitter user Tim Faulkner wrote.
“I really try not to share much about the 30 emails a day I get from Trump (most is conspiracies and just asking for money) but holy crap here he is reaching back to the most rancorous stereotype aimed at the Haitian people from 30+ years ago,” WLRN reporter Danny Rivero wrote.
“Trump is attempting to leverage xenophobia, homophobia, and racism to ignite his base again. Today proclaiming an enormous grave risk to America due to illegal Haitians with AIDS crossing the border. Remember his obsession to make Mexicans in to rapists….A one trick sociopath,” wrote a user called Mike Mann.
This isn’t the first time the former president has made racist and anti-refugee remarks. Earlier in 2017, the New York Times reported, quoting two sources, that Mr Trump in a briefing with his advisors said the 15,000 thousand Haitians sent by that nation’s government to the United States “all had AIDS”.
The White House denied the claim and said Mr Trump, the then-president, did not make that remark.
In 2018, the Washington Post reported that Mr Trump wanted immigrants from countries like Norway, instead of “sh**hole countries” when asked about Haiti.
“Why are we having all these people from s**thole countries come here?” the former president reportedly said, when asked about immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as part of a bipartisan immigration bill. He then suggested the US should admit more immigrants from places like Norway.