The US president was in South Carolina where he falsely called ‘the Democrat policy of open borders’ a threat to Americans’ health
US President Donald Trump has attempted to link the coronavirus outbreak to US Democratic immigration policies, labelling Democratic attacks on his handling of the crisis a "a new hoax."
He was giving a speech in South Carolina on Friday, the night before the state's crucial Democratic primary, reports The Guardian.
During a packed rally, Trump, defending his administration, said the Democrats were "politicizng the coronavirus outbreak," and called it "their new hoax" after the Russian investigation and impeachment.
“We are doing everything in our power to keep the infection and those carrying the infection from entering the country. We have no choice,” Trump said at the Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. “Whether it’s the virus that we’re talking about, or the many other public health threats, the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and well being of all Americans.”
Accusing the Democrats, Trump cited no evidence to link the virus with migration at the southern US border, where he focused much of his anti-immigration policy.
The first case of coronavirus in the US with no known origin was diagnosed in northern California on Wednesday night, hundreds of kilometres from the border. Additional such cases in California and Oregon were confirmed on Friday.
Trump's administration has come under severe criticism for its handling of the coronavirus crisis, as Democrats point to cuts at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) under Trump's leadership.
The World Health Organization has said the coronavirus outbreak is getting bigger, with 2,869 deaths, and 83,909 cases worldwide as of Friday, reported Reuters.