During Wednesday’s broadcast of Fox News’ Outnumbered, contributor and doctor Marc Siegel spread a previously debunked claim that large cities are seeing higher rates of deadly infectious diseases due to higher populations of undocumented immigrants. Specifically, he and the rest of the panel pointed to sanctuary cities, such as San Francisco, as hot spots for tuberculosis and strains of the flu. Siegel and the hosts stated that lack of proper healthcare and vaccination in the migrants’ home countries was root cause for this.
While speaking to host Harris Faulkner about the policies surrounding sanctuary cities, a conservative hot topic thanks to GOP Presidential candidate and roasted marshmallow Donald Trump, Siegel stated that we need to think about addressing the issue due to the threat of disease.
“I completely agree with re-looking at them. And one thing that hasn’t come up at all, Harris, and I’ve actually looked into this, is it’s not just crime that occurs, and then they don’t deport the criminal. It’s also disease. When you let illegal immigrants into a sanctuary city, they don’t come in with a card that says I don’t have tuberculosis or I don’t have the flu or I don’t have this disease. And these things spread around big cities like San Francisco. It increases the rate of disease, and it increases the pressure on the healthcare system.”
This led to Faulkner saying she “read somewhere” that tuberculosis is like, you know, the leading cause of death in a lot of places around the world. But those other damn countries ain’t doing shit about treating it. Therefore, we all know that those dirty foreigners are bringing awful diseases into our country. Anyway, she asked Siegel if it were politically correct to talk about this. (Gotta get those buzzwords in!) The good doctor answered by saying the following:
“What you said is really important, which is they get partly treated or they get treated late, so then they get a resistant kind of tuberculosis that’s even more deadly. And that’s true with every disease. And I can talk about that with a great deal of certainty because I’ve studied it. The other issue is mental health issues. I mean people who commit crimes tend to be a little more — not always — but they may be a little but more mentally unstable. One thing’s for sure, they are not getting mental health care. If — we are not even keeping track of them. They’re not rushing to get health care, and again there too, they’re putting a burden on the health care system.”
If you feel like we’ve been down this road before, well you’d be right. This summer, Trump claimed that America had become “a dumping ground for Mexico” and “tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border.” Last year, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) said that children coming across the border were carrying the Ebola virus. Earlier this year, in the midst of a measles outbreak caused mostly by upper-middle class whites refusing to vaccinate their kids, a number of conservative pundits and politicians blamed, you guessed it, illegal immigration.
Of course, Trump was wrong, Gingrey was full of shit and everyone blaming measles on Mexicans were talking out of their ass. But, that isn’t going to stop right-wingers from continuing to make these statements, especially since fear sells so very well.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters: