The only time that Conservatives ever worry about public health is when they’re using it as an excuse to scare people into hating the brown folks down on the border. And if you want clear proof of that, you’ll not find a more obvious demonstration than Conservative TV host J.D. Hayworth cutting off a guest on Thursday who was debunking the argument regarding Central American immigrants and infectious diseases.
Right Wing Watch reports that Dr. Peter Hotez was discussing the topic of Central American immigrants bringing infectious diseases into the country, when the conversation turned to poverty in the United States. No longer talking about the brown people and instead discussing the impacts of income inequality on health, Hayworth scrambled to cut the doctor off.
Hotez, who specializes in treating infectious diseases at Texas Children’s Hospital in Huston, told Hayworth during an interview on Newsmax that:
I actually think the threat of diseases coming into the United States from Central America is fairly remote. The problem is not so much immigration. We call them neglected tropical diseases, and that’s a bit of a misnomer. They’re diseases of poverty.
Hayworth, who is a former Republican congressman from Arizona, asked Hortez to focus on the country’s “southern borders,” arguing that “we are hearing of widespread infectious diseases coming into the United States.” Of course, he identified no source (because he’d look bad quoting WhirldNutDaily or Infowars), so he charged right into the next point, asking the doctor to “Tell us about the nature of the threat of these diseases coming into the United States.”
The answer he got was one he apparently didn’t like.
Hotez, and other medical professionals like him, have noted that Central American countries have a higher rate of vaccination against diseases like tuberculosis than the United States — since anti-vaxxers are a first world problem. Hortez explained that the 20 million U.S. families who live in extreme poverty — averaging about $2 per day per individual — are, unsurprisingly, particularly susceptible to disease. He cited conditions in neighborhoods like Houston’s Fifth Ward, saying:
[You] see environmental degradation, poor-quality housing, no window screens, discarded tires along the side of the road collecting water. It looks like the global health movie you show to a first-year medical student. That’s where the focus needs to be, where Texas and the Gulf Coast are at the confluence of poverty, and also warm climate.
Hotez didn’t get a chance to finish; Hayworth, obviously not getting the reply he wanted, cut Hotez off with “time is growing short” and thanked him for appearing on the show.
Hayworth served in Congress from 1995 to 2007, and during his tenure, he earned a spot on Radar magazine’s top 10 “dumbest Congressmen.” It shouldn’t surprise anyone that he hasn’t sharpened up any.
Hayworth blocks Hotez’s debunking.
Watch Hayworth’s desperate move to prevent Hotez from revealing the truth about immigrants and infectious diseases.