Politics

Donald Trump says Haitians who “probably have AIDS” are coming to kill Americans

APRIL 29, 2017: President Donald Trump speaks at the the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PA
APRIL 29, 2017: President Donald Trump speaks at the the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, PAPhoto: Shutterstock

Donald Trump attacked the Biden administration for being too accepting of Haitian migrants, saying that Haitian immigrants are bringing AIDS into the U.S. He said the U.S. must have “a death wish,” even though there is no evidence that this is a real problem and not a decades-old racist myth.

Trump called Haiti a “shithole country” in 2018, and now he has taken his hatred of the 95% Black Caribbean nation to another level in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News last night.

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“Take a look at what’s happening in Haiti,” he told Hannity. “A tremendous problem with AIDS.”

“Many of those people will probably have AIDS, and they’re coming into our country and we don’t do anything about it. We let everybody come in.”

“Sean,” he concluded, “it’s like a death wish.”

His statements may come as a surprise to Americans, as just several weeks ago images of American authorities on horseback rounding up Haitian immigrants to get them out of the U.S. made national headlines.

The Biden administration has faced stiff criticism for its continued deportation of Haitian immigrants.

While it’s hard to find statistics on AIDS in Haiti since AIDS is the condition caused by HIV if left untreated, the HIV rate for adults in the country ages 15 to 49 is 1.9%, according to U.N. data.

It’s not clear exactly why Trump thought people with HIV coming into the U.S. is a “death wish” since there are multiple options in 2021 to prevent the transmission of the virus. These options do not include a vaccine, which Trump falsely claimed existed last year.

In 1987, the U.S. banned HIV-positive foreign nationals from entering the country. The rule was eventually lifted in 2010 after the CDC said that HIV is not “a significant public health risk for introduction, transmission, and spread to the U.S. population through casual contact.”

In 2017, Trump made similar statements about Haiti. He said that 15,000 Haitian immigrants who were granted U.S. visas “all have AIDS.”

Haiti became the second former European colony to win its independence in the Americas in 1804, just decades after the U.S. did so. The U.S. government did not support Haitian independence and refused to recognize the country until 1862 – during the Civil War – out of fear that freedom for the mostly-Black population would undermine the institution of slavery in the U.S.

In the centuries since its independence, the U.S. has interfered in Haitian politics, invaded and occupied the country for nearly two decades, executed dissidents and promoted U.S. economic interests at the expense of the Haitian people.

Today Haiti is the country in the Americas with the lowest U.N. Human Development Index and suffers from political instability. A catastrophic earthquake in 2010 killed over 300,000 people, and the country still hasn’t recovered from it.

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