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Pro-Trump Rep. Faces Backlash After Saying 'Americans' Should Get Vaccine Before 'Hispanics'

Pro-Trump Rep. Faces Backlash After Saying 'Americans' Should Get Vaccine Before 'Hispanics'
Energy and Commerce Committee/YouTube

With vaccines steadily becoming more available to the American public, Republican Congresswoman Debbie Lesko of Arizona is calling for undocumented immigrants to be last in line for the shot.

In a bizarre diatribe apparently conflating "Hispanics" with undocumented immigrants, Lesko claimed that citizens should be given priority for the vaccine, even though "Hispanics," she says, are "very good workers."

Watch below.

During a House Energy and Commerce Committee debate on pandemic aid, Lesko said:

"I worked with people that are Hispanic. I mean they're very good workers. You know, we're compassionate people, but for goodness sakes, we have to take care of American citizens, or people that are here legally, first...I'm just not going to be able to explain to my senior citizens that we're giving away the vaccines to people that are here illegally. I just think that's totally wrong."

In addition to displaying an apparent unawareness that "Hispanic" and "American" aren't mutually exclusive, Lesko failed to recognize that a vaccine dose doesn't protect just the individual who receives it, but contributes to the protection of everyone with whom they interact in the face of the pandemic that's killed nearly 500 thousand Americans.

What's more, undocumented immigrants are statistically more susceptible to the threat posed by the virus according to research published last year.

Democrat and Lesko's fellow Congressperson from Arizona, Ruben Gallego, called out Lesko for her comments, noting their state's high population of Latino and Hispanic people.

Twitter users joined Gallego in rebuking Lesko's comments.

Some took Lesko's comments to their logical conclusion: that those who were in the country first should be first in line for the vaccine.

Lesko has yet to issue a statement on the controversy.