Rand Paul Tries to Clarify Comments After Seeming to Refer to Immigrants as 'Non-People' During Coronavirus Speech

Win McNamee/Getty Images

With the White House constantly referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus," many other members of the GOP are also removing their feet from their mouths after similarly racist comments.

The latest to draw criticism for his racist response to the Novel Coronavirus is Kentucky's Republican junior Senator Rand Paul.


While addressing his congressional colleagues Wednesday, Paul referred to United States residents without Social Security numbers as "non-people." Paul's remarks came while he tried to get an amendment he created added to the Coronavirus Relief Package.

You can see his remarks here:

Paul said:

"If you want to apply for money from the government through the child tax credit program, then you have to be a legitimate person."
"It has nothing to do with not liking immigrants. It has to do with saying, taxpayer money shouldn't go to non-people."

However, immigration think tank New American Economy found undocumented immigrants—Paul's "non-people"—contributed $13 billion to Social Security in 2016.





@daralynn13/Twitter





After the backlash, Paul backpedaled hard.

His office said Paul referred to claims made by undocumented immigrants for child tax credits for children that do not exist. However while undocumented immigrants are able to claim a child tax credit, it is only on children born in the United States who have social security numbers.

Paul is either ignorant of tax codes or his excuse is dependent on others being ill informed. After his comments on the Senate floor, Paul went on to be one of only 8 Senators that opposed to a coronavirus relief bill.

By Wednesday evening, Paul's fans were few on social media.


@mmpadellan/Twitter






The bill Paul fought and voted against was the COVID-19 relief measure passed in the House. Unlike other House bills, voting did not go along party lines. In the end, the bill passed in the Senate with a vote of 90 for and 8 against.

The bill now goes to President Donald Trump who is expected to sign it.

ABC News

As more information becomes available regarding the virus that's caused a public health crisis in the United States, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans in hard-hit areas to begin wearing cloth masks to cover their faces.

Unlike medical professionals, who need N95 masks (of which there is a shortage) when treating virus patients, average Americans can wear makeshift cloth masks that block the saliva droplets through which the virus is spread.

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Tom Brenner/Getty Images // MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Given President Donald Trump's propensity for lying and his administration's constant misinformation regarding the current global pandemic, Americans across the country have become selective about which sources they deem as credible in seeking potentially lifesaving information in the face of a national health crisis.

Iowa's Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, is in stark disagreement with most Americans on whom to trust regarding measures designed to curb the virus.

Iowa is one of a few states that still has yet to issue a stay-at-home order to slow the virus's spread. Reynolds has resisted taking the step despite a unanimous recommendation from the Iowa Board of Medicine to do so.

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that all states should institute these orders.

Reynolds's response was...telling.

After calling stay-at-home orders a "divisive issue," the governor said:

"I would say that maybe [Fauci] doesn't have all the information"

Fauci has quickly become one of the most notable figures in the pandemic's response, and one of the few officials in President Donald Trump's virus task force that Americans widely trust to deliver accurate information. He's been an integral part of curbing health crises from the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States to Avian Flu to H1N1 and more.

If Fauci doesn't have all the information, then the country is—for lack of a better word—completely screwed.

People were appalled at the governor's defense.





It's safe to say that Fauci has more information and experience in these situations than any governor in the nation—including Reynolds.



The death toll in the United States from the virus recently surpassed 6000.

Information saves lives. Ignorance endangers them.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

In the face of the global pandemic that's killed over 5000 Americans, President Donald Trump is still expressing reluctance to employ federal powers to assist states hardest hit by the virus.

Among the most urgent of obstacles some governors are facing is a shortage of crucial medical equipment—including ventilators—often needed to treat the highly contagious respiratory virus.

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Mark Makela/Getty Images

The respiratory virus that's ballooned into a global pandemic and brought daily life in the United States to a halt has carried another chilling side effect with it.

Because the virus originated in Wuhan, China, anti-Chinese hysteria has sprouted up across the country. These racist flames have only been stoked by President Donald Trump, whose insistence on calling it "Chinese virus" corresponded with an uptick in hate crimes and harassment of Asian Americans across the across the United States, regardless of their country of origin or ancestry.

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Samuel Corum/Getty Images // SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Even in the face of a national health crisis that threatens hundreds of thousands of American lives, President Donald Trump has consistently signaled that he's incapable of rising to the urgency of the moment, choosing instead to pick fights with governors over Twitter and to brag about the ratings of his press briefings.

That string of behavior continued with a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which read more like one of the President's Twitter screeds than a letter from the President of the United States.

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U.S. Navy

The internet is flooded with messages of support for Navy Captain Brett Crozier, who commands the 5000 person crew of the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that was recently forced to dock in Guam.

Crozier sent a letter to the Navy this week begging for additional supplies and resources to aid the 93 people on the Roosevelt who tested positive for the virus that's become a global pandemic, as well as facilities for the additional 1000 people who need to be quarantined.

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