News · Press Release

Texas Republicans Should Condemn Cornyn’s Unhinged Coronavirus Remarks

Speaking with reporters Wednesday, Sen. Cornyn advanced racist tropes, misinformation and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus outbreak

As Texans grapple with barren grocery store shelves, lack of childcare options and serious concern for their elders, U.S. Senator John Cornyn turned on the crazy Wednesday afternoon, advancing racist tropes, misinformation and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus outbreak:

“China is to blame because the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that, these viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people and that’s why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses like SARS, like MERS, the swine flu and now the coronavirus.” [The Hill, 3/18/20]

Cornyn’s comments have the distinction of not only being incredibly xenophobic, but also completely false. Swine flu was discovered in the United States and MERS in the Middle East, and the claim that eating bats led to the novel coronavirus outbreak is a debunked conspiracy theory.

“In this time of crisis, Texans deserve better than misinformation and dog whistles from their senior U.S. Senator,” DCCC spokesman Avery Jaffe said. “Congressmen Dan Crenshaw, Mike McCaul, Chip Roy and John Carter should not hesitate to condemn Cornyn’s remarks and call out public officials who are spreading lies.


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