Much of the conversation about that migrant caravan making its way through Central America and Mexico to the U.S. has focused on claims that the migrants might bring 'tropical diseases' to the U.S. and infect Americans, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Fox News' Laura Ingraham made this comment last night:
"We don't know what people have coming in here, we could have diseases in this country that we haven't had for decades."
Some are even concerned that the migrant caravan is bringing 'smallpox' to the U.S.
Nonsense, says Dr. Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine, and one of the country's foremost experts on tropical diseases
."We have to get out of this mindset that people may be introducing diseases into our state," he said, adding that this claim was used to stir up 'xenophobia' against European immigrants was back in the 19th century.
He says there are many 'tropical diseases' already in Texas.
"The factors that are promoting them have a tendency to be related to poverty, related to climate change, related to increases in urbanization, related to everything except immigration."
The says vaccination rates in Mexico and Central America are actually higher than they are in the U.S., pointing out that its the U.S., not Honduras, which is the home to the 'anti-vaxxer' movement.