Trump Blames BLM Protests, Bars and Travel for Spike in COVID-19 Cases in America’s South and Southwest


WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday confirmed that the rise in COVID-19 cases across America in younger adults correlates with Antifa and Black Lives Matter protests around the country where social distancing has been ignored and violence continues in some areas even today.  Trump said his administration has been tracking the latest COVID-19 outbreaks and said there was a handful of determining factors that have led to the new increase in some parts of the country.

“There are likely a number of causes for the spike in infections.  Cases started to rise among young Americans shortly after demonstrations — which you know very well about — which presumably triggered a broader relaxation of mitigation efforts nationwide.  And a substantial increase in travel also was a cause,” Trump said. “Increased gathering on holidays, such as Memorial Day, as well as young people closely congregating at bars and probably other places — maybe beaches — four or five different listed places; we have 12 that are listed on the guide — likely also contributed.”

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Trump used the moment to tout his new border wall and point out that neighboring Mexico is also suffering from a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections.

“We’re also sharing a 2,000-mile border with Mexico, as we know very well, and cases are surging in Mexico, unfortunately.  I was with the President, and it’s a big problem for Mexico.  But cases are surging very sharply and all across the rest of the Western Hemisphere,” Trump said. “Two hundred and fifty-seven miles of newly constructed wall along the southern border has had a great, positive impact on people coming in.  And we have record-low numbers of people coming in illegally; that’s helped greatly.  It was really meant for a different purpose, but it worked out very well for what we’re doing right now and for the pandemic.”

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Trump said the latest outbreak seems to be focusing around younger Americans who are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

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“Young adults may often have mild or even no symptoms.  They won’t even know they’re sick.  They won’t have any idea that they have a virus.  They won’t have any idea at all,” Trump said. ”     America’s youth will act responsibly, and we’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask, get a mask.  Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact.  They’ll have an effect.  And we need everything we can get.”

Nationwide, beyond the outbreak in several states, cases remain low and very stable.  Nineteen states have positive test rates of less than 5 percent.  Eight states have positive test rates of less than 2 percent.  Our nationwide positive test rate is beginning to decline and is currently at 8.8 percent, compared to over 16 percent at its peak in April.

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“We’re all in this together.  And as Americans, we’re going to get this complete,” Trump said. “We’re going to do it properly.  We’ve been doing it properly.  Sections of the country come up that we didn’t anticipate — for instance, Florida, Texas, et cetera — but we’re working with very talented people, very brilliant people, and it’s all going to work out, and it is working out.”

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