“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade warned viewers on Monday about the migrant caravan making its way up to the United States from Central America, saying that the country can’t have “entire populations” of refugees seeking asylum come in and bring “diseases” into this country.
“What about diseases? I mean, there’s a reason why you can’t bring a kid to school unless he’s inoculated. There’s things that happen in this country. We already give 40 to 50 percent of our taxable income to the government for social programs,” Kilmeade said.
“Is it too much to say that we just can’t have countries, entire populations come in here without being looked at as hard-hearted?” he added. “To me, it’s a practical way of having a nation that everyone looks up to and wants to be a part of. That’s part of the reason why America’s America. There’s a process.”
Brian Kilmeade says there’s “entire populations coming in here” bringing “diseases,” and keeping them out is “part of the reason why America’s America.” (h/t @gabrielsherman) pic.twitter.com/o4cjcMdrsE— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) October 29, 2018
In response to Kilmeade, NRATV host and guest Dan Bongino doubled down on the fear of the caravan.
“If this is allowed to continue into the United States, the caravan, then the border’s meaningless.” Bongino said.
Later on Monday, David Ward, described as a former agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claimed during a Fox News segment that the migrants in the caravan were “coming in with diseases such as smallpox and leprosy and [tuberculosis] that are going to infect our people in the United States.”
As The Daily Beast noted, smallpox was eradicated entirely in the 1970s, while the World Health Organization declared leprosy to be “eliminated as a public health problem” in 2000.
Charles Payne: "One of our guests said some of the people in the caravan may have diseases like leprosy and TB. Well, we want to say we have no way of independently confirming this."— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) October 29, 2018
The guest also said the migrants/asylum seekers have smallpox, which is impossible and a lie. pic.twitter.com/c7yqPjiz2I
Now estimated at roughly 4,000 people, the caravan is made up largely of Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans and includes both asylum-seekers and people traveling north for economic reasons, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency. The president has claimed that “unknown Middle Easterners” are part of the caravan, though there’s no evidence to support those claims.
This story has been updated with David Ward’s comments.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.