Castro pointed to Trump’s attacks on China for initially covering up the severity of COVID-19 and suggested it was a diversion from the lack of leadership in the U.S. The former Democratic presidential candidate claimed that Trump and his administration “failed spectacularly” in keeping Americans safe as the virus began to sweep the world.
“To look at The New York Times cover today, to think that we’re closing in on 100,000 deaths in this country, so many of those deaths that did not have to happen that happened because this administration was unprepared,” Castro added, referring to the publication’s decision to honor coronavirus deaths on its front page.
Castro claimed that Trump’s administration can point the finger to other countries as much as they want but cannot avoid the reality that they were unprepared for the pandemic, which has killed 97,906 Americans as of Sunday afternoon.
“I agree with those that said this is one of the worst failures in the history of our country.”
Castro previously spoke of the struggles of the Latino community in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As reported by NBC News, Castro claimed that many Latinos work on the front lines of various industries, while a significant portion are small business owners. Across these two categories, Castro said the pandemic appears to have put the Latino community in “the worst of all worlds.”
Per Newsweek, national Latino and immigration groups took aim at Trump’s coronavirus response in April and accused his administration of “failing Latinos.” In a letter, the groups accused Trump of using a blanket immigration ban to distract from the disproportionate effect coronavirus has on communities of color and immigrants — in particular, Hispanics.
The letter also called on Congress to pass Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act 2. Cecilia Muñoz, former director of domestic policy under Barack Obama, expressed worry that many people from mixed-status families, as well as farm workers, who are overwhelmingly immigrants, were cut or excluded from aid in earlier care packages.
“Congress has the ability to combat both the virus and the economic downtown,” she said. “When we leave people out, we increase the danger to all of us.”
As previously noted by CNN’s Van Jones, Trump appears to be focusing on appealing to black Americans in a trade-off for Latino support as he continues his hardline approach against their community to appease his base.