Saying that “countless American lives could be saved,” Native American groups are lobbying President Trump to extend the ban on travel from Europe retroactively to 1491. In a statement put out by an alliance of tribes, they explain that “foreigners have been bringing disease to America for centuries, and it’s time we put an end to it.”
Their proposal comes amid the COVID-19 epidemic that has claimed the lives of hundreds of Americans. Navajo spokesman John Begay notes that European travelers have also been responsible for outbreaks of smallpox, bubonic plague, chickenpox, cholera, the common cold, diphtheria, influenza, malaria, measles, scarlet fever, sexually transmitted diseases, typhoid, typhus, tuberculosis, and pertussis that have killed millions of Native Americans over the years. Begay continued by saying that “Europeans, even those born in America, pose a unique threat to health and safety. We must act swiftly and decisively to save lives.”
While a full plan is still being finalized, Begay said at a press conference yesterday that it would involve not only banning travel from Europe, but also deporting “anyone whose ancestors came from Europe.” Begay pointed to the decimation of American populations in the years after first contact with Europeans, as well as “how annoying white people are in general” to justify the moves.
When asked if the proposed plan would help combat the spread of COVID-19, Begay replied, “huh? Oh yeah, that one. To be honest, they all sound the same after a while. Probably. Can’t hurt to be safe.”