The caravan traveling from Central America to the United States has been a focal point for those in favor of stricter immigration laws. A new argument against it that some have begun circulating is the idea that those in it are carrying diseases with them, including an illness that has been mostly eradicated for over 30 years.


The New American, a conservative magazine, published a piece over the weekend called, “Will Migrant Caravan Kill Your Child—With Disease?” Correspondingly, that topic became a talking point at Fox News, with a couple of its personalities discussing the danger the migrants’ proposed diseases could pose.

David Ward, one such person who appeared on Fox, said, “We have these individuals coming in from all over the world that have some of the most extreme medical care in the world. And they’re coming in with diseases such as smallpox and leprosy and TB [tuberculosis] that are going to infect our people in the United States.”



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Smallpox, despite Ward’s citing of it, is a disease that has not been recording infecting anyone since 1977. Certain parts within Russia and a United States laboratory monitored by the Centers for Disease Control are the only known places smallpox still resides in. Leprosy and tuberculosis might pose a greater risk, but that risk is still negligible too; the World Health Organization considers leprosy to have been “eliminated as a public health problem” back in 2000 (though it still does exist within a few parts of the world), whereas tuberculosis already exists within the U.S. borders and is treatable.

Fox News guest Sidney Powell also leveraged the danger of a newer ailment called AFM in her assertions, saying, “We have diseases spreading across the country that are causing polio-like paralysis of our children.” Lou Dobbs countered by saying AFM’s genesis is unknown and it can’t be blamed on immigrants, but Powell continued. “That is part of the problem. We don’t know where the diseases are coming from.”

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