LOU GEHRI, a renowned doctor and the father of polio, is making a rare appearance at a campaign rally on the US-Mexico border.
It is the first time the 67-year-old has spoken publicly about his polio diagnosis since the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned in December that a resurgence of the disease had been linked to illegal migration.
More than half of the 2.3 million US children born with the paralytic disease have since died from it, and the number of US deaths has jumped to 9,200 in 2016, from 2,700 in 2015.
Lou’s comments came as he was greeted by supporters outside a church in his hometown of Cincinnati, in an attempt to drum up support for a bill that would require more testing on migrants who are caught trying to cross the US border illegally.
Mr Trump has been criticised by both parties for not doing more to stop illegal immigration, with Democrats accusing him of not doing enough to stop migrants from coming across the border illegally and for not enforcing a 2012 immigration law.
Trump has defended the move, which he says is necessary to stop people from crossing the border without proper documentation, as a matter of national security.
However, Mr Trump has not commented on Mr Gehrig’s comments, and his spokesman, Brian Phillips, told BBC News the speech was meant to be a ‘political statement’.
“It was about highlighting that a lot of the people in this country are living with the disease, they have been exposed to the virus, and they are going to have to do more testing in order to make sure they’re not being exposed to this disease,” he said.
The president also reiterated his opposition to a ban on Muslims entering the US, saying: “We’re going to get it back, we’re going do it right, and we’re not going to allow people to come in.” “
[Mr Trump] has spoken out and supported a lot in regards to people with disabilities.”
The president also reiterated his opposition to a ban on Muslims entering the US, saying: “We’re going to get it back, we’re going do it right, and we’re not going to allow people to come in.”
Mr Gehrig, who was diagnosed with the deadly disease in 1963, was one of the few doctors to successfully use a vaccine against polio.
In his last speech before being diagnosed with paralysis, he told the BBC in April that he believed the US was on the cusp of a ‘perfect storm’ of polio that would ‘end all the problems of polio’.
“I believe the perfect storm is coming to the US and I believe the US will have the vaccine,” he told ITV.
“It will be in the hands of the American people.”
President Trump has said he does not believe in a ‘Muslim ban’, as seen on the border between the US & Canada (Photo: REUTERS)”When people look around at what’s happening in other countries, they’re saying, ‘Wow, you’re the one that’s going to solve the problem.
Why can’t we just get the vaccine?'”‘
Very sad day’ For his father Lou, the news is bittersweet.
“It’s very sad day, but you know, I’ve been very fortunate,” he wrote on Twitter.
Asked about the possibility of a political rally to support his bill, he wrote: “I hope so.
I hope this helps.”
Read more: Lou Gehri on the polio epidemic and the ‘perfect’ storm: ‘It’s a perfect storm’The US Department, which advises the president on the safety of the border, said in a statement: “President Trump believes that we have the best people to make decisions about how to protect our border and our nation.
We remain focused on our mission to protect and serve the US.”