During his remarks at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), former President Donald Trump claimed President Joe Biden‘s immigration policy sees migrants “crowded together” in “unsanitary conditions” with “no masks,” after CPAC officials were met with loud boos for asking attendees to wear masks.
In his Sunday speech, Trump claimed migrants will enter the U.S. “by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions” under the current administration.
Trump said, “The Biden administration is now actively expediting the admission of illegal migrants, enabling them to lodge frivolous asylum claims and admitting them by the thousands and thousands and thousands a day, crowded together, in unsanitary conditions despite the ongoing economic and public health crisis, COVID-19, or as I call it, the ‘China virus.'”
“There’s no masks, there’s no double masks—that was a new one that came out two weeks ago,” he continued. “No social distancing, no nothing, no nothing. They’re together, and it’s sad, actually, and it’s sad for them, and it’s sad for our country.”
Trump has not provided any evidence for his claims.
Live broadcasts of the speech that panned to Trump’s adoring crowd showed a packed ballroom and sparse mask-wearing. The audience appeared to actively disregard guidelines outlined by the event’s organizers just days before.
On Friday, CPAC officials took the stage to request attendees wear masks in line with guidelines set by the venue, the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando, Florida.
Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union, attempted to assuage the crowd by stressing the CPAC’s belief in the First Amendment and introducing the request as “a little bit of a downer.”
“We also believe in property rights, and this is a private hotel, and we believe in the rule of law, so we need to comply with the laws of this county that we’re in,” Schneider said. “But a private hotel, just like your house, gets to decide its own rule.”
CPAC events coordinator Carly Conley chimed in: “We are in a private facility, and we do want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property, so please, everyone, when you’re in the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask.”
The audience soon voiced their protest by booing at the organizers and shouting “Freedom!”
“You have the right to set the rules in your own house, and we’re borrowing somebody else’s house,” Schneider responded. “So we need to comply with their rules.”
“So thank you all for putting on your masks,” he said, before exiting the stage with Conley to scattered applause.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images