The Slatest

Openly Racist Maine Governor Blames Refugees for “Ziki Fly” Outbreak

Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Capitol Hill on May 13, 2015.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Last week, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said that “black dealers” from New York and Connecticut are responsible for Maine’s opiate addiction problems. This week, Maine Public Broadcasting reports, he told an audience that the state’s “biggest problem” is “asylum seekers” bearing the dreaded “Ziki” virus:

“Asylum seekers — I think the biggest problem in our state — and I’ll explain that to you,” he says … LePage said asylum seekers don’t get medical assessments and can bring foreign diseases to Maine. “And what happens is you get hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS, HIV, the ‘ziki fly,’ (sic) all these other foreign type of diseases that find a way to our land,” he says.

Now, a lot of the coverage of LePage’s remark has understandably highlighted his fear of the nonexistent “Ziki fly,” which seems to be a conflation of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the Tsetse fly. (There have been zero reported cases of the Zika virus in Maine.) Two other things, though:

Tune in next week to see LePage blame “[name of nonwhite group]” for “[name of problem that either doesn’t exist or is mostly white people’s fault].”