NC School Board Member Blames COVID Rise on 'Illegal Aliens' Crossing Border

A North Carolina county school board member defended his claim at a Monday night meeting that the recent spike in Delta variant COVID-19 cases can be blamed on "unvaccinated, sick" undocumented migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico.

Tim Furr of the Cabarrus County Schools Board of Education argued Monday that masks should not be a requirement in area schools as long as the U.S. federal government is allowing "illegal aliens by the thousands to come across the border without masks, with COVID." Furr tied a recent national increase in COVID-19 cases on waves of undocumented migrants who are attempting to gain entry through the U.S. southern border. He claimed any local public health attempt to curb an outbreak is futile if the border is open to potentially infected migrants.

"I'm not trying to make this political, but until this government keeps illegal aliens by the thousands coming across that border without masks, with COVID, putting them on buses, sending them all over the United States, we're just beating our heads against the wall," Furr told the school board Monday, explaining his reasons for wanting masks to be optional for local teachers and students.

"Because these numbers are going to continue to rise, and we're going to be having this same discussion day after day and week after week," he added.

At this point, a livestream of the meeting overhears another board member ask aloud, "are we serious right now?"

Furr reiterated on Monday, and later to Charlotte's local WBTV on Tuesday, teachers and students wearing masks in Cabarrus County schools won't help to reduce the number of local cases as long as there are countless "illegal aliens" coming over the U.S. border. But because his county is nearly 1,400 miles from the Mexico border, Furr later clarified his belief that such migrants may be spreading COVID-19 after they are cut loose by federal border agents in places like Texas.

"I never watch the news, but I happened to watch the news this week and there's actually cities in Texas that are suing the administration because of that reason...I know that what's going on in Texas right now has not had a direct reaction or reason why our numbers are up in Cabarrus County, I realize that, but with them going to different parts of the country it's only going to spread and eventually it could cause our numbers to go up. It's not there right now, not in Cabarrus County," the third-term (not consecutive) school board member said.

Furr rejected any accusations of "racism" against him and instead said his primary purpose was to highlight the "hypocritical" stance of some pro-mask advocates. He defended his initial remarks, noting "I didn't really get the chance to finish exactly what [he] wanted to say...When I say something, I mean it, but sometimes, like this one, I don't really get the whole story."

State data lists Cabarrus County as part of the greater Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan area and the most recent demographic data shows that two-thirds of the population is white, 10 percent of people are Hispanic and 17 percent are Black.

Newsweek reached out to Furr's school board office Tuesday afternoon for any additional remarks.

tim furr cabarrus county schools
Tim Furr of the Cabarrus County Schools Board of Education in North Carolina argued Monday that masks should not be a requirement in area schools as long as the U.S. federal government is allowing "illegal aliens by the thousands to come across the border without masks, with COVID." Furr told the school board Monday he wants masks to be optional for local teachers and students. Screenshot: YouTube | Carrabus County Schools