While wrapping up his 4-day tour of Iowa, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke spoke to supporters at a rally held at the University of Iowa. At one point, he took a jab at President Trump‘s recent comments where he suggested that wind turbines can cause cancer.
O’Rourke brought up Trump’s immigration policies and the claim that we can’t accept anymore immigrants because the U.S. is “full.”
“At this point, we should have to suspend disbelief when it comes to this president,” O’Rourke said. “He said that this country is full.”
According to O’Rourke, the effects of climate change could make the current refugees crisis worse if the U.S. doesn’t take the lead in combating the phenomenon.
At a house party the day before in Des Moines, O’Rourke addressed comments Trump made during a rambling speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner in Washington last week where he delved into a litany of debunked claims about wind turbines, including the notion that the noise they produce causes cancer.
“I don’t think that wind turbines cause cancer,” O’Rourke said. “In fact, I think they cause jobs…that we’ve seen in Texas, that we see in Iowa, that we see all across the country.”
As BuzzFeed points out, Trump’s claim stems from a debunked theory known as “wind turbine syndrome,” which originated from conspiracy theorists who blame wind turbines for an array of illnesses from chronic headaches to cancer.
This Wednesday, an exasperated-looking White House strategic communications director, Mercedes Schlapp, was asked a question by a reporter about Trump’s comments, and she apparently had no choice but to claim ignorance.
“Do wind turbines cause cancer?” a reporter asked Schlapp.
“I don’t have an answer on that,” she replied. “… I really don’t have information on that right now.”
Even Trump’s fellow Republican Chuck Grassley thought the cancer remark was “idiotic.”
“Pretty simple. I wish his staff would tell him I’m the father and now the grandfather of wind energy tax credits,” Grassley said according to POLITICO. “I don’t think he knows it, or I don’t think he’d make those comments that aren’t quite appropriate.”
Grassley then gave Trump some cover by saying he was just making a “tongue in cheek” remark.
Featured image: screen grab/MSNBC