The first case of coronavirus in the US with no known origin was diagnosed in northern California on the night of February 26, hundreds of miles from the border. Additional such cases in California and Oregon were confirmed yesterday.
US President Donald Trump, the night before the state's crucial Democratic primary, attempted to link the coronavirus outbreak to Democratic immigration policies, labelling Democratic attacks on his handling of the crisis a "new hoax" in a rambling speech in South Carolina.
In a packed rally in North Charleston, Trump defended his administration's handling of the outbreak. He accused the Democrats of "politicizing the coronavirus", calling it "their new hoax" after the Russian investigation and impeachment, reports The Guardian.
"We are doing everything in our power to keep the infection and those carrying the infection from entering the country. We have no choice," Trump said at the Coliseum and Performing Arts Center.
"Whether it's the virus that we're talking about, or the many other public health threats, the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and wellbeing of all Americans."
However, Trump did not cite any evidence to link the virus with migration at the southern border, where much of his anti-immigration policy is focused.
The administration has faced significant criticism for its handling of coronavirus, as Democrats point to cuts at the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) under Trump's leadership.
CDC said that they were distributing new coronavirus testing kits after the first batch turned out to be faulty.