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Concerns Over Comment

President Donald Trump last week told campaign rally-goers in Minnesota that they had "good genes," a statement that echoes eugenics, CNN reports. It adds that the crowd he spoke to was nearly all white.

As CNN notes, this isn't President Trump's first allusion to "good genes." In 2016, he told a Mississippi crowd that he has "Ivy League education, smart guy, good genes. I have great genes and all that stuff, which I'm a believer in," and, in 1988 said that "[y]ou have to be born lucky in the sense that you have to have the right genes," as CNN writes. It adds that his comments come on a background of using race as a political issue.

At the Hill, Gregory Wallance, a former federal prosecutor, further writes that this message echoes racial eugenics, and Carin Mrotz, executive director of Jewish Community Action, tells the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that "[f]or Minnesota Jews, it's chilling to hear this language, which echoes the 'race science' used by the Nazis to justify the extermination of so many of our ancestors."

"There is no factual basis for attempts to define communities or regions of people with 'good' or 'bad' genes and a century of science has debunked such claims, which can feed discredited views and racist ideologies," Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, the American Society of Human Genetics president, says in a statement.