Republican Ben Sasse said China had ‘started the pandemic’ and mocked psychologists and students’ physical fitness

The Republican senator Ben Sasse’s attempt at humor during a speech for high school students has drawn strong criticism.

Sasse delivered the online speech to students at his former school, Fremont high in Nebraska, on Saturday. During the speech he suggested that the students would remember their senior years at their future reunions as “that time when China started a big global pandemic that created the worst public health crisis in over a century and brought the economy to its knees and we had to stay home and everybody was hoarding toilet paper”.

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Read more: theguardian.com