Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) on Friday threatened “a serious altercation” if he came face to face with Donald Trump Jr. after the president’s son suggested Democrats wanted the coronavirus to kill millions of Americans to end his father’s “streak of winning.”
“He should not be near me when he says that. There would be a serious altercation,” Garamendi told MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson. “That is just totally outrageous. That is totally outrageous. I can assure you there’s not a Democrat or Republican in Congress that wants anybody to be sick.”
“What we are concerned about is the administration’s response to this illness,” Garamendi explained, before criticizing the messy way in which the Trump White House has handled the developing crisis.
“Don Jr. better not get anyplace close to me. It would not be a healthy situation,” concluded Garamendi, whose district reportedly contains what health officials believe is the first so-called “community spread” example of the virus in America. The virus causes the flu-like respiratory disease COVID-19.
Andy Surabian, a spokesman for Trump Jr., condemned Garamendi’s comments, describing them to Fox News as “outrageous” and “beyond the pale,” also criticizing Jackson’s “lack of pushback or condemnation.”
“By threatening Don Jr. with physical violence on national TV, Congressman Garamendi made clear to everyone watching that he is better suited to represent Antifa than the people of California’s 3rd Congressional District,” Surabian added, demanding an immediate apology from the lawmaker.
Garamendi later clarified his comments on Twitter, saying “there is no threat of physical violence — but he can expect a strong verbal altercation.”
1/3 My sole focus is on the health and safety of my constituents and all Americans.— John Garamendi (@RepGaramendi) February 28, 2020
Donald Trump Jr. made the outrageous statement that Democrats want people to die for political purposes. If he wants to come to my office to explain his comments, my door is open. pic.twitter.com/os8TixqAmN
2/3 There is no threat of physical violence—but he can expect a strong verbal altercation.— John Garamendi (@RepGaramendi) February 28, 2020
I will continue working to ensure our communities have the testing kits and resources necessary to successfully address the Coronavirus crisis.
3/3 I hope Donald Trump Jr. and the President will join me in this effort.— John Garamendi (@RepGaramendi) February 28, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.