AUSTIN (KXAN) — U.S. Sen. John Cornyn blamed the COVID-19 outbreak on the Chinese culture saying “people eat bats, snakes, dogs and things like that, that’s why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses” in an interview Wednesday.

Sen. Cornyn’s full comments were recorded by Washington D.C. newspaper, The Hill. Cornyn was responding to a question on whether he supported other politicians calling COVID-19 a “Chinese Virus.”

“China is to blame because the culture where people eat bats & snakes & dogs & things like that, these viruses are transmitted from the animal to the people and that’s why China has been the source of a lot of these viruses like SARS, like MERS, the Swine Flu,” Cornyn said.

As of Wednesday evening, there are at least 193 cases of COVID-19 in Texas and three deaths. At last check, Central Texas has 23 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus.

Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman called Sen. Cornyn’s comments “disgusting.”

“John Cornyn’s comments are disgusting, dangerous, and racist. Asian Americans have already been the victims of hate crimes because of Trump and the Republican Party’s racism. Instead of dog-whistling, Cornyn should do his job to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect families from the impending financial meltdown. Texans will vote Cornyn out in November,” Rahman said in a statement Wednesday.