On Saturday, the Republican senator taped a speech for graduates at Fremont High School. During the speech, Sasse condemned psychologists and blamed "thugs in China" for the coronavirus pandemic.
Per BuzzFeed, Sasse's speech moved a board member to demand an apology from him. The member claimed Sasse's comments were "despicable" and the school district also released a statement regarding the speech, explaining that the "words spoken belong to the individual that said them, not the school district."
Additionally, the Nebraska Counseling Association responded to Sasse's speech calling it "tasteless."
"We wonder if you understand the importance of psychologists and the role that mental health plays in America today," the NCA said.
Along with throwing several jabs at China, Sasse also claimed students aren't missing anything by not having a high school graduation.
"Nobody—and by 'nobody' I mean nobody—remembers anything about their high school graduation," Sasse said. "In fact, a lot of us spend a lot of our lives trying to forget as much about high school as possible. You know what I mean. You remember sophomore year. You don't want those memories defining you."
A spokesperson for Sasse blamed the outrage on "politically addicted folks" who are looking to nitpick things the senator said. Sasse is a 1990 graduate of Fremont High and feels like the graduating seniors are not as "sensitive" as people assume.