Bias Watch

Far right evangelicals & pundits’ shocking claims about the coronavirus are nonsense

Donald Trump's reaction to the coronavirus has been predictably dumb.
Photo: Shutterstock

As of today, the global outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 has affected over 77 countries and killed more than 3,100 people. But recent right-wing tweets by President Donald Trump, anti-LGBTQ evangelicals, and other right-wing pundits have shrugged off the pandemic as inconsequential, curable with “snake oil” products, and a mere propaganda ploy to derail the U.S. economy.

Hours after the second confirmed American death from the virus, Trump tweeted a series of memes including vultures picking at Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign logo, an animated GIF of the Wall Street bull’s swinging testicles, and photoshopped images of his political rivals.

Related: White House credentialed journalist blames Wuhan coronavirus on trans kids & sexual immorality

Cindy Jacobs of Generals International, a Texas-based organization that once warned that legalizing same-sex marriage would “radically challenge the boundaries of other sexual practices currently prohibited by law,” said God told her to create a global day of prayer to stop the virus from spreading.

However, God specifically told her that he would only grant her the authority to do so if the prayer was global. She’s asking followers to fast and “Pray that the forces of evil don’t use [the virus] to disrupt the coming awakenings.”

The dependably anti-queer televangelist Pat Robertson recently told viewers that “80% of the immune system is in the gut” in order to hawk a free book, Build a Better Gut, which requires viewers to visit his website and leave their contact information.

While he’s correct that a huge part of the immune system is in the gastrointestinal tract, Robertson makes a dangerous oversimplification by saying that “If your gut is healthy, you don’t have to worry about corona.” That isn’t true: A person with an otherwise “healthy gut” but a weakened immune system can still contract and die from the virus.

Meanwhile, Scott Lively, a man who blames gay people for the Nazi Holocaust and helped shape Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill, recently said, “The coronavirus pandemic is probably going to be not more than just a propaganda campaign, and I’m afraid they’re even going to intentionally infect people to magnify the effect in order to take down the Trump economy — that’s what this is about.”

On his radio show, Fox News shill Sean Hannity echoed Lively’s sentiments, saying, “The Democrats [are] … politicizing, the weaponizing, you know, of this virus to bludgeon the president, when he’s done more more quickly than anybody in modern history to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s like they’re hoping Americans die and get sick and that we all lose a fortune in the stock market because of the jittery stock market.”

Earlier last month, televangelist Jim Bakker said his STI cure – Silver Solution – completely cures the coronavirus in 12 hours even though “it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus.” The product costs $115 on his website, and the website is also required by California state law to tell people that Silver Solution contains chemicals that “cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

How late (and where) can I vote today?

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