Bias Watch

White House-credentialed pundit says God sent coronavirus to kill Jews

Rick Wiles
Rick Wiles Photo: Vimeo screenshot/RightwingWatch

Rick Wiles of the website TruNews has continued his far-right conspiracy theories around coronavirus, now saying that coronavirus is God’s way of “dealing with people who oppose his son, Jesus Christ.” That is, Jews.

Wiles was discussing how the government of Israel is considering a lockdown in order to stop the spread of the virus, a measure that many other countries have already taken, and telling people to stay away from places of worship where the virus can be easily spread, another measure that majority-Christian countries in Europe took weeks ago.

Related: White supremacists are trying to give Jews coronavirus while Trump supporters take aim at Italians

“This is a report from Israel,” Wiles said, waving his hands about how not-anti-Semitic he is. “That’s not an anti-Israel report!… They are admitting that the virus clusters are in the synagogues.”

Wiles made national headlines earlier this year when his website got White House press credentials, and Wiles has already blamed transgender children and gay activists for the spread of the virus in the U.S.

Now he’s blaming Jews.

“Stay out of those things [synagogues],” he continued. “There’s a plague in them. God’s dealing with false religions. God’s dealing with people  who oppose his son, Jesus Christ. He’s dealing with the forces of Antichrist.”

“There is a plague moving upon the Earth right now, and the people that are going into the synagogues are coming out of the synagogues with the virus.”

Wiles asked his co-host Doc Burkhart what if this happened “in Old Testament times,” and Burkhart said that it would be an “earmark [sic] of judgment.”

Burkhart said, “In Israel, more than a quarter of coronavirus patients – 25% of the coronavirus patients – had attended synagogue.” He did not cite a source for that statistic.

“What should that tell you?” Burkhart asked, as if the answer would be anything other than “Many people in Israel are Jewish.”

Wiles said that Jews in the U.S. are also spreading coronavirus.

“In fact in New York, one of the problems Mayor [Bill] De Blasio is dealing with is that the Jewish community is not heeding the calls to stop congregating and that they’ve been determined to keep meeting in the synagogues,” he said.

Wiles then brought up the several cases of coronavirus among the participants at a conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this month.

“It’s gonna spread across America from AIPAC,” Wiles said. Six people who attended the conference were diagnosed with coronavirus. So far, around 60,000 people in the U.S. have gotten the virus.

“Let me tell you Mr. [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Wiles concluded. “God is spreading it in your synagogues! You are under judgment because you oppose his son, Jesus Christ. That is why you have a plague in your synagogues.”

“Repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and the plague will stop.”

While it may seem worth pointing out that Italy took measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus that included limiting Christian church services and that Italy – not Israel – is also the country that has had the most deaths from coronavirus so far, far-right extremists have already said that that’s because those countries have many Catholics instead of Protestants.

“Catholic Church not having holy water in the lobby — how holy is the water then?” said American televangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth earlier this month. “That should be a sign to you that your whole religion’s a fraud,”

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