Increasingly, the right-wing narrative about COVID-19 is converging on several key themes, all of which are completely false and highly irresponsible, sad to say. Check out the audio, below, for the spewing of this unhinged narrative by some of the craziest of the crazies on the far-right, appearing this morning on Trumpster radio (“The John Fredericks Show”): 1) Liberty University President Jerry Falwell; 2) former Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA07), now with…yep, Liberty U (natch)! Here are the main points.
- Falwell claims, insanely, that “liberal governors” like Ralph Northam want “everything shut down not because it’s safer but because it destroys the economy”: “President Trump is walking that tightrope and I think he’s gonna make the right decision. My only fear is that he can’t overrule these liberal governors like we have in Virginia and like they have in California in New York where they want everything shut down not because it’s safer but because because it destroys the economy.”
- Falwell also claims, by the way, that Liberty U. was “singled out” by the NY Times because “we’re conservative, we’re Christian University…they don’t like our politics, they don’t like our faith-based University, and it’s so sad when somebody puts their politics, their ideology ahead of public health.” That’s a common theme as well on the far-right, that the “liberal media” has it in for conservatives, Christians, Trump, etc.
- More Falwell: “It’s like Rahm Emanuel said, never let a crisis go to waste…
they’re all about their…socialist ideology and they’ll use any human suffering, any crisis to further their ends…The enemy is real, they really don’t have any care for the well-being of average Americans, they just want power, they’re authoritarian, they’re like nothing like I’ve seen since, if you go back in history, Nazi Germany…they just want to control everybody, they’re socialistic.” Does Falwell actually believe that any liberal, progressive or Democrat actually thinks this way? Yes, frighteningly, he does appear to believe it, despite it being laughably false, a massive case of psychological “projection” on Falwell’s part. And, even more disturbingly, Falwell is NOT the only one on the right saying stuff like this.
- And then there’s this from Falwell: “We’ve got to open the country back up, because the downside…is at some point you reach a tipping point where it’s worse than the virus is itself…President Trump is walking that tightrope and I think he’s gonna make the right decision. My only fear is that he can’t overrule these liberal governors like we have in Virginia and like they have in California and New York, where they want everything shut down, not because it’s safer but because because it destroys the economy…Their hatred for Trump is more important to them than any kind of public health any kind of you know concern for human beings.” That’s right, according to Falwell, Gov. Northam and other governors are shutting down their states not to protect people and the economy from disaster but because they actually want to destroy the economy, presumably to hurt Trump’s chances of reelection. Completely deranged, of course, and also very dangerous and irresponsible rhetoric to be putting out there.
- And then there’s former Rep. Dave Brat, now Dean of the School of Business at…yep, where else but Liberty U…who claims that the liberal media has been “derelict” in not covering the Chinese angle re: COVID-19. And what angle might that be? According to Brat, “this is the story of the, maybe, millenium…first time in 2,000 years Christians couldn’t go to celebrate Easter at church, that’s what the Chinese have done to us…the NY Times and WaPo are just complacent about this because they hate Trump so much…they cannot see the truth, their minds have just been lost.”
- Also, according to Brat, “400,000 Chinese came and visited the United States in January and February, the key months…and the Chinese trade delegation was in the White House shaking hands with our president…when they knew that they had this outbreak up in Wuhan, which houses the biggest bio-lab. It’s beyond accident; there is an active intent here…on the part of China…their hands are all over with intent and cause and purpose…they let the virus get out of control, and now the mainstream media is going after President Trump like it’s his fault instead of reporting the facts.”
- Oh, and why do Democrats supposedly “protect China?” According to Brat, it’s because of the “billionaire class” and also because “the liberal mind cannot fathom” that China is “at war with us.”
- Brat agrees with the Trump radio show host that “every major news network is gaslighting now for the DNC, they even coordinate their headlines…“
On and on it goes, but in these two interviews, you can really see the major themes of the right wingnuts these days with regard to COVID-19. Obviously, it’s not in any way connected to reality, but it’s a narrative, and they are pushing it hard.