Looking at hard evidence in response to conspiracy theories

A coronavirus testing station in San Francisco, March 12, 2020 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty)

There’s been a disturbing rise of coronavirus “trutherism” from the Federalist, Rush Limbaugh, Brit Hume, various Fox News personalities, and other right-wing media figures. While I’d normally be content to mock conspiracy theorists — I set up a Twitter account to make fun of bad COVID-19 takes — spreading false information about the pandemic is dangerous, and merits rebuttal.

To be clear: legitimate policy disagreements about the coronavirus exist, and these are not my target. Some pundits forthrightly admit that their preferred approach to dealing with COVID-19 would likely lead to tens of thousands of additional deaths. …

The name. Not the virus.

President Trump recently began calling the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 “Chinese virus.” Asked about his use of the term, which at least anecdotally fuels prejudice against ethnic minorities, Trump insisted it could not be racist “because [the virus] comes from China. I want to be accurate.” In the middle of a pandemic, the White House is picking fights about what the pandemic should be called.

Trump’s defenders argue that “Wuhan virus” and “Chinese coronavirus” have always been common terms for COVID-19. Mainstream media has used similar terms in the past, and according to conservative commentator Stephen L. …

Frank Bednarz

Attorney. Opinions my own.

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