The wackos are coming out of the woodwork in response to the coronavirus pandemic. They are conjuring demons where none exist and looking for every excuse imaginable to avoid confronting the real demon staring them in the face — the virus itself. Their antics would be good for a laugh if the life-and-death stakes weren't so serious.
In Britain, rumors are circulating that 5G cellphone towers transmit the virus. So people are setting fire to their neighborhood towers. In the United States, actors Woody Harrelson and John Cusack have embraced the cellphone-tower theory.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is now under federal protection because of threats linked to rampant conspiracy theories. His biggest apparent offense was contradicting President Donald Trump's baseless assertions about coronavirus cures and the duration of this pandemic.
Trump, shrugging off advice from Fauci and other top health advisers on the Coronavirus Task Force, insists that the drug hydroxychloroquine, can be effective in saving the lives of coronavirus patients. Fauci doesn't dispute the possibility but insists that the drug needs rigorous testing to ensure it doesn't wind up doing more harm than good. But because of his reluctance to back Trump, conservative commentators have taken to labeling Fauci a "murderer," as one St. Louis-area radio host did locally two weeks ago. The result is that a man whose job is to save others' lives now must rely on federal agents to keep himself alive.
Then there are the coronavirus deniers, or "truthers," who are convinced that this entire pandemic has been concocted. The refrigerator morgue trucks outside New York City hospitals are mere props, they contend. They urge fellow deniers to record ambulance arrivals at their local emergency-room entrances to "expose" that this is a hoax.
"They are very quiet & EMPTY," conservative conspiracist DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero tweeted in reference to two Los Angeles-area hospitals she was monitoring. "We are not being told the truth. Why?? Let's get #FilmYourHospital trending. We ARE the news now. We can't trust the news. Post pics of ur hospital here!"
Many of these are the same folks who publicly doubted the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 and suggested grieving parents and the horrified young children at the scene were just actors.
In Idaho, anti-government rancher Ammon Bundy led the call on Easter for churchgoers to ignore social distancing guidelines (he calls them "martial law"). Some Idaho conservative politicians suggest the pandemic is concocted.
"The lying, Trump-hating media who continues to push global and socialist agendas has told us that there is an emergency," one skeptic, state Rep. Heather Scott, said in a YouTube message. (A message recorded, by the way, as Scott observed stay-at-home precautions concocted by the lying, Trump-hating media.) She might be paranoid, but hey, she's not crazy.
REPRINTED FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
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