Rush Limbaugh claimed on his show that an outbreak of coronavirus in China was being “weaponized” by the news media against President Trump.
“Folks, this coronavirus thing, I want to try to put this in perspective for you,” Limbaugh said.
“It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” he added.
“You think I’m wrong about this? You think I’m missing it by saying that’s … Yeah, I’m dead right on this,” Limbaugh continued.
“The coronavirus is the common cold, folks,” he continued.
These statement occurred during a segment of his show highlighted by the left-leaning watchdog group Media Matters.
Despite its symptoms including a deadly form of pneumonia that has reportedly killed more than 2,000 people in China, Limbaugh likened the disease to the common cold.
“Ninety-eight percent of people who get the coronavirus survive,” he said.
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“It’s a respiratory system virus. It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized,” Limbaugh added.
“All superpower nations weaponize bioweapons,” he concluded.
The Hill reported, “Limbaugh then pointed to large drops in the stock market in recent days thought to be caused by fears of the coronavirus outbreak, and repeated a debunked conspiracy theory that the disease was a released bioweapon.”
“U.S. officials previously told AFP that conspiracy theories about the coronavirus including its alleged origin as a bioweapon were being spread by Russian disinformation sites and troll accounts on social media,” the report added.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has also pointed to similar theories in comments to the media.
There have been over 30 cases reported in the U.S., and coronavirus has spread from China to 29 other countries.