Fox News has been really big on warning its viewers there's an epidemic out there: an outbreak of terrible Democrats trying to destroy Donald Trump by claiming the administration is not up to speed on handling the coronavirus outbreak.

On "Fox & Friends" this morning, proud non-hand-washer Pete Hegseth told viewers Democrats are "rooting for coronavirus to spread" so it will harm Trump's re-election campaign, because that's just how insane and evil they are.

And listen, I don't want to say this, it's not, it doesn't -- I don't relish the reality, but you start to feel -- you really do, watch the Democrats, watch the media -- you start to feel like they're rooting for coronavirus to spread. And I don't say that flippantly, I really don't, but they're rooting for it to grow, they're rooting for the problem to get worse, they're rooting for mysteries, unknown cases, quarantines, towns, for it to become an absolute national crisis for one reason and one reason alone. They have yet to find a reason to try to drag down the presidency of Donald Trump.

Hegseth went on to say what America really needs to do is to come together and start "pointing the finger exactly where it should be, which is at China, which has not contained this [...] and that's become something we should all agree on" -- so we can all support the administration, which is trying to keep us safe.

The same basic point was pushed by Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, (acting) chief of staff, and the newest member of the coronavirus task force, who explained at CPAC today that the administration actually ended coronavirus last month by stopping flights from China, but nobody noticed, you see.

"Why didn't you hear about it? What was still going on four or five weeks ago? Impeachment, and that's all the press wanted to talk about" [...]

"The press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president," Mulvaney concluded. "The reason you're seeing so much attention to [the coronavirus] today is that they think this is going to be what brings down the president. That's what this is all about."

Wow, we'd have sworn we actually saw a trial and everything, but apparently even that was a hoax, just like the coronavirus!

Mulvaney went on to explain that the best way to calm the record stock market downturn sparked by fears of the epidemic's economic impact would be to just ignore the virus so it will have time to go away, possibly through the "miracle" Donald Trump predicted yesterday. He said he'd told a reporter exactly how he'd settle everyone down:

I'm like, "Really what I might do today [to] calm the markets is tell people turn their televisions off for 24 hours."

Not that you'd want to watch anything but Fox News anyway, where the coverage has focused on the evil Democrats trying to scare people about the virus to hurt Donald Trump, and of course where Tucker Carlson has been blaming the disease on foreign people and diversity.

By the way, later Friday in a House hearing, in a testy-ass exchange with Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to say Mick Mulvaney was wrong when he called coronavirus a "hoax," because that is a "gotcha" question.

Then he waddled off to CPAC, where people don't hold him accountable and the questions aren't hard.

But back to Fox News!

Just today, Fox had the Hegseth bit, as well as another "Fox & Friends" segment where Donald Trump Jr. agreed Dems "seemingly hope that it comes here, and kills millions of people so they can end Donald Trump's streak of winning," calling that a "new level of sickness," because duh, anyone who opposes Trump is evil and wants people to get sick. He even added a very funny joke! "I don't know if this is coronavirus or Trump Derangement Syndrome, but these people are infected badly."

Fox's serious and real news website also featured a story on Geraldo Rivera saying in a radio interview yesterday that -- get ready for it -- he is

deeply disappointed in the response of Democrats who have chosen to weaponize this apolitical virus. Shame on them for what they have done. They have attempted to use this to ridicule the president and to campaign against him. Shame on them.

Then there was the charming Tucker Carlson column today explaining that instead of studying things that matter, the CDC was studying dumb liberal stuff like "social determinants of health in a diverse neighborhood in Georgia" two years ago, which he proclaimed had turned up "Nothing that helps us fight a rising pandemic." It had to be worthless, because after all, "diverse" was in the description. He also had nothing but scorn for "Another $300,000.00 CDC grant funded to look at how an American Indian tribe in Washington State could improve health outcomes by eating traditional foods." Like American Indians are even real!

He explained that while doctors may want to study disease prevention, they're actually ordered to study dumb diversity stuff instead because of identity politics, and if coronavirus spreads, it will be because liberals prevented the CDC from doing its job.

Does Carlson mention Trump's decision to gut HHS's leadership for pandemic planning? Of course not. That was just smart management, we suppose.

The unrelenting focus on how those dirty liberals are politicizing the disease outbreak prompted this tweet from a Daily Kos editor this morning:

Well ha-ha Herman, Ms. Liberal! By the time we looked at Fox's website, it had an entire one story on prevention, so there!

Sure, it went up this morning, and it's video-only, with no accompanying article, but it mentions prevention, at least after a clip showing Mike Pence taking charge of keeping America safe. The Fox News doctor, Marc Siegel, talked a lot more about the current lack of test kits for coronavirus, which sure sounded like an attempt to bring down Trump by saying the administration isn't ready for the challenge, but eventually he did say you should wash your hands and disinfect surfaces, so that surely balances out the week of bullshit so far, don't you think? He also said categorically that no one who's sick should go to work, without noting that isn't exactly easy if you're not a Fox News correspondent.

And now, the Fox News front page is back to normal, with this up top, and the prevention video still in the sidebar.

Hmm. We know what we're washing our hands of.

[Media Matters / Fox News / NBC News / Fox News / Fox News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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