Coronavirus Causing Right-Wing PanDUMBic Of Epidemic Proportions, GET IT? GET IT? GET IT?
As the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to spread around the world, public health experts are doing all they can to research and track the disease, inform people what they can do to reduce their risk of exposure, and to keep people from unduly panicking. But undue panic is also a very profitable business model, so yeah, we're getting a great big honkin' dose of that, too! Fortunately, panic never causes people to do stupid things, as we know from all the times no one has ever shot a family member they thought was a burglar.
For starters, Tucker Carlson, Fox News's racist Fear Whisperer, explained last night that the whole problem with Covid-19 is that America is too damn diverse.
For weeks the media told you it was wrong to worry about the coronavirus, a mysterious, highly communicable lethal disease spreading rapidly around the world. If that concerns you in any way, if you think maybe we ought to take some steps to protect ourselves from it, then you're a bigot.
Coronavirus panic is "racist profiling against Asians," lectured some arrogant moron at Slate.com. A writer for The Seattle Times warned that, quote, "yellow peril racism" was the real epidemic fear, and so on.
Guess what? Neither the Slate nor the Seattle Times pieces actually said racism was worse than coronavirus. But yeah, they did point out some pretty horrible examples of people being horribly racist, like a Costco samples hander-outer refusing to serve a Chinese kid. Instead, they pointed out that it's dumb to stay away from Chinese restaurants, since people who live in the USA and have been busy working aren't bloody likely to spread coronavirus, and folks returning from China are being screened.
Carlson went on to explain that the biggest danger to America is the disease of "wokeness," which will surely murder us all, like an MS-13 member with a machete soaked in Ebola virus:
Countless publications wagged their fingers in the face of readers, and told them it was irrational, probably immoral in fact to worry about the coronavirus than the annual flu.
Identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time. Wokeness is a cult. They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength.
Look, just because flu kills thousands in the US every year, that's no reason not to freak out every time you see an Asian person. Thank god white people never spread diseases.
Carlson isn't alone, though he certainly has the biggest platform. Betsy McCaughey, Patient Zero for the notion that Obamacare would euthanize your Mom-Mom, opined earlier this month that "You can't fight an epidemic with political correctness," which is good to know, because we were this close to giving up on even writing about the epidemic when we didn't even know yet what its preferred pronouns are. Let's not forget that McCaughey has pulled this shit before, when she blamed the Disneyland measles outbreak on foreigners without any evidence.
Over at rightwing blog The National Interest, the unfortunately named Roger Bate complained that the World Health Organization was a bunch of pussies for naming the virus "Covid-19" instead of something that specifically mentioned China, because obviously if it had a name making it sound scarier to Normal Americans, then "we" would constantly be reminded the disease arose among the filthy food markets of Wuhan, and could demand China be cleaner -- although scientists were already disputing whether that was true in late January. Golly, with such a boring name, racists may have to remember to shun Asian people on their own, and some may need reminders. Can Twitter possibly keep up with the demand?
Elsewhere in the wingnuttosphere, antisemitic pastor Rick Wiles explained that China could get rid of the epidemic through one simple measure: All president Xi Jinping has to do is accept Jesus and make everyone in China convert too, and Covid-19 will go away! After all, if China weren't the home of godless communism, it would have no diseases at all, pretty much like in the USA where everyone is Christian and all we worry about is gay people causing hurricanes.
You have a plague, Mr. Xi Jinping. You brought it on China. Now do the right thing and repent, and tell the Chinese people you are sorry, you made a mistake, you repent, and ask them to put up in their homes the painting of Jesus Christ.
Watch what happens if you do it! The plague will stop!
If Chinese people put those Ted Nugent Jesus paintings in their houses, the "plague will stop"? Like the virus is just going to turn around like "oh fuck!"
You, Mr. Xi, turn to Jesus. You give your heart to Jesus Christ. You repent of your sins. You believe on His name, and you lead China to the cross. Do it, Mr. Xi. Do it for your people. Don't be a fool. Lead China to Jesus. Lead them to salvation. The plague will stop.
That is simply how diseases work, as any fool knows.
And finally, for a look at where Tucker Carlson will undoubtedly be within a few months: in Italy, far-right former interior minister Matteo Salvini took advantage of the rising number of coronavirus cases in that country to accuse President Giuseppe Conte of failing to "defend Italy and Italians" from the disease and the pernicious foreigns who spread it. Which, in Salvini's head, has to be African refugees, because apparently they're way scarier than Asians.
Salvini, saying Italy's borders need to be "iron plated," railed against the decision to let a rescue ship dock in Sicily with 276 Africans it had saved from drowning in the Mediterranean. Mind you, the refugees have fuck-all to do with the coronavirus, but when did mere facts ever stop a demagogue?
The rescued asylum seekers were placed in isolation for two weeks to check for coronavirus, while the crew were confined to the ship. None of the cases in Italy, so far, have been linked to African migrants.
In Genoa, Salvini nonetheless called the government "irresponsible" for allowing the ship to dock since it carried people from Africa, "where the presence of the virus was confirmed." The Guardian notes that exactly one case has been identified on the whole continent, in Egypt. Boy, we bet Salvini's really pushing for a ban on travel from the USA, where there have been 53 times as many confirmed cases!
In conclusion we are ending this roundup now before some other rightwing thought leader becomes a stupidity vector. Not looking at the Twitter feeds of any of 'em, you can't make us.
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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.