Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh claims the global coronavirus outbreak is being “exaggerated” and “lied about” in an attempt to make President Donald Trump look bad. He also compared the virus coverage to that of hurricanes, the Russia investigation and impeachment hearings.
But Limbaugh ― a hurricane truther who repeatedly tries to downplay approaching storms ― put most of his effort into the weather comparison.
“Just as a hurricane is exaggerated and built-up, lied about before anybody knows its true strength and nature in order to advance a political agenda ― i.e., climate change ― coronavirus is being used to advance the agenda,” Limbaugh said, per a transcript on his website.
The supposed agenda: Trump doesn’t care, is incompetent, isn’t taking the crisis seriously enough and any deaths related to the infection could be blamed on the president.
However, Limbaugh also tried to imply that he was not disputing the dangers of coronavirus, either.
“Don’t attribute things to me that I’m not saying,” Limbaugh said on Tuesday after mimicking someone about to complain that he was minimizing the illness. “I’m saying exactly what I mean to say and I love hearing myself say what I say because I’m right.”
Limbaugh has previously dismissed coronavirus as a minor ailment.
“I’m dead right on this,” he said two weeks ago. “The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”
Limbaugh has a long history of dismissing hurricanes and claiming they’re part of a media conspiracy. In 2017, days after making similar claims about Hurricane Irma, Limbaugh evacuated his Florida home, which was in the path of the storm. He said the storm was used to “create fear and panic” and push an agenda about climate change. Ultimately, Irma did between $42.5 billion and $64 billion in damage, according to one analysis. That made it one of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.
Last month, Limbaugh announced that he had advanced lung cancer. Trump also gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
See more of his comments about coronavirus below, as posted online by Media Matters: