Rush Limbaugh followed in the footsteps of several fellow conservative commentators Thursday by casting doubt on the number of deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The syndicated radio host and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient claimed during his latest broadcast that governments are inclined to inflate the pandemic’s death toll to advance their agendas.
Prefacing his comments by acknowledging they were mere conjecture, Mr. Limbaugh touted an article written by a retired British doctor who recently questioned the scientific models being used by governments to formulate their response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s admittedly speculation, but his point, what if we are recording a bunch of deaths to coronavirus which really should not be chalked up to coronavirus?” he asked during “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
“People die on this planet every day from a wide variety of things. But because the coronavirus is out there, got everybody paranoid, governments are eager, almost, to chalk up as many deaths to coronavirus as they can because then it furthers the policies they have put in place by virtue of their models,” Mr. Limbaugh added.
More than 5,000 people have died in the U.S. since the first domestic case of COVID-19, the infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, was reported in late January. The White House has accordingly urged Americans to avoid gathering in groups, and most states have issued stay-at-home orders subjecting the majority of the nation’s population to drastic travel and businesses restrictions, effectively shuttering countless establishments across the country.
Health experts leading the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic revealed earlier this week modeling indicates COVID-19 may kill as many as 100,000 to 240,000 people within the U.S.
Several conservative media personalities have recently suggested the disease is not as deadly as reported, however.
Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, the right-wing commentators better known respectively as Diamond and Silk, claimed over the weekend that members of the media have tried to attack President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic by exaggerating the number of people killed by COVID-19.
“Watch everything increase because they wanted to make it look bad in front of our eyes,” Ms. Richardson said during an internet broadcast Sunday.
More recently, Fox News’ Brit Hume claimed Wednesday on Twitter that New York has “inflated” the number of COVID-19 deaths reported within the state.
Mr. Limbaugh, 69, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, shortly after disclosing in February that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
He claimed on his radio show several days later that COVID-19 is the same as the common cold and that it was being “weaponized” by Democrats and the media to “bring down” Mr. Trump’s presidency.
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