The propagandists at Fox News must be getting pretty desperate for potential pseudo-scandals to gin up against President Biden and the Democrats. Every attempt they have made to malign the President has resulted in an embarrassing blowback that drenched themselves in their own slime.
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Ever since Republicans assumed their razor thin majority in the House of Representatives, they have tried to defame Biden as a mastermind of corruption and/or a flailing incompetent. But for some reason their preposterous characterizations of him as a flailing mastermind of corrupt incompetence don't seem to be sticking. Perhaps that's because they have zero evidence of any wrongdoing and are utterly incapable of advancing their ludicrous allegations.
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Consequently, Fox News is scraping the bottom of the barrel for new bullpucky to throw at Biden. They are now seeking to reprise long ago debunked conspiracy theories that failed to do any damage to Biden when they were originally offered up as outrage fodder for the feeble-minded MAGA cult. On Fox News' "Mornings with Maria Bartiromo," the Trump-fluffing host asked her guest, Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a question that reeks of the bile that Bartiromo is so well known for...
Bartiromo: Is there a chance that China released this virus on America intentionally? Disrupt the country. Get Donald Trump out. Get your man in there, Joe Biden. And they cover it up.
Wenstrup: Well they certainly didn't try to protect America, did they? So whether it was intentional or accidental, they seemed to be aware of it. And as I recall - and I could be wrong on this - President Xi was telling Donald Trump everything's okay. And Donald Trump was repeating everything that President Xi said. Now Democrats call president Trump a liar, but it seems that he was just repeating what President Xi said and, obviously, it was more dangerous.
There's a lot of asininity to unpack in there. Let's begin with the fact that is beyond absurd to suggest that China created a virus that would kill more than a million of their own citizens, and tens of millions of others around the world, just so they could upset a single election in the United States. What's more, why would they want to get rid of Trump, who had done a lot of business in China, and has been an ardent admirer of its president, Xi Jinping?
As for Wenstrup's reply, he seems to think that it was China's obligation to protect America from COVID, rather than the duty of Trump, the alleged American president. And Wenstrup went on to assert that Trump's role in protecting Americans consisted solely of "repeating what President Xi said." Which is a pretty harsh criticism of Trump that Wenstrup doesn't seem to notice. But actually, it was worse than that. Trump effusively - and repeatedly - praised Xi for his efforts to safeguard the world from the deadly pandemic. He said that...
China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!
[President Xi] will be successful, especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone. Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!"
As late as February 29, 2020, Trump was still impressed that "China seems to be making tremendous progress. Their numbers are way down." And in his own remarks, Trump relentlessly downplayed the known dangers of the virus:
- “We have it very much under control in this country.”
- “It’s going to be just fine.”
- “It’s one person coming in from China.”
- “We’re doing a great job with it.”
- “It’s going to have a very good ending for us.”
- “We’re in great shape.”
- “We have 12 cases - 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.”
- “Just stay calm. It will go away.”
- “You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
- “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”
Most of those remarks were made when Trump already knew they were lies. He revealed in tape recorded comments to Bob Woodward - for his book RAGE! - that he knew just how dangerous the virus was, saying that...
"You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus. This is deadly stuff. [...] I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down."
So even if it was a Chinese plot - especially if it was a Chinese plot - it would have been the duty of American leadership to foil it. Instead, it was Trump’s negligence, incompetence, and deliberate malfeasance, that was most responsible for the spread of the pandemic in the U.S. And Trump was aided by a cowed Republican Party that obediently devoured everything their Dear Leader excreted.
Back then, as now, Fox News played its role as Trump’s Ministry of Disinformation. And then, as now, they couldn't care less who gets hurt.