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It Came from China (and Other Fake News)

The common refrain with the Trump administration is “It came from China” when asked about a response to the coronavirus pandemic, as if where it came from would stop people from dying.

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They continue to deny responsibility, nor do they have a plan for combating the virus. Instead, they hold out the promise of vaccines and tout the effectiveness of therapeutics to stave off those who continue to seek answers during these frightening times.

They tout the “travel ban” from China for saving “millions of lives”, when the ban was actually only a restriction on foreign nationals. That led to a flood of Americans returning to the United States, primarily through New York City because it is a major travel hub, resulting in thousands of deaths. The claim that the virus came from China is contradicted by Trump’s own Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which has traced the origins of the illness to travelers returning from Europe, and not China.

And finally, they claimed COVID was only a problem in Democratic-run states, leading to White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner withholding a federal response because it wasn’t about Trump supporters. This is the typical us-against-them reaction that has epitomized the administration’s coronavirus response.

“It Came From China” sounds like the title to the next “Godzilla” movie. Instead, it’s another deflection that the Trump administration is using so his base won’t pay attention to their abysmal response to the pandemic. It’s another COVID conspiracy theory aimed at denying responsibility, or worse yet, refusing to acknowledge those thousands who have died, and the potential of thousands more who will die as we are start to experience the next wave of the pandemic.

While the origins of the virus can be traced to China, the claims that it was engineered in a lab as a bio terrorism weapon continue to permeate right wing websites. (Strangely, these very same websites contradict themselves by claiming the virus is a hoax). By pointing to the origins, Trump is seeking to absolve himself from blame in the deaths of thousands. He did so as recently as the final Presidential debate, when he was asked if he accepted responsibility for these deaths.

In defending his response to the pandemic, Trump repeatedly points to his “travel ban” as proof he took the virus seriously, and even led to preventing more deaths. By pushing their distortion of the facts, Trump is hoping to convince voters that he has done everything possible to combat the illness while he continues to hold potential super spreader events at his mainly maskless campaign rallies.

In typical Trump style, Trump is blaming Democrats, and of course the media, for the rise in cases. His attacks on states with Democratic governors has escalated as he tries to sow division and sway undecided voters prior to Election Day. He is typically ignoring those states with Republicans in charge, which have seen a 70 percent rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

As the campaign is set to end on November 3rd, rhetoric, lies, distortion and fake news continue to spew from multiple sources in this administration, even as there are more and more of its members testing positive for COVID-19.

Americans can ill afford to have much more of this type of “leadership”.

November 3rd.

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