The coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage America. Cases are approaching five million with over 160,000 deaths, and yet we have those who disbelieve; those who say it’s all a hoax.
Unlike other countries, that have been able to flatten the curve of deaths, America remains near the top in per capita deaths. Why, with all the industrial might and medical knowledge is America unable to contain the spread of this disease as other countries have done?
The answer lies in Flat-Earth Society #2. Now, it’s not connected to the REAL Flat Earth Society. It is my personal label for those who deny science and facts based upon vague suppositions and unsubstantiated information, just like the actual “flat earthers.” They refuse to wear masks in public, and consider the entire pandemic a plot by left-wingers to defeat Donald J. Trump.
Where do they get these outlandish ideas? Why, from none other than Trump himself and the right wing media; those who propagate such claims.
A major flaw in this theory is, if the sole aim is to prevent Trump’s re-election, then why are there cases worldwide? And why have 163,000 people died from this pandemic in the U.S.?
It is the ultimate non sequitur. They are so wrapped up in their conspiracy theories that they fail to see the obvious flaws in their reasoning.
These people include climate change/science deniers, the religious right, anti-maskers, white supremacists, the alt-right media and the MAGA cult. While each group supports their own reasons, there is certainly overlap in their beliefs.
The Religious Right
When the tenets of your belief system include “Love thy neighbor” and “Do Unto Others”, what could lead them to support a thrice-married serial adulterer with a history of racist remarks, xenophobia and habitual lying?
The answer lies in their deep-seated religious and racial intolerance that had them believing that President Obama was a Muslim and their refusal to accept a person of color as their president. To them, Trump represents “The Great White Hope”. Trump conveniently uses religion whenever it suits his fancy, such as the much maligned photo op in the midst of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
The religious right denies science, choosing instead to believe “the word of God” in the Bible. They support intelligent design and creationism over evolution. They believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old rather than the billions that scientists indicate through their thorough studies.
So, when Trump denies the scientific evidence, the religious right is all too happy to join in. Their historic denial of science conveniently fits into their narrow-minded beliefs. Where others see children in cages, the religious right sees “protecting the borders”. This is a direct anthesis to their “love thy neighbor” tenet.
They continue to oppose social distancing measures aimed at lessening the pandemic by claiming it infringes on their religious freedoms.
According to the CDC, wearing a mask saves lives. CDC estimates that 30,000 lives could have been saved if people had worn masks earlier. Yet, there are those who still refuse to do so, and in some cases have become abusive, both verbally and physicallywhen asked to comply with the rules.
Again, they have found their “hero” in Donald Trump, who has turned the mask issue into a political one. By refusing to wear a mask, Trump rallied his supporters to do the same. To them, wearing a mask is an infringement upon their constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms.
And so the disease continues to run rampant because of their denials. Some say it will never be under control until everyone complies with these simple measures of social distancing and wearing a mask.
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy , he did it in the most racist way possible. By using Mexicans as a scapegoat, he endeared himself to those who identified as white supremacists. His earlier support of bitherism and the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in this country further galvanized their support for Trump. When he called those who shouted “Jews will not replace us!” at Charlottesville “Very fine people”, he became the white supremacists’ savior.
As a result, they refuse to wear masks and even violently oppose the stay-at-home orders that aimed to lessen the spread of the pandemic. Trump openly supported their efforts by Tweeting “Free Michigan” and encouraged their Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, to meet with these heavily armed terrorists.
Alt Right Media
When Trump Tweets one of his outlandish conspiracy theories, the source can invariably be found in some alt right media outlet. Pizzagate, being wiretapped by Obama and even “her e-mails” have their roots in Alex Jones, OAN, and any of a number of similar outlets.
So, when it comes to labeling the coronavirus “a hoax” or calling it the racist “China virus”, you can be sure the source can be found in the alt-right outlets that Trump so readily cites in his Twitter rants. When Trump claims to “know more than...” several reliable sources, he is citing these unsubstantiated sources over those of his own intelligence community.
These disreputable media outlets are regularly making false claims about the coronavirus that Trump is only too happy to share.
The MAGA Cult
When Trump announced that he “loves the poorly educated” after his primary victory in Nevada in 2016, he gave them the hero they wanted. Often maligned for their lack of political knowledge, they saw in Trump another political novice who was ready to take on the system by “draining the swamp” of Washington insiders.
Their idolatry for Trump refused to consider he was wrong in any way. Therefore, when he called the coronavirus a hoax, they readily believed him and followed his example. Sadly, because many of them were considered “essential workers”, they have become one of the largest groups of those who have contracted the illness.
There are so many that refuse to acknowledge the dangers posed by the coronavirus. These people, collectively known as the Flat-Earth Society #2 have resulted in the needless deaths of thousands due to their refusal to accept facts. Until this faction can be brought under control, the virus will continue to run rampant…and many more will die.