Why Are Republicans So Obsessed With the Origins of COVID-19?

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Opinions & Commentary

A view of Wuhan as seen looking east. Photo: Andrew Horne, Wiki Commons

Why Are Republicans So Obsessed With the Origins of COVID-19?

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Opinions & Commentary

A view of Wuhan as seen looking east. Photo: Andrew Horne, Wiki Commons
Republicans are trying to wash the blood of over a million dead Americans from Covid off their hands by shifting the blame of their mismanagement and criminal negligence elsewhere—anywhere they can.

Recent increased speculation in the press that the Covid-19 pandemic started as a lab leak in Wuhan, China, has various Republican and far-righties screaming octaves higher with demands for apologies, reparations or other inanities.

The most level-headed report came from the New York Times,

New intelligence has prompted the Energy Department to conclude that an accidental laboratory leak in China most likely caused the coronavirus pandemic, though U.S. spy agencies remain divided over the origins of the virus, American officials said on Sunday.

The conclusion was a change from the department’s earlier position that it was undecided on how the virus emerged.

As you can see, this essentially means that there was a change in suspicions as to where the pandemic originated, not—as some right wing ranters are claiming—a confirmation of it as a fact.

But the Republican and far-right reaction poses numerous questions: Why is where the virus came from so important to these folks? Does that information somehow change the outcome? Does it change the fact that millions of people became infected around the world and died from it? Does it change the fact that we still have to be cognizant of Covid’s existence and take precautions? The answer to all of these questions is, “No!”

So, what’s the deal? Here’s an opinion on the subject: Republicans are trying to wash the blood of over a million dead Americans from their hands by shifting the blame of their mismanagement and criminal negligence elsewhere—anywhere they can.

A quick review of what was done in some other countries when Covid came on the scene paints an interesting comparison. New Zealand locked down its borders and society and had few cases and deaths. Same deal with Taiwan. Sweden went the other way with what the right wingers claimed was the brilliant solution of “herd immunity.” Turns out there is no herd immunity from a virus that you can get more than once—but there is herd stupidity. Russia, UK, France, Germany and Italy did not fare so well. But all of the Covid deaths in those countries combined are still less than the number of Americans who died from it.

The American response to Covid was more than just a study in ineptitude. Early on in the pandemic, the American response was less than anything other countries exhibited. Trump’s own response to the pandemic set the tone for the rest of his administration. In early February of 2020, he gave an interview in which he was recorded saying that he knew the disease was very dangerous and could be transmitted through the air. A month later he began claiming the pandemic was a hoax perpetrated by Democrats.

Meanwhile an estimated 25 million people entered the United States with not even a temperature check on entry.

It is easy to see in retrospect that the early inaction in responding to the dangers of Covid resulted in taking extraordinary and necessary public health measures. And, as we all saw, the same crowd that was shouting, “Hoax” and “plandemic” was also labeling the measures taken to save their lives as oppression. Some of the voices who shouted against masks, social distancing and vaccines have now been silenced by Covid itself. And that irony still flies right over the heads of the Q-publicans in Congress who want to tie up time and energy with, “I told you so” over the suspected leak from a lab in Wuhan.

It is less than a coincidence that the Members of Congress shouting the loudest are also those who overtly or covertly participated in the January 6th insurrection. All utterances from these folks seem to be designed to take attention away from their crimes, their treason and the fact that they do not qualify to occupy their offices. Also being obscured is that some of them profited from the situation in various ways: investments in personal protection equipment stocks, PPP loans to their “companies” that were then forgiven. Corruption? It can’t be! In any case, the health and safety of the American public was the farthest thing from their minds. And that remains true today.

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.

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