Not one to be left out of the coronavirus conspiracy theory talk, Eric Trump appeared in an interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro on Saturday to offer his two cents about the global health crisis. During the segment, the young Trump weighed in on why even a pandemic affecting millions of people globally is all about critics trying to keep his father from a second term as president. Forget analysis from experienced health experts, infection rate and death toll data, or how viruses work, and enter Eric Trump.
Claiming that COVID-19 will cease to be a problem after Election Day, Trump accused Democrats of conspiring to blow the coronavirus out of proportion in order to justify keeping states closed so his father wouldn’t be able to hold rallies and campaign before the election in November.
“They think they’re taking away Donald Trump’s greatest tool, which is being able to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every single time,” said Trump. “You watch – they’ll milk it every single day between now and November 3. And guess what? After November 3, coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen. They’re trying to deprive him of his greatest asset.”
So, the reason Democratic governors are attempting to systematically roll back stay-at-home orders and slowly reopening states has nothing to do with avoiding a dangerous second surge of the coronavirus, but rather they are trying to keep President Donald Trump from holding campaign rallies?
Trump's position may not be as elaborate as the “Plandemic” theory, but for any good conspiracy to have legs, all it needs is an audience and a loose grasp of the facts. And, this isn’t a perspective that only existing in the far corners or the internet or circulated on QAnon. Rather, President Trump’s own son is waxing subterfuge on a national television network loyally frequented by conservative voters. From what appeared on screen, this all aired without any pushback or fact-checking. However, it's important to bear in mind that this most recent theory is coming from the same Eric Trump who believed Ellen Degeneres was somehow involved with a deep state shadow government.
Instead of probing or pacifying Trump’s claim, Pirro took the theory one step further by suggesting that Democrats are using the virus as a reason to expand mail-in voting in an attempt to steal elections from Republicans. “It’s a fear that’s being instilled,” said Pirro, matching Trump’s tone. “Are people buying it, though?”
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s team was quick to respond to Trump’s conspiracy theory. “We’re in the middle of the biggest public health emergency in a century, with almost 90,000 Americans dead, 1.5 million infected, and 36 million workers newly jobless,” Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield told The Washington Post.
“So for Eric Trump to claim that the coronavirus is a political hoax that will ‘magically’ disappear is absolutely stunning and unbelievably reckless.” Bedingfield further accused the Trump administration of being “desperate to do whatever they can to throw up a smokescreen to try to conceal his historic mismanagement of this crisis.”
Still, this theory isn't the first of its kind. Eric Trump's suggestion that Democrats are responsible for states remaining closed in an attempt to block his father from campaigning is one in a series of recent conspiracy theories emerging. The “plandemic” became one of the most widely spread pieces of misinformation about the coronavirus to date. The theory alleges that the virus was created in a lab by government scientists, led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. And we can’t forget “Obamagate” — the president's relentless jab at former president Barack Obama over a variety of conspiracies (which he relentlessly tweets about).
It seems now that Eric Trump is simply joining the ranks of a laundry list of conspiracists who are pointing figures regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak rather than dealing with it head on.