GOP Congressman Floats Racist Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

One of the themes of the Republican Party under the Trump Administration has to be to blame the “other” — namely non-white populations — for our troubles. Now, it is happening with the coronavirus.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly painted it as a “Chinese Virus,” and there have even been rumblings of people calling it the “Kung flu.” There are also all kinds of conspiracy theories floating around regarding its origins, and the racist implications are downright dangerous.

Michael Vadon/Wikimedia

Rep. Peter King (R-New York) is jumping on that bandwagon. During an appearance on NewsMax TV, Rep. King legitimized a conspiracy theory that COVID-19 just may be “some type of chemical and biological warfare” put out by China.

At least this particular theory says it may have been a mistake, but when it comes to how people of Asian descent are treated during this crisis, that matters not.

The host of the interview on the right-wing outlet, Greg Kelly, asked Rep. King if he had any “intelligence” on the origins of the coronavirus. Kelly led King on in his questioning, asking:

“Do you have any concerns about the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus? We mentioned Sen. [Tom] Cotton before. He’s been rather vocal about his theories that this had a sinister origin—biological warfare campaign, perhaps by the Chinese. I know he’s been dismissed. I hear people say, ‘Well, why would they have unleashed it in China?’ China, they’ve killed their own people before, not very long ago, within your lifetime. Is he crazy​, or is there perhaps something to that, or at least worthy of investigation?”

King bit the bait, and leaned full force into the theory, saying:

“I think it’s worthy of investigation, not that they intentionally released it. I can see them working on some type of chemical and biological warfare and have it escape, have it get out. Again, I don’t think they would want it going around the world, also, starting in China. Again, who knows? I don’t think so. I think more likely if they were doing it, it was something that escaped through negligence, through error, and people I’ve spoken to, they have not been able to track that down, they don’t believe that’s the case, but again I don’t trust China at all. They’ve been disgraceful on this from the start, and it raises suspicions about why they wouldn’t let doctors and scientists from other countries go there immediately to try to help out with the situation.”

When the subject of the media’s coverage came up, of course King had to toe the Trump TV line and say that he thinks they are doing a “disservice” by pointing out the bumbling handling of all this by the Trump Administration.

This whole line of conspiracy theories only serves to demonize Asian Americans and does nothing to help control and contain COVID-19. This racism coming from our elected representatives is dangerous and disgraceful. And Republicans wonder why people think they’re a bunch of racists. Maybe it’s because they repeatedly prove that they are.

Watch this bizarre exchange below:

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