Rush Limbaugh downplayed the severity of the coronavirus outbreak during his radio show Wednesday afternoon, even as the World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic.
After Limbaugh warned listeners of the “many red flags about things happening out there,” the recent Medal of Freedom recipient said that the panic surrounding growing fears of the coronavirus outbreak is “just not warranted.”
Limbaugh then launched into a rant comparing the coronavirus to the common cold, which he said he concluded “based on the number of cases” and “the kind of virus this is.”
“Why do you think this is ‘COVID-19’? This is the 19th coronavirus,” Limbaugh said. “They’re not uncommon. Coronaviruses are respiratory cold and flu viruses.” In fact, the 19 refers to the year 2019, when it was discovered.
Limbaugh went on to blame the media for the panic.
“There is nothing about this, except where it came from, and the itinerant media panic that — you can’t blame people reacting the way they’re reacting, if they pay any, even scant attention to the media,” Limbaugh said. “If you read just two or three media headlines a day — pick one, pick two, pick three at random — you’re going to think that if you leave your home you’ve got a good chance of dying — and you don’t.”
Limbaugh added that what he finds “really more scary than anything” is how some Americans “seem to be OK” with giving into the panic.
“Some Americans, I don’t know how many it is, seem to be OK with being told they can’t do this, and they can’t go there and you’ve got to stay here, and we’re gonna quarantine you there, and we’re gonna wrap you up over there, we’re gonna put you in this cocoon here, and you can’t leave and you — ‘Okay, okay, fine with me!'” Limbaugh said. “No, not OK.”
Limbaugh’s remarks were aired the same day that the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus, is now considered a pandemic.
Listen to Limbaugh’s remarks below: