Maria Bartiromo Thinks Democrats Are Inventing a New Covid Variant to Help Their Midterm Elections
There’s a persistent trope among the more conspiracy-minded members of right-wing media that new variants of Covid are inventions timed to help Democrats and harm Republicans.
The theory is so obviously silly that it hurts my head to even think about properly fact-checking it. It should not have to be explained why it’s implausible that scientists across the globe are working in tandem with the Democratic Party and the American media to invent new variants of a virus out of whole cloth with the specific aim of winning midterm elections for Democrats.
Covid variants are real, and not an invention of an American political party. The omicron variant, for example, was first discovered in South Africa. What’s more, it’s unclear how a new Covid variant that brings more death and dysfunction to the United States helps Democrats — the party currently in power.
That said, the conspiracy theory has persisted, and on Monday was endorsed by a top anchor at a cable news network.
“What a surprise.. right on schedule … here comes the ‘midterms variant,'” Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo tweeted on Monday.
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) May 9, 2022
Bartiromo made a similar comment to a guest on her Fox Business show Monday morning: “You said, ‘when the Republicans take over’, how about ‘if the Republicans take over,’ because the Washington Post is reporting more Covid on the horizon in fall, as I have been predicting, the midterms variant is on the way.”
Bartiromo based her claim on a Washington Post report that the Biden administration is preparing for a new wave of Covid in the fall and winter:
The Biden administration is warning the United States could see 100 million coronavirus infections and a potentially significant wave of deaths this fall and winter, driven by new omicron subvariants that have shown a remarkable ability to escape immunity.
The projection, made Friday by a senior administration official during a background briefing as the nation approaches a covid death toll of 1 million, is part of a broader push to boost the nation’s readiness and persuade lawmakers to appropriate billions of dollars to purchase a new tranche of vaccines, tests and therapeutics.
The Post did not report on the existence of a new variant. It noted that officials are anticipating a wave of 100 million infections, and that “projections assume that omicron and its subvariants will continue to dominate community spread.”
This is not the first time Bartiromo has suggested variants are liberal.
When fears of the delta variant began spreading in August 2021, Bartiromo said, “It’s all quite convenient with a year to go before the midterm elections.”
“It doesn’t appear the Democrats can win on policy so what are we going to do? Have a lockdown in the summer of 2022 so that we ensure mail-in ballots are flowing from empty parking lots and dead people?” she added.
Between that comment and today, roughly 400,000 more Americans are reported to have died from Covid.
The idea that new variants are introduced to help Democrats is not new to Fox News either.
In November, Fox & Friends Weekend host Rachel Campos-Duffy suggested Democrats are inventing new variants to distract from Pete Buttigieg’s performance as Transportation Secretary.
“And now we see these new variants. So that’s the answer, is more lockdowns, more lockdowns, more fear and therefore doesn’t have to do his job of fixing the supply chain because we’ll just keep this whole thing going,” she said.
“Always a new variant,” co-host Will Cain said, while Pete Hegseth added “you can count on a variant about every October, every two years.”
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