Some prominent Trump-supporting media personalities are already trying to defend the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic by questioning the official number of people who have died after being infected.
As documented by Media Matters researcher Jason Campbell, right-wing radio host Mark Levin this week suggested that the official coronavirus body count tallies shouldn’t be taken at face value because there’s no way of knowing whether someone who died shortly after getting infected really died from the virus.
“I cannot find anywhere the definition of what it means to die from this virus,” Levin said on Monday. “In other words, if I got into the hospital, and I already have a very, very bad heart, and I’m not given a lot of time, and I have this virus and it puts me over the edge, does that count as dying from heart failure, heart disease, or a heart attack — or the virus? I don’t know!”
Levin wasn’t alone, however, as Campbell also found that Trump-loving Fox Nation hosts Diamond and Silk also said this week that the death toll is being exaggerated to damage Trump politically.
“In a matter of two weeks, a thousand people supposedly died from the coronavirus,” Rochelle “Silk” Richardson said this week. “But it took 39 days, from January up until February… for the first person to die!”
Richardson then said that the media deliberately made the number of COVID-19 deaths go up after Trump announced that he wanted to see the country reopened by Easter “to make him look bad.”
In reality, the increase in deaths from the virus was projected by scientific models to increase between now and Easter, so it’s not surprising that the number of deaths skyrocketed shortly after Trump made his since-retracted announcement about reopening the country by April 12th.
Watch the videos below.
Mark Levin says coronavirus numbers are misleading, claiming “I cannot find anywhere the definition of what it means to die from this virus” pic.twitter.com/hYFlL2m1NU
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 31, 2020
Diamond & Silk are speculating coronavirus deaths are being inflated to make Trump look bad pic.twitter.com/hBnB7422UP
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 30, 2020
Idaho’s Trump-loving lieutenant governor declares war on state’s GOP governor over COVID-19 shutdown
Idaho's lieutenant governor has gone to war with her state's governor -- fellow Republican -- over coronavirus shutdown orders.
Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin has gone after Gov. Brad Little, who has ordered bars to stay closed until at least June 13, angering the lieutenant governor whose family owns The Celt Pub and Grill, reported The Daily Beast.
“As Lieutenant Governor, I am one heartbeat away from the governor’s chair,” McGeachin wrote. "[We were] sidelined and left to watch silently as the government closed Main Street by unilaterally deciding which businesses were ‘essential’ and which ones were not.”
Major hospital chains reap billions in federal bailout money while sitting on piles of cash: report
According to a report from the New York Times, a substantial amount of federal funds that were designated to support hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic ended up being shipped off to major hospital chains already flush with cash in the bank.
The report begins by noting that Providence Health System, one of the country’s largest and richest hospital chains, was the recipient of $509 million in government aide even though the company is loaded with so much money it invests its excess cash and reaps big rewards.
WATCH: Staten Island grocery shoppers drive out woman who refuses to wear a mask in the store
A group of angry shoppers at a Staten Island ShopRite were captured on video driving out a woman in the store who refused to wear a face mask.
The 20-second video clip shows masked shoppers swarming around a shopper who is pushing her cart around without any kind of face covering.
"Get out!" one of the shoppers yells at the woman.
"Get the f*ck out of here!" yells another.
While the woman is initially defiant, she eventually relents to peer pressure and leaves the store.
Staten Island has been hard hit by COVID-19 and has recorded more than 13,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 1,000 deaths from the disease.