Amid criticisms of President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, his proxies are resorting to increasingly bizarre ways to defend him.
Trump has been criticized for letting politics, not science, dictate his administration’s response to the virus that’s quickly spreading across the globe.
Trump has contradicted his own health officials in public statements about coronavirus and put (non-medical doctor) Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the outbreak and made him a gatekeeper for communications about it. Meanwhile, a whistleblower has claimed that federal health employees who interacted with passengers from a formerly quarantined Japanese cruise ship lacked proper training and protective gear.
This morning, Mike Huckabee took what might’ve been a fair point—that Trump gets blamed no matter what he does—and twisted it into something utterly incomprehensible.
“[Trump] could personally suck the virus out of every one of the 60,000 people in the world, and suck it out of their lungs, swim to the bottom of the ocean and spit it out, and he would be accused of pollution for messing up the ocean,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee’s extremely specific and vivid defense of Trump raised eyebrows across social media.
“Huckabee is sucking up to Trump so hard, that his face has completely attached itself to Trump,” said @lawhawk.
Not to be outdone, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was also on the case, taking aim at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for saying that it’s “utterly irresponsible” to put Pence in charge of anything science-adjacent.
Pence is infamously anti-science, having denied the existence of evolution, said “smoking doesn’t kill,” argued that condoms are “a very, very poor protection” against STDs, and said that climate change is a “myth.”
For his defense, Cruz resorted to the time-tested GOP tactic of deflection.
He threw the whataboutism book at the congresswoman, asking her to define the Y chromosome, when fetuses begin to feel pain, and which country reduced CO2 emissions the most in 2019, none of which have anything to do with coronavirus.
Ocasio-Cortez clapped back by pointing out that she has a better claim to the title of “oracle of science” than some.
“Sen. Cruz, while I understand you judge people’s intelligence by the lowest income they’ve had, I hold awards from MIT Lincoln Lab & others for accomplishments in microbiology,” she tweeted. “Secondly, I’m surprised you’re asking about chromosomes given that you don’t even believe in evolution.”
The hits kept coming in the comments on both representatives’ tweets.
Since its mid-December discovery, this strain of coronavirus, now named COVID-19, has spread rapidly. As of this morning, the virus has spread to at least 53 countries; the number infected is rapidly approaching 100,000.