Buzzfeed Smear Falsely Accuses Trump and Limbaugh of Saying Deep State Created Coronavirus

In a report published Thursday night, Buzzfeed falsely claimed that Rush Limbaugh said the coronovirus was created by the “deep state” and that President Trump agreed with Limbaugh when asked at a press briefing about the government’s preparations for the virus.

First Lady Melania Trump applauds gallery guest Rush Limbaugh after presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Limbaugh has not said the virus was created by the “deep state”. Trump was not asked if the virus was created by the “deep state”. Trump was actually asked about Limbaugh’s criticism of a CDC official (Dr. Nancy Messonnier) who gave an alarmist briefing to reporters Tuesday while Trump was out of the country, wrapping up a state visit to India, thereby undercutting Trump who has sought to calm the public and the markets. Trump agreed with Limbaugh that his opponents are using the virus as a political weapon, but stood by the CDC, answering “no” when asked if he thought they were trying to hurt him and calling them “professional”.

Limbaugh has caught heavy flak for his comments about the virus and his criticism about Messonnier, including from Chelsea Clinton.

The Buzzfeed article by Ryan Broderick is headlined, Trump’s Biggest Supporters Think The Coronavirus Is A Deep State Plot

The World Health Organization is still declining to call the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, but the number of infections and deaths continue to climb as the disease spreads. Public health authorities are split about whether containing or mitigating the virus is the best option — but both depend on whether President Donald Trump and his most conspiracy-addled followers can be convinced to go along with it.

At a press conference on Wednesday night, Trump praised his administration’s decision to restrict travel of people from countries where infections have been diagnosed, claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was trying to create a panic for political purposes, and announced that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the official coronavirus response. “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low,” Trump said. “The level that we’ve had in our country is very low and those people are getting very better.”

Trump at the press conference said he agreed with claims that Rush Limbaugh (upon whom he bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the State of the Union speech) made during his radio show this week, that the deep state had created the coronavirus as a political weapon to “to bring down Trump.”

Limbaugh addressed the Buzzfeed smear on Thursday’s broadcast (excerpt):

…This is what I meant yesterday when I said, “The media is weaponizing this story against Donald Trump.” I did not say, as it has been reported, that the deep state created the virus to weaponize it against Trump — and yet that’s what BuzzFeed is reporting. BuzzFeed is reporting that I said the deep state created the virus to weaponize it against Trump. I got nowhere near saying that. I don’t believe that. I know this virus came from Wuhan, China. I do not…

I never associated the deep state with this at all. What I said was the media is taking the occasion of this virus and story to weaponize it and the reporting of it against Trump, much as they did the reporting of so-called Trump-Russia collusion. That is all I said. Now, BuzzFeed is lying through their teeth and purposely distorting this. Purposely. They know that’s not what I said, and then there was a guy at the press conference who asked the president about this.

“Uh, Rush Limbaugh says that the deep state’s weaponizing this!” I did not say that. I didn’t get anywhere close to it. The president knew what the guy was asking, and he answered it accordingly. The president knew that the “weaponization” comment that I made was about the media. The media and Democrat Party are weaponizing this virus against Trump, and it is obvious to anybody even with one eye open.

The fact that they are lying about this and making up out of whole cloth something I said that I didn’t say about the deep state creating the virus to weaponize it against…? Where do they get this stuff! They make it up, not me, and then they run with it. Now the rest of the Drive-Bys see the BuzzFeed story and they believe it’s true. Nobody calls me. Nobody calls me from the media and asks, “Did you really say X? We’re running this story down. We want to find out. Did you really think the deep state invented and created the virus to use against the president?”

Nobody ever called me to ask.

They just say, “Deep state creates virus!” on BuzzFeed and they run with it. Why? Because they can’t stand that they haven’t gotten rid of Trump yet and they’re gonna use this and anything else. The plunging stock market. The economy, they hope, will follow suit. They’re gonna use anything they can to get Trump because that’s what they are obsessing… They don’t care about the public health aspect of this, most of them. They are care about how this can be used to damage Donald Trump and build up whoever the Democrats nominate here in November.

Excerpt via White House transcript of President Trump’s coronavirus press briefing Wednesday:

Q Thank you, sir. A number of your supporters online have embraced these theories reported — these theories that the CDC may be exaggerating the threat of coronavirus to hurt you politically. Rush Limbaugh the other day said this has been advanced to weaponize the virus against you.

THE PRESIDENT: You don’t mean my supporters. You mean my — my people that are not supporters?

Q Right. Your opponents.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I agree with that. I do.

Q Have you seen evidence of that?

THE PRESIDENT: I think they are. I think — and I’d like it to stop. I think people know that when Chuck Schumer gets upset — I mean, he did the same thing with a couple of trade deals that are phenomenal deals now — everybody has acknowledged they’re phenomenal deals — before he ever saw the deal. He didn’t even know we were going to make a deal. They said, “What do you think of the deal with China?” “I don’t like it. I don’t like it.”

He talked about tariffs. I left the tariffs on: 25 percent on $250 billion. He said, “He took the tariffs off.” He didn’t even know the deal. And he was out there knocking it because that’s a natural thing to say. But when you’re talking about especially something like this, we have to be on the same team. This is too important. We have to be on the same team.

Q Have you seen evidence that the CDC is trying to hurt you? That there are career officials —

THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t think the CDC is at all. No, they’ve been — they’ve been working really well together. No, they really are. They’re professional. I think they’re beyond that. They want this to go away. They want to do it with as little disruption, and they don’t want to lose life. I see the way they’re working. This gen- — these people behind me and others that are in the other room, they’re incredible people. No, I don’t see that at all.

Link to Limbaugh’s comments about the coronavirus during Wednesday’s broadcast.

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