Conservative radio host and frequent rightwing conspiracy theorist Rush Limbaugh theorized on Tuesday that states’ “stay at home” orders designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus are destroying the economy “under the guise of not losing any unnecessary life.”

The tirade began after a caller complained to Limbaugh that the economic impacts of the virus were the result of “the communist virus” invading the U.S.

“You’re the only person I know who thinks it’s happening without the cooperation of the Democrat Party, however,” Limbaugh told the caller. “Most people tell me they think the American left is the worldwide Communist Party now, and that they are willingly subverting this economy and destroying it, for the purposes of eliminating and wiping out capitalism.”

He continued to rant about the economic slowdown saying, “And whether that’s happening of — whether that’s the design or not, that is happening. This economy is being shut down. That’s why this is not sustainable. I’m sorry, I’m sounding like a broken record on this, but it is not sustainable.”


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“Are we just going to sit by and watch $22 trillion — that’s the value, that’s the sum total of the GDP, that’s the U.S. economy — are we just going to sit by here and watch it evaporate?” he added. “Because that’s what we’re doing, under the guise of not losing any unnecessary life — meaning we want to try to save as many lives as we can.”

Limbaugh has previously downplayed the severity of the pandemic, calling it a “common cold” and a means of disparaging President Donald Trump.

“It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” Limbaugh, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump at the State of the Union, said in late February. “Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. … I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

The coronavirus has spread rapidly throughout all 50 states, killing over 4,000 people. Currently, there are nearly 200,000 active cases in the U.S.

After Trump shifted his position from calling it a “hoax,” so too did Limbaugh — now believing the virus is “pneumonia times ten.”

However, Limbaugh still seems to believe the economic consequences of staying at home outweigh the potential public health consequences of going out, despite Trump extending his social distancing recommendations until April 30.

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