On his top-rated talk radio program on Tuesday, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh said that “more people today are scared about the economic impact of all this than the virus” — a sentiment he said “makes perfect, total sense.”
“I never have believed that anything like this would happen with people being ruined,” said Limbaugh. “It’s hard to quantify. It’s hard to describe. And I’m frightened for people… You know there’s a poll out that more people today are scared about the economic impact of all this than the virus. That makes perfect, total sense. I’m scared to death. I’m scared for the people of this country.”
As reported by FiveThirtyEight even before reports that nearly 10 million Americans had filed for jobless claims in just two weeks, more people were worried about the economic impact of the crisis than the virus itself. Other polls, meanwhile, have found that Americans prioritize stopping the spread of the virus over saving the economy.
“We had the world’s number one economy,” said Limbaugh. “We were roaring. We had a record number of people going to work. We had people earning wages that were record highs. Wages were increasing. We had a stock market that was up at 30,000. It doesn’t represent the economy as a whole. It was just one of the elements that indicated that the economy was roaring. And in many cases the record numbers were unprecedented as record numbers would be defined: number of people working, number of people in the labor force.”
“It was a three-year economic boom. And we ourselves turned it off. We ourselves shut it down,” he lamented. “No matter where you go in the country, it’s a ghost town. It’s eerie. But underlying it all to me is just an abject fear for what this is doing to people. And then the long term changes to our country as a means of dealing with it that are being implemented and will be implemented down the line.”
And what is also deeply troubling, he suggested, is that elected officials don’t seem to share the same sense of justified fear about what’s taking place economically.
“[A]t the same time, aside from the president and other people like you and me out here, but in officialdom I don’t see this fear, I don’t see it reflected,” said Rush. “I don’t see the concern … from the elites, call it from the establishment or whatever. And that doesn’t make sense to me.”
Another frightening thing, he added, is that “it looks like there’s no end in sight.”
“There’s a lot of talk about going back to work, lot of talk about restarting economy, but there doesn’t appear to be because every time we talk about it, then we come back with ‘And this week and a half and is gonna be the absolute worst week and a half in the history of the country,'” said the host.
Limbaugh then pivoted to an article written by Bill Bennet and Seth Leibsohn published by RealClearPolitics Monday that included some eye-opening statistics that Rush suggested runs counter to the dominant media narrative on the degree of threat of the virus:
Did you know the chances of recovery from the coronavirus are about 98%—if you catch it? Did you know there are models showing 50% of the population may have already had it, never knew they had it, and recovered? Again, one would think this data would be widely available and reported. It isn’t.What is presented widely are numbers and warnings that scare and frighten us, and we are now being conditioned to a lot of panic and speculation. But part of the reason we are getting conditioned to a lot of panic is because of the wide range of speculation about other numbers we accept as our new fright-inducing reality, an increasingly confusing and frenzied set of numbers. And the normalization of our panic is having dire consequences and augurs for even worse.
Limbaugh also highlighted the total death projections versus the deaths so far in the country and the world. The Coronavirus Task Force’s current projection is 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, notes Limbaugh. “There have been a total of 68,000 coronavirus deaths worldwide,” he pointed out. “And we are told we will see, just in America, three to four times that number. Does that even pass the plausibility test?”
Rush then cites a report published by the Rockland Westchester Journal News, which explains that a “majority of New York’s more than 4,700 deaths due to coronavirus were among men, and 86% of all deaths were among people who had underlying illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes” (formatting adjusted):
Of the 4,758 deaths in New York since the first on March 14, 61% were men and 39% were women, the state Department of Health reported on its new data portal. In addition, 63% of the deaths were among those age 70 and older, while 7% of the cases were those 49 and younger. And 4,089 of those who died had at least one other chronic disease, the records showed: 1) The leading underlying illness was hypertension, which showed up in 55% of the deaths. 2) Next was diabetes, which was diagnosed in 1,755 deaths, or about 37% of the cases. 3) Other top illnesses found in those who died from coronavirus were hyperlipidemia; coronary artery disease; renal disease and dementia.
In response to a caller asking what the “threshold” for easing the economy-crushing lockdowns should be, Limbaugh suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent comments signaled an “unsustainable” length of time.
Related: NYC Data: Vast Majority Who Have Died From Coronavirus Had Serious Underlying Conditions
Transcript via RushLimbaugh.com