In a world of "fake news," Fox News host Jesse Watters' "raw bats" coronavirus theory is up there with the absolute worst.
Led by the Trump zealots at Fox News, the conservative press in the United States has made some pretty outrageous claims regarding the coronavirus outbreak over the past month.
The chattering classes are shamelessly using the crisis as a political football ahead of the U.S. presidential election. Rush Limbaugh even bizarrely claimed the coronavirus is no more serious than the common cold.
But if you thought conservative media pundits would be unable to top that, Jesse Watters has proved you very, very wrong.
It’s not often that a Fox News host can say something so utterly ridiculous that it draws momentary silence and face-palming from the other people on the show.
Eager to spice up an otherwise run-of-the-mill discussion on coronavirus, Jesse Watters launched into an astounding tirade. He demanded a “formal apology” from China and then quickly pivoted into a rant about Chinese people eating raw bats:
I would like to just ask the Chinese for a formal apology. This coronavirus originated in China, and I have not heard one word from the Chinese. A simple ‘I am sorry’ would do.
Cue much embarrassment and nervous laughter as he continued:
Let me tell you why it happened in China. They have these markets where they were eating raw bats and snakes. They are very hungry people. The Chinese communist government cannot feed the people. And they are desperate. This food is uncooked. It is unsafe. And that is why scientists believe that’s where it originated from.
Despite right-wing media pundits like Watters running with the “bat soup” line, this claim originated from a video shot in a Pacific Island nation, not China.
Not only is the raw bats trope absolute nonsense, but there have been reports suggesting that the coronavirus didn’t even originate from the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan as initially believed.
But when Watters pointed the finger at the Chinese government, he wasn’t entirely wrong. The way Beijing handled this whole situation has been catastrophically bad from the get-go.
But the recent antics of the Trump-led U.S. government haven’t exactly inspired confidence, either. The U.S. president’s shambolic attempts at downplaying the virus and overstating the control that medical personnel have over the situation have been laughable.
All for what?
To protect the markets and preserve Trump’s chances of reelection.
Don’t expect the likes of Jesse Watters to call out those at fault who are closer to home, though. At least not when they reflect badly on the Republican president.
That’s not how things work at Fox News.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.