Author Dan Gillmor suggested on Wednesday that Donald Trump and the Republican Party might be fueling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic intentionally.
"A quarter of a million Americans are dead from covid," he tweeted on Wednesday evening. "Yet even now -- in the face of growing evidence -- Big Journalism won't even ask if and when Trump/GOP/cult coronavirus policy morphed from incompetence to allowing, or encouraging, out of control spread."
Elsewhere, Gillmore pointed to a recent Washington Post article that spotlights Kailee Leingang, a senior nursing student at the University of North Dakota and contact tracer in the state who claimed the coronavirus has become so rampant in the region that they have given up trying to track it. Gillmor suggested in a tweet that her claims continue to provide evidence that the "rampant" spread of the coronavirus is due to Trump and his allies, who he believes are allowing it to do so.
The writer also floated the theory after White House Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Scott Atlas encouraged large holiday gatherings for Thanksgiving.
"Journalists, are you ready yet to report that the policy of the Trump regime to allow, or encourage, out-of-control spread of covid?" he asked on Twitter.
As reported by The Daily Beast, Atlas' comments received pushback from public health officials. In particular, his downplaying of the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to ramp up in the United States is viewed as a danger to the country by some.
"He's a destructive force," a senior White House official was quoted as saying.
"I mean, at this point, I don't know how else to explain what he's doing. It's really disruptive."Journalist Cody Fenwick previously argued that the worsening of the pandemic is aligned with the Trump administration's plan for mass death. He pointed to the administration's support of herd immunity — allowing the virus to spread through the population to encourage immune system protection — and argued that the White House has no plan to help vulnerable people during the spread.
In a Monday tweet, Gillmor argued that Trump doesn't just intend to allow COVID-19 to spread but also to ensure it spreads "as far and as fast as possible."
David Mandel, a writer for shows like Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Saturday Night Live, jokingly floated a similar idea on Twitter last week. In response to the news of Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski contracting the coronavirus, the Veep producer suggested that Trump's recent push for ballot recounts could be part of a plan to infect them.