When the COVID-19 virus began to spread around the world in late 2019 and early 2020, right-wing broadcaster and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles immediately declared it to be a plague sent by God to purge the world of sin as the Last Days approached.
“There is a death angel on the loose right now,” Wiles said in January 2020.
When a board member of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York died of the virus in March 2020, Wiles proclaimed that it was God’s judgment.
“There is a plague underway,” Wiles said. “There is a death angel across the world, and your only safety is in Christ.”
When an outbreak occurred at a synagogue in Israel in the same month, Wiles was quick to assert that it was a punishment from God.
“God is spreading it in your synagogues!” Wiles bellowed. “You are under judgment because you oppose his son, Jesus Christ. That is why you have a plague in your synagogues.”
As the virus spread throughout 2020, Wiles used his nightly “TruNews” broadcast to likewise spread countless conspiracy theories about it. And when vaccines became available in 2021, Wiles declared them to be part of an Antichrist plot to carry out a global genocide.
“I am not going to be vaccinated,” Wiles said in May 2021. “I’m going to be one of the survivors. I’m going to survive the genocide. … The only good thing that will come out of this is a lot of stupid people will be killed off,” Wiles added. “If the vaccine wipes out a lot of stupid people, well, we’ll have a better world. I’m going to survive. I’m going to survive by God’s grace; by his will, I’m going to survive the genocide.”
Last week, “TruNew”s suddenly shut down its broadcast, announcing that the network was “experiencing a sudden cluster of flu and COVID among some employees and their relatives.” Then on Sunday, “TruNews” announced that Wiles himself had been hospitalized for COVID-19, adding for good measure that anyone who dared to mock Wiles at this moment was only adding fuel to “their flames of torment in hell.”
With Wiles out of commission for the foreseeable future, “TruNews” has announced that Lauren Witzke—the GOP’s 2020 Senate candidate in Delaware and a flat Earth, QAnon-believing conspiracy theorist with ties to white nationalists and anti-Semites—will be stepping in to co-host his nightly television program for the next two weeks.