Tom Fitton, president of the right-wing communications and legal shop Judicial Watch, spent part of a video presentation last week declaring that the COVID-19 pandemic was “over as a crisis” and that there existed a “crazed anti-Trump media medical establishment” seeking to downplay medical treatments available for the disease.
In a video dated July 10 and uploaded to YouTube Monday, Fitton told viewers that although the number of coronavirus cases in the United States was surging, the death rate was still decreasing. While the death rate has declined for a multitude of reasons—including that there is a lag time for death rates to catch up with case rates—Fitton used this fact to claim that the pandemic was no longer a crisis and that restrictions on business and travel should be lifted. As of Tuesday, more than 135,000 people have died from the virus.
“The cases are going up, but the deaths are going down. You know what that tells me? It tells me the coronavirus is over as a crisis,” Fitton said. “I think it’s long been over. … There should have never been lockdowns.”
Fitton theorized that “more or less” everyone is going to catch COVID-19, so the focus should be placed on formulating and distributing preventative treatments, pointing to hydroxychloroquine as a possible solution. (The FDA has cautioned against taking hydroxycholorquine or chloroquine outside of a hospital setting due to risk of heart rhythm problems.) However, Fitton says that an insider group of medical professionals is standing in the way.
“But you’ve got this crazed anti-Trump media medical establishment that tries to downplay any successful preventative measures or treatments—medical treatments—for coronavirus,” Fitton said. “They’re all hyped on, quote, ‘cases’ and in the meantime, our country is being destroyed.”
Fitton took a moment to criticize what he believed was Attorney General William Barr’s lack of action fighting back against coronavirus restrictions. He claimed the Department of Justice “has been AWOL” on the issue.
“The states don’t have the right to suppress your rights the way they’ve been doing during the lockdowns, and the courts are afraid to say no to them, more or less,” Fitton said. “Now and again you get a good decision. Bill Barr threatened to do all sorts of things from the Justice Department in terms of protecting the rights of businesses and commerce and all of that. That hasn’t happened.”
He told viewers that the situation regarding coronavirus in the U.S. was “all about getting Trump” out of office in this year’s election, and that Trump’s opponents are willing to destroy the economy and traumatize children to make that happen.
“Everything right now about the coronavirus is political. It’s all about getting Trump. It’s about the election. If you think it’s science, I guess you can think that, but science has little if anything to do with it,” Fitton. “They’re happy to destroy the economy. They’re happy to make your children miserable. They’re happy to damage your children if it means getting Trump.”
Fitton and Judicial Watch are among the president’s favorite sources of information. Trump has a history of retweeting Fitton and Judicial Watch, and Fitton frequently appears as a commentator in right-wing media, including on Fox News shows watched by Trump, and at major right-wing events like the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.