In May, radical right-wing conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles declared that he would never accept any COVID-19 vaccine because the vaccines were part of a plot to carry out “global genocide.” In June, Wiles spent several days in the hospital battling a COVID-19 infection that spread widely throughout his staff and family.
Upon recovering from the infection and returning to his nightly “TruNews” program, Wiles naturally began to spread conspiracy theories about how he been infected and continues to do so, using his program Tuesday night to blame people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 for his infection. The vaccines, he said, were “satanic serum.”
In Wiles’ telling, the highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus does not really exist but is merely a cover for an illness that is being spread by those who have been vaccinated. In Wiles’ view, it was not his refusal to get vaccinated that resulted in his infection, but rather it was someone who got vaccinated that was responsible for spreading the infection to him.
“You’ve got people who are vaccinated who are shedding the virus, infecting other people, walking around thinking they are protected and yet they are the ones who are spreading the virus to other people,” Wiles said. “I don’t think that there is a variant called Delta. I think it’s a name that they gave the public to explain the explosion of infections caused by the vaccinated people.”
“We’re witnessing for the first time in human history global genocide, compliments of the Church of Satan,” Wiles said later in the program. “The Communist Party is the political arm of the Church of Satan. These people that are running the world are Satanists. They’re killing off massive numbers of people.”
Wiles’ co-host Lauren Witzke—the flat-Earth, QAnon-believing conspiracy theorist with ties to white nationalists and antisemites who was the GOP’s 2020 Senate candidate in Delaware—then claimed that she shook “10,000 hands last year on the campaign trail” and never contracted COVID-19, noting that it seemed odd that Wiles and his crew never got sick until “this bioweapon” became widely available.
“I’m convinced that my infection and the explosion that we had here in our staff, among my family and friends—20-some people altogether infected suddenly—I believe it came from a vaccinated person coming into this building who was shedding the virus,” Wiles replied. “I believe that’s how it happened.”