The Fox News contributor who's filling in on Rush Limbaugh's radio show just did his predictable best to begin the disparagement of San Francisco regarding the coronavirus and our current shelter-in-place order, blaming it all on gay people.
Harkening back to the 1980s when the AIDS crisis was blamed on the gay community, Mark Steyn — the Canadian author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon — suggested on Limbaugh's show Tuesday that the Bay Area lockdown is meant to prevent "all the gays dropping dead on the San Francisco mayor’s watch." Setting aside the gross homophobia and hatred inherent in Steyn's line of thinking, Steyn also exhibited an obvious ignorance of how HIV drugs work.
"It’s a big gay town, San Francisco, and they’re the ones with all the compromised immune systems from all the protease inhibitors and all the other stuff," Steyn said, per Media Matters. He's implying that HIV-positive people on medication have compromised immune systems, which doctors say is not true. If an HIV-positive person has an undetectable viral load and good CD4 count, their immune system is no longer considered compromised and their risk factors for COVID-19 are no different than anyone else's, depending on their other medical conditions.
But we can hardly expect a right-wing armageddon enthusiast to listen to science at this point. And Steyn is from the cabal of Fox News defenders of Trump who now have to pivot away from calling the coronavirus crisis a hoax and instead find new ways to vilify liberals somehow. As Salon reports, that's taking the shape of blaming Democrats for delaying their response to the crisis too long.
But, as Salon notes:
Here's what's amazing about this: It was evident to those of us in reality-based America from the get-go that this was a rare situation where Trump's interests and the public interests were pretty much aligned. If Trump and his propagandists had taken this epidemic seriously in the first place, and pursued real measures to address the public health crisis and convince Trump's tribal followers to take the whole thing seriously, the virus wouldn't have been so disruptive — and also wouldn't have become such a threat to Trump's re-election.
For Steyn, it's basically getting one last — or first — jab in at Liberal San Francisco before this crisis intensifies nationwide. Cities including New York and Chicago are considering similar shelter-in-place orders, and when that happens, Steyn's asinine comments about how Trump "would get blamed" if there was "a big gay apocalypse."
And the blame game, while sure to continue, MUST STOP. Viruses do not discriminate. And no one is to blame for their spread except those who refuse to take them seriously and listen to science.