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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Several conservative pundits and commentators have focused their coronavirus narratives on "evidence of bias designed to harm President Trump," the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Attacks from conservative media commentators could "undermine sources of reliable information at a time when such information is vital." Trump is known to listen to such pundits, and has already tweeted that the news media and Democrats are "doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible."

What they're saying:

  • Rush Limbaugh stated the virus is being used as a bioweapon by the Chinese government, only to then downplay the outbreak, saying it “is the common cold, folks.” He added on Monday that the media coverage of the virus is "an effort to get Trump," per the Post.
    • Limbaugh also tried to discredit Nancy Messonnier, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, partly because her brother, Rod Rosenstein, is the former deputy attorney general who oversaw special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, the Post notes.
    • Messonnier said during a media briefing on Tuesday that an outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S. was inevitable.
  • Laura Ingraham said on-air, "I think they want to use this — I mean, in China, they don't want to deal with Trump anymore, with the tariffs. I think for them, the best thing would be if this hurt Trump in his reelection, correct?"
  • Sean Hannity argued Democrats are "sadly politicizing and weaponizing an infectious disease as their next effort to bludgeon President Trump."
  • Tucker Carlson said, "Countless publications wagged their fingers in the face of readers and told them it was irrational – probably immoral, in fact – to worry more about the coronavirus than the annual flu. Identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time. 'Wokeness' is a cult. They'd let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength."

Fox News has declined to comment.

Go deeper...Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.