Right-wing media blame Democrats for focusing on “partisan” impeachment while the coronavirus “was already spreading”

Numerous conservative media figures have accused Democrats of distracting the country with the impeachment inquiry when we should have been acting to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Right-wing media say Democrats are to blame because they focused on impeachment instead of the virus 

Fox host Greg Gutfeld: Impeachment “distracted us from other things like a really weird outbreak in China.” During the March 16 edition of Fox News’ The Five, co-host Greg Gutfeld implied Democrats spent so much time on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump that it distract from the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China. Gutfeld went on to make the argument that the media had no credibility when they did report the virus because “everything is apocalyptic, so nothing is.”   

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Citation From the March 16 edition of Fox News' The Five. 

GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): Ah, those were the days, when they wasted precious time because all they wanted was Trump's scalp. Which prevented them from eyeing real threats. Which did three things: It occupied efforts that then distracted us from other things like a really weird outbreak in China. Some saw it. It further discredited the media with its boy who cried wolf addiction. Everything is apocalyptic, so nothing is. It enforces Trump’s belief that the media and Dems were out to get him, because they’ve been out to get him all along. We always suspected the Dems and media couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. We were right.

[Fox News, The Five, 3/16/20] 

Fox’s Sean Hannity: Democrats were trying to “undo an election” instead of preparing for the coronavirus pandemic. During the March 16 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Sean Hannity slammed Democrats for focusing on “a three-year quest to impeach and throw Donald Trump out of office” instead of preparing for the inevitable coronavirus pandemic. The Fox News host and Trump favorite claimed the Democrats “weren’t caring” about potential victims of the virus and were “plotting future impeachment investigations” even after the inquiry officially ended in February.

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Citation From the March 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Which brings us to the politics of this virus. Context is important in life. So take a look at this time line. This is different and put together by Joel Pollak. Look at this. January 21, the very first person with coronavirus arrived in the U.S. from China. That's not long ago. The same time, Democrats, what were they doing? They were in the throes of an all-consuming, what has been the culmination of a three-year quest to impeach and throw Donald Trump out of office, undo an election that they never accepted the results of in the beginning. January 23, House impeachment managers, what were they doing? Oh, they were doing their opening arguments and impeachment. Same day, China completely sealed off the entire province of Wuhan. Then on January 31, look at this. The president then declared that national health emergency, ordered mandatory two-week quarantines. He issued the travel ban on all travel to and from China. And on that same day, what were the Democrats doing? They were busy with impeaching the president. They weren't caring. January 31, Senate Democrats desperately pushing for more impeachment witnesses, the day that Donald Trump put the travel ban quarantine in effect. Wow. It wasn't until February 5 that the impeachment charade was officially over and even then, many were plotting future impeachment investigations.

[Fox News, Hannity, 3/16/20]

Breitbart: Democrats diverted the nation’s time and energy toward impeachment while coronavirus was spreading. Breitbart’s Joel Pollak put together a timeline of the impeachment inquiry and overlapping news about the coronavirus, concluding that for 20 days after the first death was reported in China, Democrats “did nothing” because they were “too busy” with an “all-consuming trial.” [Breitbart, 3/13/20]

Human Events’ Will Chamberlain: Democrats were “totally irresponsible” for pursuing a “partisan, futile impeachment trial” while coronavirus was spreading. Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain accused the Democrats of trying “to freeze American politics” over the impeachment trial while the coronavirus was spreading, which he called “totally irresponsible.”

The Daily Caller: While “terrifying reports flowed in from China,” Democrats focused on impeachment instead. The Daily Caller’s Virginia Kruta criticized Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for saying the U.S. lost two critical months in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming his own party was stressing the importance of impeachment instead. Kruta said while health organizations and the president attempted to begin halting the spread of the virus, Blumenthal was tweeting about impeachment and the need to remove Trump from office. [The Daily Caller, 3/12/20]  

Fox News host Mark Levin: “Do you know what they were doing when the Coronavirus broke out? Impeachment.” During this year’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC,) Fox News host Mark Levin lambasted Democrats for continuing to conduct the impeach inquiry while the coronavirus was spreading in China. Levin claimed Democrats “effectively shut down” Congress while the virus was spreading but now have the audacity to ask what Trump is doing about the pandemic. From a video shared on Twitter: 

MARK LEVIN: They don’t have a plan for the coronavirus. Trash the president of the United States and everything he does. What is the Democrats’ plan to deal with the coronavirus? There is no plan. You know what they were doing when the coronavirus broke out? Impeachment trial against our president. And you know what happens when you have an impeachment trial? Those senators who never shut the hell up have to sit in their chairs and shut the hell up. They can’t have a hearing, they can’t propose budgets, they can’t do anything week after week. And you know what? They’d still be having a trial with their witnesses. Oh, we have to have John Bolton, and we have to have McGhan. We’d still be having trials. They effectively shut down the United States Congress while this virus was spreading and they dare point to the president of the United States and say, "Oh, what is he doing?"

[Twitter, 2/29/20]