Rush Limbaugh continues pandemic denialism: With Biden inaugurated, COVID-19 might “disappear, and take on the identity of the flu”

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Citation From the January 20, 2021, edition of Premiere Networks’ The Rush Limbaugh Show

RUSH LIMBAUGH (HOST): So a number of things are going to happen now, a number of things. Trump is now gone. These people are deliriously happy. They have vanquished Bad Orange Man — they believe. So there’s a number of things that are going to take on a different appearance, things that will take on a different identity.

Massive graft, corruption, bribes, all that stuff can now flow normally in Washington, D.C.

What do you think is going to happen to the reporting on COVID-19? Will COVID-19 disappear, and take on the identity of the flu? Will Biden attempt to co-opt Operation Warp Speed, name it something else, and try to take credit for the rapid rate at which a vaccine has been made available to the public?

It’s going to be fascinating to watch and categorize the differences in how news is reported.

Former President Donald Trump issued a set of pardons, among his final acts in office, that included former political Steve Bannon on charges of allegedly defrauding donors for the private construction of a border wall; as well as former Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman Elliot Broidy, who had pled guilty to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian business interests.

In addition, Limbaugh spent much of 2020 denying the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming early on that “this virus is the common cold” and then spreading a variety of conspiracy theories about it. He had alleged that hospitals were inflating case numbers and had staged the overrunning of hospitals. On the actual gravity of lives lost and illness spreading throughout society, Limbaugh said that Americans should “adapt” according to the example of American pioneers who “had to turn to cannibalism.”

During this period, he was rewarded by the Trump administration with multiple interviews with either Vice President Mike Pence or with Trump himself.

Limbaugh had also ridiculed then-candidate Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public, before eventually defending Trump for having not worn a mask in the wake of Trump's own COVID-19 diagnosis. In the days after the election, he denounced President-elect Biden for calling upon all Americans to wear a mask.