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Redwood Falls Gazette Editor Responds to Jason Lewis Hawking Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory: “I Didn’t Think it was Funny”
Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate Says COVID-19 “Will All be Over on Nov. 4”
St. Paul, MN – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis, who repeatedly pushes conspiracy theories, is at it again, this time in Redwood Falls where he suggested that the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax that will be gone after Election Day.
It’s worth noting that former Trump campaign manager and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon–who was charged yesterday with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors–once scolded Lewis for hawking another conspiracy theory. After Lewis suggested that the COVID-19 death toll was being artificially inflated in an interview with Bannon, Bannon asked Lewis “Are you gonna be one of these guys that argues the death count? Yes or No?” After a tense back and forth, Bannon bluntly told Lewis, “I guarantee the way you’re gonna lose in Minnesota in the fall is argue the death count. Just a word to the wise.”
And now, in Redwood Falls, the local paper is calling Lewis out for spreading more misinformation. Editor Deb Moldaschel described her encounter with Lewis in this editorial, writing:
“He said at least it [COVID-19] will all be over on Nov. 4 — one way or another.
“Of course, I’ve heard that before, either as part of some conspiracy theory or as a joke I don’t find amusing.
“I wonder if Lewis believes the families of the over 170,000 people in our country who have died from COVID-19 think that is a funny joke? Or, does he really think it is all a hoax?
“I drove away feeling sad. Not chuckling at all.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Lewis has been downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic by comparing it to the flu, and has continuously denigrated public health experts while spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus. A month ago, Lewis took to the radio show “Justice & Drew,” once again, to peddle misinformation about the transmission of COVID-19, saying that children “don’t transmit [the coronavirus], and certainly don’t transmit asymptomatically.” This claim is refuted by a study that shows children do in fact transmit the virus. The same day Lewis made his false claim on July 20, the Star Tribune reported Minnesota’s first child death from COVID-19 amid a rise in cases across the state.