By Tom Ozimek
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused “left-wing lunatics” of fear-mongering about new COVID-19 variants in order to justify the reintroduction of their left-wing lockdown and mandate policies, which included the use of drop boxes and mail-in ballots in 2020, in a bid to rig the 2024 election.
President Trump made the remarks in a video posted on Aug. 30 on Truth Social, saying that his message should serve as a warning to every COVID-19 “tyrant” who not only wants to “take away our freedom” but who would be playing into the hands of those wanting to exploit COVID-19 restrictions to interfere in next year’s election.
“The left-wing lunatics are trying very hard to bring back COVID lockdowns and mandates with all of their sudden fear-mongering about the new variants that are coming,” President Trump said in the video.
Recently, there’s been a torrent of media reports about a new COVID-19 variant circulating, while President Joe Biden said last week that all Americans would likely be advised to get another booster.
In his video message, President Trump said that his political opponents are eager to leverage COVID-19 “hysteria” for political ends.
“They want to restart the COVID hysteria so they can justify more lockdowns, more censorship, more illegal drop boxes, more mail-in ballots, and trillions of dollars in payoffs to their political allies heading into the 2024 election,” the former president said.
He charged that “they rigged the 2020 election and now they’re trying to do the same thing all over again by rigging the most important election in the history of our country, the 2024 election, even if it means trying to bring back COVID.”
President Trump has maintained that he believes he was was robbed of victory in 2020, due in part to last-minute changes to election rules that removed some guardrails for mail-in ballots and, at least in theory, made it easier to cheat.
While the former president lost nearly all of his election-related lawsuits, many were dismissed not on merit but on technicalities like the doctrine of laches, which basically says that a legal challenge was brought too late and prejudiced the defendant.
‘We Will Not Comply’
A number of conservative commentators have pointed to the sharp rise of COVID-19-related media reporting in recent weeks, while pointing to the threat of renewed restrictions for civil liberties—and the upcoming election.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk has claimed there’s a plot to push “COVIDian tyranny” and “lock you down again just in time for the election” and facilitate the launch of a “Marxist-type revolution.”
Former member of Congress Ron Paul penned an op-ed on LewRockwell.com saying that the threat supposedly posed by the new COVID-19 variant is being amplified across media platforms “just in time for election season.”
“Why are they coming back around for another round of Covid tyranny?” Mr. Paul wrote. “Fear is a weapon to gain control.”
“Last time around, they generated fear to radically change how America voted. Suddenly, everyone was mailed ballots. How closely were they checked? No one knew and no one dared ask. The people who did ask about the election are now facing jail terms,” Mr. Paul wrote, presumably referring to some Jan. 6 defendants.
“They want us to shut up while they do it again. Will we?” Mr. Paul asked.
In his message, President Trump delivered a forceful response to this question, which has been expressed in one form or another by numerous conservative commentators.
“Don’t even think about it,” President Trump said, addressing his remarks to “every COVID tyrant who wants to take away our freedom.”
“Hear these words: We will not comply!” the former president continued. “We will not shut down our schools, we will not accept your lockdowns, we will not abide by your mask mandates, and we will not tolerate your vaccine mandates.”
The former president then said that if elected president in 2024, he would use every available authority to push back on mask and vaccine mandates, giving as an example cutting federal funding to any college or airline that imposes such mandates.
“They will fail because I will not let it happen,” the former president said.
‘Likely To Be Recommended’
President Trump’s remarks comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise across the country, with three new variants of the disease said to be spreading.
Multiple drug companies, including Pfizer, Novavax, and Moderna, have introduced new vaccines they say will be effective to protect against the COVID-19 variant of interest EG.5, or Eris—although the vaccines do not protect against transmission.
President Biden told reporters in South Lake Tahoe, California, on Aug. 25 that he had asked for more funding for a new COVID vaccine.
“I signed off this morning on a proposal we have to present to the Congress, a request for additional funding for a new vaccine—that is necessary, that works,” President Biden said.
“And tentatively, not decided finally yet, tentatively it is recommended—it is likely to be recommended—that everybody get it, no matter whether they got it before,” he added.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials recently told reporters that the vaccines are expected to become available to the public in mid-September, though they are still pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
An independent CDC advisory committee is scheduled to meet on Sept. 12 to vote on recommended guidelines for eligibility for the new COVID-19 shots.
Nathan Worcester contributed to this report.