Fintan O’Toole: Rupert Murdoch is a super-spreader of ignorance on coronavirus

Spit at someone and you go jail. Spread deadly lies and you enjoy impunity

 Rupert Murdoch:   between them, Trump and Murdoch have helped to make the US the epicentre of the pandemic. Photograph:  Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch: between them, Trump and Murdoch have helped to make the US the epicentre of the pandemic. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The comparison of the coronavirus crisis to a war is worse than useless. But it does prompt a question: if this were a war, who should be put on trial afterwards? Donald Trump, for obvious reasons. Xi Jinping for China’s initial cover-up of the outbreak, a crime that seems ever more egregious as we begin to understand that the virus may well have been circulating in Europe in December. But the other member of this triumvirate of infamy would have to be Rupert Murdoch.  

In the political epidemiology of this disaster, Trump, Xi and Murdoch are the super-spreaders. They are the three monkeys of Covid-19 denialism: see no problem, hear no problem, speak no problem. Trump and Murdoch – the feedback loop between Fox News and the White House – have helped to give the US, with just five per cent of the world’s population, a third of global coronavirus infections.

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