Mocking and dismissive, Limbaugh virtually rejoiced at the news that COVID-19 was merely 10 times more lethal than the flu — after asking what "lethal" even means.
March 12, 2020

Rush Limbaugh dispensed with his usual soft-spoken, rational, dulcet tones (/s) while he talked about the news on Tuesday, working himself into quite the frenzy discussing the latest information on COVID-19.

The outrage generator was turned up to 11 while Limbaugh, the picture of health advanced lung cancer read the headline of a story from The Week which, for some reason, upset this man very much. The title of the story was, “Top Doc: Virus 10 Times More Lethal Than the Flu.” This, to our gentle hero, was unforgivable, as it might (heaven forfend) generate false hysteria amongst the public — something, of course, he would never dream of doing.

LIMBAUGH: That’s not the point of the story. Do you know what’s really the point of the story? The fatality rate is just 1% from this disease! So who cares if it’s 10 times more lethal than the flu?

The fatality rate of the coronavirus is 1%. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers during hearing on Wednesday that COVID-19 is probably about 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.

“At the same time, he clarified that 10 times figure actually brings the new fatality rate lower than official estimates, which hover around 3%. The flu has a mortality rate of about 0.1%, so Fauci places the new coronavirus lethality rate at somewhere around 1%.” That’s the story. It isn’t that it’s 10 times more lethal than the flu, and this is how this crap gets politicized!

Now, I am certain Limbaugh was simply testing out his voice acting chops, and not AT ALL mocking the respectability or credentials of one of the top medical professionals in the nation, right? Then, when he asks what "lethal" means, we can assume his doctors have not broken to him what surely awaits him at the end of his lung cancer journey, correct? How else to explain that Limbaugh appears completely in the dark about the very common descriptor and barometer of serious illnesses?

Ten times more lethal? Lethal than what? What does lethal mean? Does lethal kill you? Does lethal infect you? Does lethal give you a temperature of 102 versus 100? What does it do to you? It’s a meaningless comparative. Ten times more lethal?

Oh, dear. Who's going to tell him? Okay, I will.

Sweetie, "lethal" means it will kill you. Your first guess was correct. "Lethal than what?" More lethal than the flu, darlin'. It's right there in the headline. No, not all temperatures are lethal. Not all infections are lethal. "Lethal" is not a thing that can infect you, either, honey.

Is it a meaningless comparative? Well, not when Trump has been going around stating emphatically that COVID-19 is just like the flu, and begging officials to tell him it can be treated just like the flu. It's not a meaningless comparative when Trump says, like the flu, this is seasonal, and will just *poof* disappear! (P.S. the flu doesn't do that, either...)

Limbaugh can take a deeeep breath...oh, wait, maybe he can't...well, at least he can take his own advice and be happy that it is not, indeed, 30 or 60 times more lethal than the flu, like originally thought. HE may not care that it's ten times more lethal than the flu, but quite a few of us care a great deal. Especially when there aren't nearly enough test kits to go around, and there is absolutely zero national leadership guiding us through a worldwide pandemic.

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