New Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Pandemic Contact Tracers Are 'Gestapo' Coming For Your Children
The dumbest people in America are always, always the ones most eager to get everyone ELSE killed.Credit: Michael Swan / Flikr
June 6, 2020

Mother Jones brings a good overview of the latest far-right conspiracy topic: pandemic contact tracing. Yes, because absolutely everything is awful and because, once again, there is absolutely no aspect of human civilization that is impossible for a group of determined stupid people to f--k up, the latest conspiracy afoot is that contract tracing—the effort to warn Americans who have been in contact with someone who afterwards is identified as carrying a contagious and potentially deadly disease—is a secret plot by [person or group conservatives currently don't like] to do [bad thing].

Yes, the pandemic is still raging on. And efforts to ensure the pandemic gets worse are blossoming across the land. And airwaves. And internet.

The general theme is that contact tracing is not just an invasion of privacy, and not just a violation of freedoms—which it might well be, if there were not a clear and present risk to human life involved—but a plot. It always has to be a plot.

The Mother Jones examples include a far-right radio host convinced that pandemic orders allowing restaurants to serve people indoors if customers give their names and contact information is The Hill We Must Die On, "Reopen" groups calling contract tracers "the Gestapo," and theories that people "like" antifa groups will be doing the tracing. But the big one would have to be the theories that the contact tracers, hired on to warn you that you might have a deadly disease, you thundering morons, are a government plan to take you away to "quarantine" (no) or take your children from you.

Listen, Pandemic Karen, the "government" can barely be spurred into encouraging you to get tested if someone in your social circle has ended up on a ventilator after attending your potluck. The likelihood of a military Humvee showing up at your door to take anyone away is exactly zero, and not just because all the Humvees are reserved for intimidating crowds that don't have the foresight to bring AR-15 rifles and wave the flags of failed rebellions behind them.

As per usual, there's a strong Fox News connection to all of this. There seems to be no far-right conspiracy theory that is not an embellishment on an embellishment of whatever some arch-right Fox News babbler was feigning new outrage on or—and this one seems to be the more common—something that is elevated to Fox News in "just asking questions" form after it has been lifted from far-right and white nationalist conspiracy sites.

Fox News has been roundly attacking testing and contact tracing efforts during the pandemic, primarily as a defense of Donald Trump after Trump showed not a damn bit of interest in getting any of it done. America needs to reopen quickly, has been the Fox News argument, and even testing for the virus is "impossible" and "ridiculous," "a purple unicorn" and "emerging groupthink."

Fox host Steve Hilton has been very vocal on this one, saying that the idea you can "test them all trace their contacts, isolate everyone who has the virus is totally ridiculous."

Instead, suggests Fox, the demands for widespread testing and tracing as has been done in numerous other nations to successfully bring their own pandemics under control are merely a ruse intended to make Donald Trump, glorious and resplendent in his non-markedness, look bad. And you know this because it's Democrats and "experts" who are demanding them.

There's probably something pithy to be said here, but we are all very tired and the world is extremely stupid right now ...

... so the pithiness is probably going to have to wait until we have all had at least ONE DAMN DAY WITHOUT F--KING IDIOTS TRYING TO KILL THEMSELVES, EACH OTHER, AND THE REST OF US in their latest spasms of lead-paint-drinking gasoline-huffing look-what-I-found twitching stupidity.

In the meantime, there are two things to know:

One: We will be seeing a new pandemic wave. This is not a question; the only uncertainty is when it will arrive.

Two: There are a great many people around us who will be doing their absolute damnedest to make sure that wave is worse. Avoid those people. Avoid their friends. And for f--ks sake, avoid people who watch Fox News like your life depends on it.

Posted with permission from Daily Kos.

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