July 3, 2020

White House economic advisor (and closet conspiracy theorist and unabashed racist, it appears) Peter Navarro had a totally bonkers interview with Ali Velshi on MSNBC Friday afternoon. During the course of the interview, he pushed conspiracy theories about COVID, accused China of manufacturing the virus and intentionally spreading it to Europe and the United States, and attacked Dr. Fauci.

Here is some of the interview:

Ali started off asking about the trade deal. Navarro responded with a random string of sentences that had nothing to do with each, which culminated in (mind you, the question was about a *trade deal*):

"I want everybody right here today, as the day before America's Independence Day, to understand where this virus started. The Chinese communist party is making us stay locked in our homes, they spawned the virus, they hid the virus, they sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationalists over here to spread the virus before we knew and --"

To which Velshi responded:

"Peter -- What are you talking about?"

Navarro continued with the conspiracy theories:

NAVARRO: The dateline is November, they spawned the virus, probably came out of the biological lab, for two months they hid the virus from world and the possibility of a pandemic behind the shield of the World Health Organization, while they did that, they vacuumed up the world's protective equipment --

VELSHI: So you're saying this is deliberate, the Chinese deliberately did this?

NAVARRO: Here's the point, while they were preventing any domestic travel from Wuhan, to Beijing, locking down their transportation, they sent Chinese on aircraft to go around the world --

VELSHI: Are you saying they deliberately deliberately did this? They spawned the virus. They deliberately created the virus?

NAVARRO: Let me be really clear, I don't think it matters whether -- what they deliberately did, Ali, and this is beyond reproach in terms of fact, they deliberately allowed Chinese nationalists to come to the United States, Italy, and everywhere in between, who were infected while they were locking down their own transportation network. it's important for Americans to understand that, we're angry --

VELSHI: What do you mean deliberately? Did they sent people who they knew infected to Italy and the United States and other places?

NAVARRO: They initially -- let's be careful, clear with words, what they did during this period of time when they knew there was a pandemic, they didn't allow their people to travel inside of China but they allowed people in China who were likely infected to go around the world. Effectively seeding and spreading. What was intentional is to protect their country even as they send --

VELSHI: Let me ask you this, let me ask you this, though, I'm going to put that aside for a second. Here's what I'm going to ask you, let's say that's true, those people, hundreds of thousands you say went out, went to Italy, went to the United States, went all over the world, why is our new disease count, so much higher on a seven-day rolling basis than anywhere else in the world, at what point does that become our problem to contain that virus?

NAVARRO: That's a very interesting question and it goes to origins of the virus. When the virus came out, one of the other things that the Chinese did is not really divulge what the genome sequence was so we could get a handle on that. They scrubbed those labs where this might have come out. Everybody thought and this was a reasonable resumption that come summer heat and humidity will get rid of the virus. This looks like a weaponized virus, this is a virus which --

VELSHI: The reason, again, Peter, you look at other places in the world, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Italy the United Kingdom, no one is experiencing the way we are, we don't have any discipline in this country and messaging from the White House about masks and testing.

Then Navarro lied about Trump supporting masks and social distancing, bashing Dr. Fauci and how the only people to blame are China - not Donald Trump.

This interview was filled with gaslighting, racist dogwhistles and flat out lies. Kudos to Ali Velshi for not allowing him to get away with it.

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