- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Rush Limbaugh came under fire Monday from fellow right-wing radio host Michael Savage for disputing the effectiveness of efforts meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Mr. Savage, the host of “The Savage Nation” radio show, renewed criticism of his conservative contemporary in light of Mr. Limbaugh continuing to cast doubt on the capability of statewide travel and business restrictions imposed to prevent the ongoing coronavirus pandemic from worsening.

Taking aim at Mr. Limbaugh on Twitter, Mr. Savage asked: “how can LIMBAUGH continue to lie and say ‘we dont know if the lockdowns are working’ WHEN WE KNOW FOR A FACT THAT CHURCH GROUPS AND JEWISH GROUPS WHO REFUSED TO COMPLY BECAME HIGHLY INFECTED?”

Mr. Savage added: “Are there no standards in the media? no consequences for endangering lives?”

A message requesting comment from Mr. Limbaugh was not immediately answered.

Mr. Limbaugh, the longtime host of “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” has been highly critical recently of mitigation efforts meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic, such as stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders enacted by most states.

“There’s no direct evidence that the lockdowns are working,” Mr. Limbaugh, 69, said on his show Monday. “And the more information that we gather, it is beginning to look like it was not necessary to shut down this economy. And, furthermore, that it is certainly not necessary to keep it shut down.”

Health experts leading the Trump administration’s medical response to the coronavirus outbreak have said that it seems mitigation efforts appear to be working as intended, however.

“The real data are telling us it is highly likely we are having a definite positive effect by the mitigation things that we’re doing, this physical separation,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this month, adding that far fewer Americans are likely to die from the pandemic than previously projected in part because of people heeding the advice of medical professionals and practicing social distancing.

Indeed, Mr. Limbaugh acknowledged elsewhere during his latest show a connection between keeping people in close quarters and spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“And do you realize they never shut down the subways in New York? And they couldn’t. Because all the essential businesses that were kept open, their employees had to get to work. So you’re sardining people in subways and buses. It’s a petri dish for spreading any kind of sickness, and it did,” said Mr. Limbaugh.

Mr. Savage, 78, has previously criticized Mr. Limbaugh over the latter’s past comments about the coronavirus. After Mr. Limbaugh said in February that the “coronavirus is the common cold” and being weaponized to “bring down” President Trump, Mr. Savage responded on Twitter by saying: “THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SCIENCE ILLITERATES ARE GIVEN BIG MICROPOHONES! DESTROYS ALL CREDIBILITY OF CONSERVATIVE MEDIA.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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