Experts warned, though, that an uncontrolled, undetected transmission of the virus was already underway. Cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, were cropping up throughout the country, doubling multiple times over the past week. The threat posed by the virus, identified as 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu by a senior government official Wednesday, is now obvious. The death toll could be as low as several hundred — or as high as 1.6 million.This path was an obvious possibility at the end of last month, but a number of media personalities nonetheless derided concerns about the virus as overhyped or political. More remarkably, some continue to downplay the threat that the virus poses, using their platforms to continue to diminish the risk Americans face.No one has been more consistent in this effort than radio host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh is a member of the population most at risk for covid-19: over age 60 and undergoing treatment for advanced lung cancer. Yet, from the outset, Limbaugh downplayed the risk posed by the virus and misrepresented its effects.“I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus,” he said on Feb. 24. “You think I’m wrong about this?


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