‘Garbage’ impeachment trial distracted Congress from coronavirus outbreak, Bill O’Reilly says

Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News anchor, told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Thursday that Congress was too busy fighting over President Trump’s impeachment to realize the looming threat in China as the coronavirus outbreak spread.

“That impeachment thing was the biggest bunch of garbage I have ever seen in my life,” O’Reilly said. “And it will go down in history as contributing to this horrible pandemic here.”

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O’Reilly, who now manages BillOReilly.com, said that he has been warning about the slow-moving catastrophe in China since January. He pointed out that at about that time, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., “and the boys” were laying out their opening arguments against Trump.

“Again, no one paid attention to the virus because of impeachment,” O’Reilly said. He said it was only after Trump was acquitted, on Feb. 5, that the country’s focus zeroed in on the virus.

O’Reilly talked about the media’s coverage of the virus and said it is “insane” that reporters like ABC News’ Cecilia Vega are more concerned about the president referring to the virus as the “Chinese virus” instead of gathering useful information to her viewers.

Wuhan, China, is at the center of the coronavirus epidemic. The disease was referred to as the Wuhan Virus when it first emerged by a number of news outlets, including the Washington Post. The Post reported that the World Health Organization decided to change the name, in part, so no group of people feels stigmatized.

Beijing called out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who referred to the disease as the Wuhan Virus. The Chinese foreign ministry said his reference to the disease was a “despicable practice.”

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O’Reilly said he has little interest in assigning blame to China over the outbreak, but said you have to be ignorant not to see the dramatic effect the impeachment trial had on our national awareness.

He said Congress’ early lack of attention is “more to blame than some idiot eating a bat.”

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