Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) admitted he believes in a conspiracy that sounds 'absolutely crazy' that coronavirus lockdowns are a ploy to hurt Donald Trump's reelection chances.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) baselessly accused "many people" of working to "intentionally stall the economy" with lockdowns put in place to arrest the spread of coronavirus. Graves claimed that the policies have been designed to undermine "the president's efforts in the reelection." He singled out Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards as someone purportedly engaged in the conspiracy.
Louisiana currently has nearly 30,000 residents infected with the coronavirus, and over 2,040 people have died there. Medical experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci have warned against rushing to reopen businesses, noting that to do so prematurely could lead to a new surge in infections and deaths.
From the May 6 edition of WBRP Baton Rouge's "Mornings with Brian Haldane":
BRIAN HALDANE, host: Where is the divide here, it just – 'cause it seems like, is it a safety issue? Is it folks are just scared to restart because they don't want everybody commingling out there and having human interaction? Or where's this stemming from?
REP. GARRET GRAVES (R-LA): Brian, I'm going to say this, and it may seem extraordinary, but I will tell you, I think that at least a part of the motivation for many people is that they're looking at presidential politics right now, and this is incredible, because you're gambling with people's families, with people's lives, with people's small businesses that they've been, invested generations of their families into, but I think that this is an effort to intentionally stall the economy which undermines the president's efforts in the reelection.
And I know that sounds absolutely crazy, but when you look at the numbers of what's happening and you see governors that are continuing to have their states shut down and I'm going to be really candid, Louisiana's one of them. There is no reason — the governor fudged the numbers — there's no reason why the entire state of Louisiana should be shut down right now.
Should specific parishes? Absolutely. But this is politics being played and unfortunately it's even being played right here at home, we've got to get people safely back into businesses, back operating again. You cannot, you cannot, simply continue printing money and think that this is even remotely sustainable.
We're asking our children to pay four to five dollars for every dollar we're spending today because all of this is debt. All of it is debt. It's irresponsible, it's not what the numbers and science are showing, and unfortunately even things as personal as this have devolved into political divide.
HALDANE: I don't understand how that as a strategy could have been seen as viable. From the coldest of cold terms, sitting down in a room and coming out with that as a plan? Maybe in the days before the internet, before any level of transparency in government, but today?
GRAVES: I'm really — we're supposed to be having some calls today with the state and the congressional delegation, I'm really looking forward to it because this is really just crazy. We're supposed to be representing people not political parties, not trying to influence elections. This is all about representing people. We're having a global crisis right now and to see people play political games is really just disgusting.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.