Tens of thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19.
Republican Senate candidate Kris Kobach claimed in mid-July that tallies of the number of people who have been died after being infected by the coronavirus are being exaggerated to hurt Donald Trump.
"I believe that the numbers are being cooked. The books are being cooked," Kobach said on the YouTube program "National File."
Kobach is running for the U.S. Senate in Kansas, where he previously served as secretary of state. Kobach also served as the vice chair of the Trump administration's so-called Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, attempting and failing to promote voter suppression myths.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 147,000 Americans and infected over 4 million.
Kobach's allegations echo other false claims from figures on the right that the numbers of deaths are inflated, claims that have been debunked by fact checkers.
Kobach's claims are similar to those that Donald Trump has made, which have also appeared in conservative media and fed a false narrative about the pandemic and the response from officials.
From the July 13 edition of "National File":
KRIS KOBACH: There are so many things that are happening that indicate that they are overstating the positive numbers. Of course, we've all heard about hospitals, they will test someone who comes in for a liver problem, or for an auto accident, and they test positive and they are — or people who die of something else, but they're also COVID-positive, they’ll be treated as a COVID death.
And of course, the fact that we have whatever the number is, five times, four times as many tests now as we did in March. And so, if you're testing a greater population, you're going to see a proportional increase in the number of positive results.
So, I believe that the numbers are being cooked. The books are being cooked, and the purpose, at least on the political left, is to use those numbers to scare the public and to scare the political leadership into shutting down.
Now, they want to continue the government shutdown for — the business shutdown — with government pressure, for as long as they can. If they can slow it down by using masks as a signal that things are not back to normal and therefore you should not go out, you should not buy, you shouldn't open up your business yet — whatever, but the reason is obvious.
We know the political history of this country and that is, regardless of whether it's a Democrat or Republican president, if that president is seeking a second term in office and the economy is strong, he will win.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.