GOP says trying to stop the pandemic is the new 'war on Christmas'

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The annual accusations of a 'war on Christmas' could have deadly results in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) made repeated false claims this week that Democrats want to cancel Christmas — but the only thing anyone is interested in canceling this year is the coronavirus pandemic.

"Today's Left wants to cancel: -Thomas Jefferson, -2nd Amendment, -Voting in-person, -Police, and Christmas," Jordan tweeted Wednesday morning. "The WHO now recommends against hugging over the holidays," he tweeted Tuesday. "Like we said last week, pretty soon you won't be able to say Merry Christmas."

It's not the first time Jordan has accused Democrats of hating the holidays.

"They tried to cancel Thanksgiving," he tweeted in November. "Didn't work. They're coming for Christmas next."

Nevada's Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, has come under fire from the right for attempting to enforce measures to combat the virus during the holidays.

Conservative columnist Victor Joecks echoed the charges of other commentators and social media accounts when he attacked the governor, accusing him of having "exchanged his crown for the Grinch's hat," referring to the Dr. Seuss character who attempts to steal Christmas. "He's laid the groundwork to cancel Christmas, just like he tried to stop Thanksgiving," Joecks wrote.

In Wisconsin, two Republican lawmakers responded to a request by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers that a Christmas tree not be put up in the state Capitol building, because it was closed to visitors due to the pandemic, by putting up their own. State Reps. Shae Sortwell and Paul Tittl posted messages on the tree that read, "This tree belongs to Representative Tittl and Representative Sortwell. Do not move without prior written approval from these Representatives" and "The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence."

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has also been busily regurgitating debunked "war on Christmas" claims.

"If death is inevitable, and that may be the one thing you're not allowed to say in this country, but it's still true," Carlson said this week, "then maybe we should pause before we destroy the living in the name of trying to eliminate it. Politicians understand this threat. They've figured out that Christmas is bigger than they are, and therefore, it's a threat to them. Better cancel it — and, in fact, theyW're trying hard."

While accusations about the so-called war on Christmas come up every year, in 2020 the charges include claims that measures instituted to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus are actually stratagems against the holiday.

The World Health Organization has recommended against hugs and embraces at family gatherings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends safety measures such as limiting crowd sizes at gatherings, washing hands frequently, hosting gatherings in well-ventilated spaces, and requiring visitors to wear masks.

The nation's top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci has also said gatherings can safely occur if limited to no more than 10 people. State officials such as Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, have suggested measures similar to those he implemented at Thanksgiving, when he issued an executive order limiting social gatherings to the members of a single household in an effort to curb the pandemic.

The claims that safety measures are part of a left-wing plot against Americans who celebrate holidays must be taken seriously, writer Rebecca Onion noted in Slate on Nov. 21.

"The ‘war on Christmas’ hype is exactly the kind of 'accelerant' that could make the virus worse," she wrote. "Indoor gatherings are killing people, and Americans who have been primed for years to perceive the continuity of tradition around Thanksgiving and Christmas as a point of partisan pride are about to convene some big ones."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.