Any Republican who wants to be taken seriously these days knows where they have to be on specific issues, They have to support the Big Lie. They have to stand tough against the idea that the government should play any role in protecting citizens. And they need to make a lot of very, very bad predictions.

As Huff Post reminds us, Ted Cruz paused from complaining about Democratic governors trying to keep people alive, and made a bold call about what America would see in the near future. “If it ends up that Biden wins in November—I hope he doesn’t, I don’t think he will—but if he does, I guarantee you the week after the election, suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors will say everything’s magically better,”

So, that may look bad. But really, puts Cruz soundly in the party of TFG who said:

  • “It will go away.” (3/6/2020)
  • “It’s going to go away.” (3/12/2020)
  • “It will go away, and we’re going to have a great victory.” (3/30/2020)
  • “It’s going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month. And, if not, hopefully it will be soon after that.” (3/31/2020)
  • “I didn’t say a date. I said ‘it’s going away,’ and it is going away.” (4/5/2020)
  • “It’ll go away — at some point, it’ll go away.” (5/15/2020)
  • “I will be right eventually. I said, ‘It’s going to disappear.’ I’ll say it again.” (4/19/2020)
  • “It’s going to go away.” (8/30/2020)
  • “It’s going to disappear; it is disappearing.” (10/10/2020)
  • “It is going away; it’s rounding the turn.” (10/24/2020)

Funny thing about those dates. It seems like after the election, someone really did stop talking about COVID-19. It was the guy who never cared. 

Cruz wasn’t the only one making the prediction that COVID-19 would suddenly fade from view after the election. As Forbes reported back in May 2020, Eric Trump had already made the claim that “After November 3 coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.” Which almost makes it seem like Eric might have been miserable about predicting the virus, but pretty good in seeing how Nov. 3 was going to turn out. 

And of course, himself also said “Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid. A plane goes down. 500 people dead, they don’t talk about it. Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid. By the way, on November 4, you won’t hear about it anymore,” Which almost makes it seem like TFG also knew what … but no, surely not.

That claim that the virus would magically vanish after the election was another way of downplaying the pandemic and passing the whole thing off as a kind of fraud. What the right was maintaining was that the whole reaction to COVID-19 was exaggerated simply to sway voters in the election. It wasn’t a theory that made sense — but it’s not as if anything on the right has to meet high standards. However, it was a prediction that cost lives.

As the Idaho Statesmen notes, some people were foolish enough to take Republicans seriously. “Before I came down with the virus, I was one of those jackasses who thought the virus would disappear the day after the election. I was one of those conspiracy theorists,” said a 63-year-old man from Boise. Instead, he now gets a lifetime of requiring supplemental oxygen after COVID-19 caused long term damage.

What may be most amazing is that Republicans are still at it. Not only did Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis laugh off a doctor who warned that COVID-19 was likely to make a comeback over the summer, he followed it up by claiming that cases would “just go down” without any need for masks, social distancing, or any action on his part.

But wait. Let’s go back to Cruz and see what else he had to say. “You won’t even have to wait for Biden to be sworn in, said Cruz. “All they’ll need is Election Day and suddenly their willingness to just destroy people’s lives and livelihoods, they will have accomplished their task.”

It’s true that people’s lives and livelihoods are being destroyed. Somewhere over 900,000 Americans have lost their lives to the pandemic. Millions more have been made seriously ill, some with conditions that may last for the rest of their lives. That cost to the economy, and to society, is really immeasurable.

But the cost to Ted Cruz, or any other Republican, for downplaying the pandemic, sneering at attempts to save lives, and insisting that this was all just a political pandemic? Nothing at all.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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