A guest host on The Rush Limbaugh Show has blamed gay people for San Francisco’s coronavirus-related shutdown.
Mayor London Breed announced Monday that the city was being placed on lockdown for three weeks in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Residents are prohibited from leaving their homes except to meet basic needs like grocery shopping and visiting the doctor, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
But right-wing Canadian author Mark Steyn, guest hosting The Rush Limbaugh Show on March 17, said that the real reason the city had been put in lockdown was to prevent “all the gays dropping dead on the San Francisco mayor’s watch.”
Steyn, who also guest hosts for Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, called San Francisco “a big gay town” and said that gay people are “the ones with all the compromised immune systems from all the protease inhibitors and all the other stuff.”
He added that if the city experienced “a big gay apocalypse…it would be Trump who would get blamed for it anyway. It would be his homophobia that would have struck down all these people.”
His full remarks, as reported by Media Matters, are below:
“San Francisco has just ordered everyone to shelter in place, just to say, ‘Stay in your apartment. Don’t leave your apartment unless you need to go out to a grocery store or to a pharmacy or to a doctor’s.’ Why are they doing that? Why is San Francisco the first to do that? Because they’ve got all the gay guys there,” Steyn said. “It’s a big gay town, San Francisco, and they’re the ones with all the compromised immune systems from all the protease inhibitors and all the other stuff. And they don’t want all the gays dropping dead on the San Francisco mayor’s watch. So that’s why they’ve got all that sheltering in place there.”
He continued: “And even if it dropped, they all dropped dead on the San Francisco mayor’s watch, if there was a big gay apocalypse, you know, the way this thing is going now, it would be Trump who would get blamed for it anyway. He’d be — it would be his homophobia that would have struck down all these people in San Francisco. So that’s why they’ve all been ordered to stay home. And it’s not easy staying home.”
Health experts have noted that people living with HIV do not have any more sever reactions to COVID-19 than a those without HIV, provided their viral load is undetectable due to regularly taking antiretrovirals.
Steyn is no stranger to homophobic comments. In January, while again guest hosting Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, he attacked the diversity of the Democratic candidates for president and questioned former Mayor Pete Buttigieg‘s sexuality.
“Are we really sure he’s gay?” he asked. “I mean, he looks like some guy from the accountancy department. He doesn’t — that’s a very non-gay look. I don’t know.”
The Rush Limbaugh Show’s titular host is also no stranger to anti-LGBTQ rhetoric — nor to attacking Buttigieg’s sexuality.
“[Voters are] looking at Mayor Pete, 37-year-old gay guy, mayor of South Bend, loves to kiss his husband on the debate stage,” Limbaugh said in February. “And they’re saying, ‘OK, how’s this going to look, 37-year-old gay guy kissing his husband on stage next to Mr. Man Donald Trump? What’s going to happen there?”
Buttigieg delivered a solid clapback days later in an interview with CNN.
“I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband. On stage we usually just go for a hug,” he said. “But I love him very much, and I’m not going take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
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