Thomas Massie has done it.
It took nearly two years of batting back competition from hordes of right-wing commentators and conservative lawmakers, but the Republican from Kentucky appears to have devised the single dumbest take on the Covid-19 pandemic, which has now killed nearly a million Americans. He tweeted it out on Wednesday.
“Over 70% of Americans who died with COVID, died on Medicare, and some people want #MedicareForAll?” Massie wrote.
Over 70% of Americans who died with COVID, died on Medicare, and some people want #MedicareForAll ?
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) February 9, 2022
Massie neglects to mention that Medicare generally benefits Americans aged 65 and older, who are far, far more likely to die from Covid. The tweet implies that it’s not old age, but Medicare itself that is killing these Americans. One thing that most definitely is killing Americans is the lack of affordable health care. Studies have shown that tens of thousands die every year because they don’t have access to medical care.
Massie’s office did not reply to a request for clarification from Rolling Stone about what exactly he meant by his tweet.
Democrats were appalled. “Because Covid severely impacted the elderly and the elderly are on Medicare,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted in response to Massie. “If you paid someone to come up with this tweet fire them. If you came up with this tweet you should hang your head in shame.”
Massie’s office also did not reply to a query from Rolling Stone about whether this was some sort of trollish joke made at the expense of the hundreds of thousands of elderly Americans who have died from Covid. It was a reasonable question considering it’s always difficult to tell with Massie where the stupidity ends and the troll begins. Back in 2019, he grilled John Kerry about some of his climate claims, alleging they couldn’t be trusted because Kerry has a degree in political science, which Massie described as “not really science.”
Regardless of his intent on Wednesday, Massie has spent the pandemic pushing Covid misinformation and opposing mask and vaccine mandates. He used a neo-Nazi meme to drive his stance home last month.