Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Says Coronavirus Lockdown is 'Punishing' Rural America, Calls it 'Mindless and Cruel'

Tucker Carlson said rural America is being punished by coronavirus lockdowns, calling the restrictions in some states "mindless and cruel" in light of infection numbers.

In a monologue on Thursday's edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the Fox News Host argued that COVID-19 posed a "miniscule" threat to people in rural states as he highlighted the dire state of unemployment across the country.

He also said rural America had experienced "unprecedented disaster" and "mass human tragedy" over the last 30 years at the hands of the opioid crisis.

After listing off the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in parts of rural America, along with unemployment figures, Carlson said: "So maybe the lesson of all this is not every place in America is the same. Not everywhere is New York or New Jersey. The threat to rural America from this virus is minuscule, so why are we punishing the people who live outside the cities?

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson
Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson speaks during Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Schwartz/Getty Images

"It seems mindless and cruel, which is to say it's perfectly consistent with this political moment."

He then questioned if midtown Manhattan would be shut down in the event that a virus disproportionately hurt towns in states like Maine.

"Would the professional class in our cities change their lives at all?" he asked. "Would they even notice it was happening?"

Speaking about the impact of the opioid crisis on rural America, the Fox Host said: "This was a man-made epidemic and it's still raging. That epidemic has killed far more Americans than the Wuhan coronavirus has, or will."

"What's been happening to rural America, to the people who've been living there for the past 30 years, has been an unprecedented disaster. It's been a mass human tragedy," Carlson added."

"Unfortunately, as far as our leaders are concerned, these are the wrong people. They don't really count."

The Fox News host issued his attack on lockdown measures in rural America on the same day the Department of Labor released the latest jobless claim numbers for the week ending April 18.

Its data showed that a further 4.4 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims, taking the five-week total to more than 26 million claims. The Labor Department has attributed the colossal spike in joblessness to the impact of COVID-19 and related pandemic shutdowns across the U.S.

According to comments provided by states reporting jobless figures, layoffs in industries such as retail, construction, food services and health care have fueled the huge number of claims.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

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