Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the award-winning director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, has worked in the public health sector since 1995. But for some people, apparently, her accomplishments and experience pale in comparison to the fact she's the sister of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Messonnier reportedly angered President Trump on Tuesday when she said it's not a question of if, but when and how fiercely, the coronavirus will hit the United States. "She never should have said that," a senior administration official told CNBC. "It's bad."
But some of Trump's supporters, like conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, have taken things a step further. Limbaugh, who has said the coronavirus is nothing more than the common cold and a scare tactic meant to hurt Trump by tanking the stock market, doubled down on his conspiracy theory Wednesday by tying Messonnier to her brother, who is, to put it gently, not viewed favorably by Trump and his allies, thanks to his role overseeing former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into 2016 Russian election interference.
Limbaugh falsely suggested Messonnier was part of a "deep state" conspiracy to exploit the coronavirus to bring down Trump.
Rush Limbaugh and right-wing fringe sites are attacking Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC official handling the coronavirus response, because she is Rod Rosenstein's sister. They're spreading the lie that she's part of the deep state and trying to tank the markets to weaken Trump.
— Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) February 26, 2020
Perhaps not shockingly, others have followed suit.
Right on schedule: The rightwing news sites (Gateway Pundit, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) have seized upon the fact that Dr. Nancy Messonnier—the CDC official who warned of potential severe disruptions—is Rod Rosenstein's sister.
Buckle up. This is going to keep getting stupider. pic.twitter.com/PTyGz0FKlH
— Mark Strauss (@MarkDStrauss) February 26, 2020
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