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Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

Omicron Is Feeding the Republican Conspiracy Beast

Why would a congressman spread wacky theories linking the variant to the midterm elections? Because the incentives that drive normal political parties don’t work in today’s GOP.

Seeing plots.

Seeing plots.

Photographer: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

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Is anyone surprised that it took only a couple of days for Republicans to spread obviously nonsensical conspiracy theories about the omicron coronavirus variant? U.S. Representative Ronny Jackson, a Texas Republican and former White House physician, took to Twitter on Sunday to claim: “Here comes the MEV — the Midterm Election Variant! They NEED a reason to push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots. Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election — but we're not going to let them!”