At every turn during the pandemic, coronavirus skeptics are taking their shots at the public policy response to the virus. Two of these skeptics in Colorado are conservative radio talk show hosts, and they have taken to expressing their disapproval of state and federal public health responses over the airwaves.
Randy Corporon, an Aurora-based attorney and host of Wake Up! With Randy Corporon on 710 KNUS, is infamous for his far-right political positions.
On September 1, Corporon co-hosted a rally at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison to protest Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ COVID restrictions, such as social distancing and mask mandates.
For years, Corporon has been very involved in state politics. He founded the Arapahoe Tea Party in 2010, which coincided with Corporon becoming a regular caller to the now-defunct conservative talk radio program, Grassroots Radio, which was broadcast by KLZ, 560am. His conservative commentary earned him an offer to host his first radio talk show on that station.
Last spring, Corporon was elected to serve as state committeeman of the Republican National Committee and as a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention.
In his role of attorney, Corporon has been busy representing business owners who were cited for violating the COVID-10 public health orders. And in August, he was hired by Patrick Neville, legislator and leader of the House Republicans at the Capitol, and Michelle Malkin, a well-known conservative author, commentator, and activist from El Paso County, to represent them in the lawsuit they filed against Gov. Polis.
Their lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Polis’ executive order from July 16 requiring all people over 10 years of age to wear a mask when entering or moving within a public indoor space or using public or non-persona transportation services.
With his high profile in broadcast media and state politics, Corporon attracted the attention of journalists from CNN who wrote a story highlighting some of Corporon’s more controversial political positions and statements. In particular, he has shared widely inaccurate statements and opinions on social media and over the radio airwaves, including comments which perpetuate the false tenets of birtherism, as well as islamophobic and sexist comments.
Corporon’s email response to CNN was never published by the network because CNN rejected the conditions Corporon demanded for its publication.
Last Saturday during his morning show, Corporon addressed Jefferson County’s response to COVID-19—the same county suing Bandimere Speedway, who he represents as an attorney.
Corporon listed the statistics as of October 3, emphasizing the seemingly low number of those hospitalized in Jeffco.
“This is Jefferson County as of today: 24 people in the hospital. Twenty-four!” said Corporon. “[The population of Jefferson County is 560,000 –something like that. I don’t have that exact number right in front of me. Twenty-four people in the hospital.”
Corporon also made a note to repeatedly call the coronavirus, “the China Communist Party Wuhan Virus” throughout his broadcast.
“Over the entire period of the China Communist Party Wuhan Virus, 577 people have been in the hospital. Jefferson County has documented 6,009 cases of the virus,” said Corporon. “Fifty-two hundred and twenty-three of those people have recovered. And the total of deaths in Jefferson County—and I’m not minimizing a single one of them—254.”
Corporon used Jeffco statistics to criticize the county’s approach to requiring children wear masks as in-person learning resumes.
“But here’s where the public policy makes absolutely no sense. The number of people 20 and younger who died in Jefferson County: zero. They make up 22.4 percent of the Jefferson County population—zero,” said Corporon. “And we’re masking our five year-old children; forcing them to—and I think that’s horribly, physically dangerous, and especially sociologically and emotionally dangerous for our kids. What a hiccup we’re putting in their development. If I had young kids right now, they’d be homeschooled. They would not be put in a mask, and they would not be going into these environments.”
As of yesterday, Jeffco Public Schools has seen a total of 160 COVID cases in the student body. Of those, 88 are active cases, and 72 are students eligible to return to school. The school district has seen significant spikes in the number of cases during the past week.
According to NPR, there is consensus that children with no prior health issues are less likely to experience an adverse reaction to the coronavirus. However, some research has revealed that children, especially older children, can contribute to community spread.
Corporon hasn’t been the only conservative to express his dubiousness about COVID and the ensuing precautions in place in Colorado.
Jeff Crank, another high profile Colorado Republican and conservative radio talk show host on 740 KVOR, appeared as a guest on the Richard Randall Show, another conservative show on KVOR, to discuss how his own experience getting tested positive for COVID, and remaining largely asymptomatic, ties into coronavirus being a “political disease.”
“The percent of the total population that gets tested positive in Colorado that didn’t die from coronavirus: 99.787 percent as of this morning,” Crank said. “I mean, why are we freaked out?”
Colorado is experiencing its highest hospitalization rates since the end of July, writes the Denver Post. As of Monday, 233 people diagnosed with COVID-19 were hospitalized.
According to the University of Washington, a majority of people who are hospitalized go on to experience adverse health effects for months following their hospitalization. The virus is too new to determine if these effects are life-long, but the implication is that pandemic mitigation exists not only to reduce related-deaths, but to keep the health care system from being overloaded, and from triggering chronic health conditions in those hospitalized.
“This is a political disease,” said Crank.”It’s very serious for some people that get it if you look at the statistics, but for the vast majority of people, they’re gonna get it, many of them aren’t even gonna know they had it, like me, and they’re gonna be through it, and done, and moving on.”