CNN & MSNBC Commentator Literally Calls for Melania To Be Infected with Coronavirus


Rick Wilson is a man who, I would presume, is very unemployed these days in his chosen field of Republican political consulting.

This is because, as he notes on his Twitter profile, he’s an “Apostate GOP Media Guy.” If you’re wondering what that means, it’s pretty much the same grift that people like Ana Navarro and Max Boot have mastered: If you’re a former Republican that’s done something slightly notable and you’ve had a change of heart prompted by Trump, you get all sorts of air time.

Say what you will about Navarro and Boot, they were relatively accomplished before they decided to become apostate GOP media people. Rick Wilson was kinda sorta known. I mean, I’d seen him once or twice, somewhere, I think. However, self-promotion and self-reported apostasy have paid off well for Wilson, who’s now a not-infrequent guest on CNN and MSNBC. He’s also the co-head of the Lincoln Project, a putatively conservative effort to unseat President Trump.

Readers might remember him from a widely criticized appearance in January with CNN’s Don Lemon, where Wilson mocked the intelligence of President Donald Trump’s supporters while Lemon and another guest laughed uproariously.

The frequency of his appearances could reduce in the very near future, however, considering he tweeted that Melania Trump should be infected with coronavirus.

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On Wednesday, the White House announced that the first lady would be appearing in a series of public service announcements designed to educate Americans about the ways they can avoid COVID-19 infection.

In a news release, the White House said she would emphasize “important ways Americans can protect themselves and those most at risk,” according to CNN.

And thus did Rick Wilson remind you again that he existed, only in the worst possible way.

See, he’s making a pun on the first lady’s anti-bullying Be Best campaign, only he’s hoping she’s infected with a dread illness we’re all inside trying to avoid. Funny, right?

This got the kind of reactions you might expect.

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This was, however, a hill that Wilson was apparently willing to die on. Replying to Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney, the apostate was unrepentant.

“Insofar as #BeBest has been a travesty from the jump, you mean?” he wrote. “Insofar as her online bullying efforts are placed in absurd contrast by her husband’s daily actions?

“That’s how I meant it,” he said

So, if a first lady has an anti-bullying campaign and you think the president is a bully, Wilson either thinks it’s funny to joke about her being infected with coronavirus or he actually believes she should be infected.

He made another vulgar attempt to explain himself. WARNING: The obscenity is not blacked out in the original tweet.)

The outrage over his comments, no. The outrage he displayed with the #BeInfected tweet, yes.

Do you think Rick Wilson should apologize for these comments?

It’s difficult to imagine networks aren’t going to back away from Wilson, who apparently decided during a pandemic that it was all right to joke that Melania Trump should be a victim of the coronavirus because of her Be Best campaign, or something. Nobody is going to think that’s remotely proportional or the work of a man who’s looking at this situation in a clear-eyed and somber manner.

Say what you will about Ana Navarro and her nail-filing antics, at least I don’t think she’d wish a deadly infection upon anyone.

The same now can’t be said for Wilson, which — one hopes — is enough to curtail his airtime.

You may remember that Lincoln Project that Wilson is involved in that I mentioned at the outset. In December, Wilson, along with a few other ex-Republican NeverTrumpers — the curiously married George Conway, along with Steve Schmidt and John Weaver — co-authored a commentary piece for The New York Times announcing the inception of the organization.

The Lincoln Project, they wrote, is “an effort to highlight our country’s story and values, and its people’s sacrifices and obligations. This effort transcends partisanship and is dedicated to nothing less than preservation of the principles that so many have fought for, on battlefields far from home and within their own communities.”

Do those principles and values involve jokes about someone getting coronavirus as the entire country gets put on pause to avoid a second coming of the 1918 influenza outbreak? I mean, I understand they’re two different arenas, but a lot of Wilson’s talk is about “principles.” That’s why, he implies, principled individuals can’t support the current president.

If only he had enough principles not to call for the first lady to be infected in the middle of a pandemic lockdown.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture