In a story almost too ridiculous to believe, a Trump voter named Karen who chose to fight COVID-19 with guns and faith has succumbed to the virus.
The story of a recent victim of COVID-19 is so painted in schadenfreude, irony and modern-day pejorative the average cynic finds it hard to believe.
A day after April Fool’s, a woman (and a Trump voter, no less) named Karen succumbed to the coronavirus, not long after marginalising the virus as a ‘liberal hoax’. Via a Facebook post, Karen Kolb Sehlke took aim at the “media-driven” hoax “controlled by the radical people in powerful places.”
Sehlke also claimed that “our government is under attack from within” while comparing the coronavirus to “the impeachment hoax” and arguing that those who take the current pandemic seriously “panic like sheep.”
She also likened the virus as the “beginning of socialism”, believing that in order to combat the virus, “you don’t need hand sanitiser, toilet paper, and Lysol. You need common sense, a sense of direction, faith, a will to fight, and of course guns!”.
It is believed that she was admitted to a nearby hospital in Tomball, Texas, but passed away on April 2, allegedly due to kidney complications enabled by the coronavirus. In the wake of her death, her family has purportedly set up a gofundme in order to cover her funeral. At the time of writing, it has raised $35,090.
March 14th: *posted COVID-19 hoax, anti-socialism rant on FB*
April 2nd: *died of COVID-19, family asking for GoFundMe donations*
— Sunn m’Cheaux (@sunnmcheaux) April 4, 2020
The entire thing seems entirely too ridiculous to believe. However, I don’t want to put the boot into Karen, or the volumes of her Facebook verbiage, but her tone is echoed elsewhere, not least in Brazil as President Jair Bolsonaro (colloquially known as the ‘Brazilian Trump’, who also oft proclaims he’ll ‘Make Brazil Great Again’) launched his #BrazilCannotStop campaign, one that endeavours to convince Brazilians to not let their lives be impacted by the virus.
According to Jon Lee Anderso of The New Yorker, Jair has made “himself the poster boy for his campaign, Bolsonaro has repeatedly and defiantly gone out on public walkabouts, shaking the hands of supporters and posing for selfies. Twitter removed some videos that showed him meeting and greeting people, and promoting untested treatments, explaining that they violated a company policy to block false or misleading information about the virus.”
On Friday, Bolsonaro spoke in similar terms to Karen, believing that the number of COVID-19 cases in his own country was a “numbers game to favour political interests”.