The One Senator Who Tried To Warn Everyone About COVID-19 – With everyone focused on the impeachment trial of President Trump, no one listened when Senator Tom Cotton began to warn the U.S. about the threat of coronavirus. Tune in to hear more!
Air Date: 04/27/2020
Guest: Lela Gilbert
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live and we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy and faith and the culture, as always here on WallBuilders, looking at things from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.
If you’re wondering what WallBuilders means, what’s that all about? Well, it comes out of a scripture in Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be able to approach. Well, folks, those are not walls for a COVID crackdown, that’s not what we’re looking for here in day 40 of the COVID crackdown since states have literally shut down our economy and tried to shut down public worship and all kinds of other constitutional privileges. No, that’s not the walls we’re talking about. The walls we’re talking about are back then, in the Old Testament, if you didn’t have those outer walls, your city was run over. It was necessary for the strength of the nation.
In the same way, a nation today like America depends upon foundations, having a strong foundation of principles of liberty. And America had a very strong foundation that has been chipped away at that we see cracks in that foundation. And so, what WallBuilders is all about is just like in that scripture in Nehemiah, coming back and saying, hey, let’s rebuild the foundations, let’s go back to those foundational principles, those biblical ideas of what makes a good society of respecting life, respecting our fellow man, having a government that represents the people, that same republican form of government we find there in Exodus.
It’s an idea of choosing leaders. We get to choose our leaders. We get to choose able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness, those are the things that we talked about here on WallBuilders. So today, we’re going to be talking about this system that we have now and why more people didn’t speak up earlier. The President has been accused of not talking about the coronavirus early enough, even though he took action before anyone else, other than the person we’re going to talk about today. Tom Cotton, Senator from Arkansas was the first one on the national scene to be raising the red flag here and saying, hey guys, we got an issue that we need to deal with. So, we’re going to have Lela Gilbert with us to talk about that a little bit later in the program.
I want to encourage you, first, to go to our website, wallbuilderslive.com, that’s where you can make contributions and those contributions matter. It makes it possible for us to have a voice to speak truth and to restore America’s constitutional republic. Check that out at wallbuilderslive.com.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. Alright, David, Tim, we got Lela Gilbert coming up later in the program from Family Research Council. You know, I mean, in the midst of all this chaos with COVID-19, it is important to look back and say okay, you know, how did we end up here? Who knew what, when? And most people, you know, they think we ignored this. But they were, you know, folks like Tom Cotton, Senator Tom Cotton trying to bring attention to this very early, too bad, impeachment was preventing him from getting his other senators to pay attention.
Yeah, Tom Cotton is a name that most Americans probably do not recognize. There are some senators you will recognize Mitch McConnell or Durbin, others. But Tom Cotton is probably not a household name. But Tom Cotton, early on, I mean, early on, called attention to this. Was probably the first official in the United States Senate to call attention to this and try to get focused on it. And it really got overshadowed, the media made fun of him, they mocked him, because they were in the midst of the impeachment trial.
And as this thing now has gone on a few months, it’s interesting to me to look back and see that kind of the progression of how this developed, what the media was saying at the beginning, where the media is now, what political officials are saying, where they are. And so, I thought, why don’t we just kind of back up? And we’ve been in the midst of this for so long and by the way, long is really the word here. I’ve seen a number of really kind of funny memes where people have said, I’ve now lived in six decades of my life. I lived in the 70s and 80s and 90s and 2000, 2010s and I lived last March, you know, and it’s like a decade, it seems to them. And so, there’s all this thing where that everyone being at home and being confined to shelter in place and so many locales, it seems like it’s really been a long time and we kind of forget what happened.
So, I’m going to go all the way back to when the corona was first announced as being a potential health problem. And while America has been focused on this in February and March and now into April, it was back on November the 22nd of last year that all of this came to focus. Now, November 22 and about a month later on December the 18th is corona was really growing and there’s a lot starting to happen in China. Trump was officially impeached on December the 18th and for weeks and months leading up to that, it was impeachment hearings and Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi and all the people they’re bringing in to testify and so went for weeks and weeks and weeks and just sucked all the air out of the room and really nobody is paying attention to what’s happening to the corona elsewhere in the world.
And it’s interesting that even those that should have been are downplaying it, because China was downplaying and a lot of people believe whatever China says and what most is the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization, say, oh, in China, this corona thing, there is no human to human transmission going on. One human can’t communicate this to another. Oh, really? And how did that happen from the health experts? Because that’s what China was saying, so China was downplaying this.
So, you have on the 18th is Trump’s impeachment. But now in January the 14th, we’re being told, this is two months into this epidemic. January the 14th, the health officials are repeating what China says. And on January the 16th, the impeachment trial begins.
On January the 22nd, is when Tom Cotton says, guys, I’m watching this thing in China, they’re shutting down the schools over there, they’re closing in down cities over there, this thing is spreading and it is big. And we have so many people that fly out of China all over the world. They come to New York City, they come elsewhere. Guys, we really better pay attention to this. And of course, everybody, particularly and the media is fixated on impeachment. So that’s not going to happen. And that’s why the next day after Tom Cotton made that announcement on the 23rd, The Washington Post led the headlines with Tom Cotton has his friend’s theory, called it a conspiracy theory. How, but this made fun of him. So, but nonetheless, the sentence says…
And some of them, even you know, they were trying to make it look like a wag the dog thing. Oh, they’re just trying to distract from impeachment. You know, they’re just trying to divert us from impeachment.
And now that we look back, I wonder where the media was on this. I wonder if they were actually reporting news or actually trying to carry the water for impeachment. Really easy to see now. So, what happens is just less than a week later, Tom Cotton says, we’ve got to evacuate Americans out of China and we’ve got to stop travel to and from China. We got to get this thing stopped. This thing really is a big deal. Again, media, where do they go with it? They don’t go with it, because they’ve already discredited Cotton.
On February the 2nd is when Trump issues the travel restrictions. So, you go from November the 2nd to Tom Cotton in mid-January saying, guys pay attention. And so, on February the 2nd, Trump issues the corona travel restrictions. Now, you remember what the media did with him at that time when he put a ban on travel to and from China?
Oh, he’s a xenophobe…Yeah, it was awful.
It was awful. And Trump looked at other nations and said, boy, these Islamic nations, a lot of them that are close with China, they’re having the same trouble in their countries, so he put a ban on travel to six other Muslim countries that are close to China. And Pelosi said, it was quote, “discrimination disguised as policy”. Biden called it a Muslim ban and an Africa ban. And so, you know, they’re just making fun of him as he’s doing this stuff. But this is still in the midst of impeachment. And so again, he deserves to be impeached. Look how incompetent he is, look what he’s doing with this travel ban. And then the impeachment trial ends on the 5th of February.
So, the trial goes from January the 16th to February the 5th and that trial not only blotted out the coverage of corona. If you remember, they did a very poor job of even covering the Democratic primary in Iowa. I mean, they were so fixated on impeachment that corona got ignored, even the Democrat primary in Iowa got ignored. And when they had a classified hearing at the Us Senate, now classified means it’s off the record, we can’t get the information. This is secret information. When they had a classified hearing on corona in the US Senate, only 14 to the 100 senators even showed. I mean, nobody showed up for that classified hearing because coronas not a big deal. The Washington Post and other media has told us it’s not a big deal. So, nobody shows for that.
And then it’s interesting after the impeachment is over, the media starts saying, hey, you know, Trump actually did a good thing with the travel ban. And actually, this thing is spreading a lot more than we thought and you know, all these other measures…
Now, let me correct you right there. I don’t know the media ever came out and said Trump did a good job with the travel ban.
You’re right. They acknowledge that what he did was right, but they didn’t say Good job. You’re exactly right.
They haven’t told him good on many occasions.
That’s right. So, there’re three weeks after the facts saying, okay, that really was the right thing to do. Well, now, the recent one has been going back a few weeks to march the 19th. And this is when Trump announces and you guys can help me pronounce this, but hydroxychloroquine as the effective treatment. He said, this is what is working.
That’s just drinking from your fish tank, right? That’s what he got playing for. Yeah.
And so, I copied some of the headlines. CNN Headline says “Trump peddles unsubstantiated hope in dark times”. What was the title of Obama’s book? The Audacity of Hope?
The Audacity of Hope. Yeah.
So, what they said with Trump is he has the audacity of false hope, so that was CNN. You had USA Today says, “Trump peddles snake oil in his false hope”. The New York Times says, “Trump’s Embrace of Unproven Drugs to Treat Coronavirus Defies Science”. Well, go a few weeks later. And now here you have the headline. “Trump-backed anti-malaria drug is the most effective coronavirus treatment currently available, according to an international poll of 2000 doctors”. Oh my gosh, Trump was right again.
And to clarify, Trump never said this is the cure. Trump said that if you’re in a situation and nothing else is working, why not try this. This might be something that could help. You might as well get this shot, maybe we should look into this. He suggested that we look into it as an option, but he never said this is the cure which is what the media then played up. And then when things didn’t go well, they want to blame him. Again, it’s a very political game, which we saw even recently with this lady who was a PBS reporter, which is kind of weird that PBS even has reporters on these kinds of things. But this PBS reporter who then goes after the Surgeon General and accuses him of racism because of some of his terminology, etc, and they fell that Ted Cruz…
I love it when they accuse a black guy of racism. It’s just ridiculous
Yeah. I mean, like pandering that, oh, you’re just being, you know, using these generalized stereotypes and he’s says no, that’s really what they call my family and I have extended family that are different nationalities and that’s what they’re called as well. But then, right, Ted Cruz comes out and blasts this reporter for missing the bigger picture. When you’re in the middle of a pandemic, right, this is not the time to play this race baiting and bring more division. We’re trying to be unified and find solutions. But again, it’s a reflection that you see so much of the polarization, that it’s not about what works, what’s right about being unified, it’s still was about division and ratings and etc, etc. But the point is that there are things now that President Trump did indicate could be helpful, that’s now been shown to be helpful. So, the media has had a backtrack on that and now they’re changing their tune and changing tune being relative.
Well, I mean, last week, New York Times, I’m just quoting from New York Times, “Trump may ultimately be right and physicians report anecdotal evidence that has provided hope. But it remains far from certain”. I mean they just can’t even acknowledge it,
And anecdotal evidence is all we’re going to have at this point, because there’s been no studies done and there can’t be studies done at this point. And so, all you can do is say, hey, this person took it and they got better, well, then maybe more people should try it. And more people are trying it and more people are getting better. And it’s not worked in every case, but it has worked in many cases. But again, the only option is anecdotal evidence because there’s been no scientific studies. But that’s kind of beyond the point. This is kind of some of the controversy we’ve seen and dealt with. And this is just some of the silly stuff going on in the nation and not many people have been talking about that. But it’s certainly the evidence is there when you look for it.
Well, it’s interesting that we’re now at a point with media and with political leaders that if Trump said two plus two equals four, they would attack him for saying what’s obvious. So, when Tom Cotton came out with this way before Trump even did something with it, Tom Cotton, if they had been focusing on news and truth, if we had listened to what Tom Cotton said, who knows, it might have made a dramatic difference and we don’t have a clue. But we won’t know because the media would not report the news they should have been reporting. So, this going to be an interesting interview today, looking at what Tom Cotton did and what’s happened since then.
Lela Gilbert is from Family Research Council, frc.org is the website. She’s going to be with us when we come back from the break. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders live. Thanks for staying with us today. Lela Gilbert is with us. She’s a Senior Fellow over at Family Research Council. Lela, thanks for your time today.
Thank you for inviting me.
Hey, you all had a recent article about the whole virus outbreak and what it was like in the early hours of that outbreak. Tom Cotton’s response. President Trump’s response. Just wanted to get you on to talk a little bit about that. Because as we look back, it looks like Senator Cotton was actually kind of warning folks long before anybody else was paying attention, but all they wanted to talk about was the impeachment.
That’s right. He has been right on top of this China stuff for months and months.
What was the reaction of other senators when Tom Cotton started bringing attention to this and to what China was doing?
I think the trade issues with China make a lot of difference, depending on which senators are involved, because everybody’s afraid of losing deals and losing opportunities. And he was very focused on the realities of what the Chinese government is doing in terms of human rights and abuses of both the Uighur Muslims and Christians and really any religious groups that they can get their hands on. They’re using them, not only locking them up, but they’re using them for experimentation with technology and also using them for organ harvesting. It’s a horrific situation.
Do you think this entire crisis will help bring light to those issues? I mean, some would say it’s unrelated, but it’s really not, because it exposes the regime and what they’re really willing to do.
Oh, I think it’s got to shine light on it, because they’ve been abusing religious believers for 70 years. And this is worse. This particular President has made matters worse, he’s gone back to some [inaudible 16:36] original behavior and it’s very dangerous. And I think it will cast line on it because it’s affecting us. Normally, when these religious freedom issues happen, Americans are troubled by it, but they don’t take it personally. This, we have to take personally because whatever lies behind it, which nobody really knows, lots of theories, lots of rumors, but China is responsible for what’s going on in the world today and I think that will shine the light and I sure hope it does.
When you say that this particular Chinese leadership is even worse than before and going back to even some of what Mao did, I mean, what are some of the examples? How do you wake the American people up to realize that China has not been the good player on the world stage that they promote themselves to be?
Well, in 2018, he made some new rules, including that he would be president for a very long time right at the top of the list. But he also did a major crackdown on religious believers and specifically Christians because Christians, they’re more Christians in China than there are party members now. They’re very much a problem for that kind of a government and so he’s started ripping crosses off churches. He’s burned churches, exploded churches, had done big sweeps of believers and pastors, particularly in Bible teachers and they started rewriting the New Testament in ways that would be in keeping with the Communist Party’s views. So, this has been going on since 2018 when it was first announced. They took all Bibles offline, it’s no longer possible to buy Bibles or New Testaments online. So, it’s not just talk, it’s cracked down, big crack down.
Okay. That one kind of shocked, I didn’t realize that. So even worse than banning Bibles, they’re literally rewriting the new testament to make it look like the Bible supports this kind of a communist government.
Well, as far as I know, I have not seen text to that, but I’ve seen announcements of it. And of course, it would be in Chinese. But yeah, I mean, the whole point is to smother this religious group. And it’s not going to happen, because there are so many Christians and they’re so alive in their faith. They put us all to shame really.
When organizations like Family Research Council have a good relationship with our current president, for instance, how do you advise him on a situation like this? Like how do you advise them to treat these kind of abuses and the stance to take with a nation like China in order to try to influence some change?
Well, I think it’s a very good time, because not only and certainly, Research Council very active in terms of political influence, but the president Tony Perkins is also the chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has first-hand information, so he can speak in such a well-informed way and he does and I know he speaks about these things to the Vice President and the President. So, I think it’s a very good time to bring these things up and of course, China has made open door for the address of some of their abuses.
Yeah, no doubt. Well, thank you for bringing attention to it. Thanks for what you guys do at Family Research Council. Best place to go for more information, frc.org.
That’s right. That’s it
Frc.org, Lela Gilbert, thanks for your time today.
Thank you very much.
Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
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We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Lela Gilbert and all of Family Research Council who does fantastic work. We’re back David, and Tim Barton. And you know, back to this idea of had we listened to Tom Cotton early on, it could have made a difference, had we at least had the media paying attention to this thing. I am shocked at the headlines I see right now where they are just slamming Trump saying, you know, people are dying because he didn’t act fast enough. And here we’re seeing evidence that he acted before the media or any of the Democrats wanted him to.
Yeah, it is crazy to see that Trump was one of the first ones to respond. And as far as in America, especially compared to the Democrat, the liberal, the media, right, the different outlets and options that are out there, Trump was one of the very first ones to respond to this and the media began criticizing him when he responded to this. And now, it’s as if the media forgot what they reported a couple of months ago and so they want to blame Trump for this.
And one of the things I appreciated that Lela pointed out in this interview is, when Trump for example, was putting restrictions on travel and on different nations and even some restrictions that have gone against China, even going back to some of the trade initiatives where Trump is has done some things with our trade with China and he’s been criticized for that and I appreciate it that Lela pointed out a lot of people just don’t know or maybe we don’t remember how bad of a player China has been to their own people for so long.
And looking when Tom Cotton came out and was against China and many senators would not support him because they didn’t want to go against China. But looking back, I mean, Rick, you know, even as you were listening and hearing this and your surprise was evident in the interview, well, I’m out here listening and my surprise was just as evident, just mine was not live on that interview. But looking at what China has done with organ harvesting, with slavery being legal, with religious persecution, right, with the new dictator coming in and essentially declaring himself dictator for life and the New Testament being rewritten, Bible is being taken off shelves, only the ones that have been rewritten being available. I mean, this is crazy stuff that would be hard for most Americans to wrap their mind around and yet this is kind of routine for China.
And looking back in the 90s, right, when China had the one child policy, I mean, there’s times you’ve looked at China and thought they are really bad, some of what they do. This is a really messed up nation in some of their policies and to imagine it’s gotten worse. How could it get worse? Well, when you’re now going to do organ harvesting off of humans, that just got worse. Right? When you’re specifically enslaving certain groups and religious groups and minorities, it’s just gotten worse. This is where China is today. And Trump getting criticized for saying no, we should be strong against China, if more people knew what China was doing, more Americans would support President Trump’s position. But a lot of times in the media, they don’t want to report what China is actually doing, they just want to bash a president who doesn’t have the policies they like. And this is where they’re being intellectually dishonest.
They give China the benefit of the doubt. And so, when China says, oh, no, it’s not human to human transmission of this virus, they just report that. they just pick it up. And it’s significant right now that what we see China doing is they’re all over the world of propaganda right now. They’re pointing out they were not responsible for this virus. The media has picked up in here, Trump called it the China virus. How xenophobic is that, you know? So, he’s even being criticized for calling it the virus that originated in China. But you look at what’s out medically. China is taking medicine that is done by American companies that moved to China when tax laws were so bad and they’re now giving that medicine to other nations to curry favor. So, our medicine is not even being delivered to America from American companies, they’re taken and given to other nations. They’re all over the world now with propaganda trying to make themselves look really good.
And let me point out that Bill Maher and just this last week, came out and attacked liberals for attacking Trump for going against China. And when Bill Maher is defending President Trump against the liberals, you know, the liberals, the media has gone way too far in this, which we’ve been arguing for years. But when Bill Maher is on your side, this you start to wonder how warm hell still is because maybe something is freezing over because you never would think that would happen. But again, when hypocrisy policy goes so far, it becomes evident to even people on the other side that just have their eyes open.
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Thanks so much for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.
Thank you for giving the time line of what was going on in government and the media. Very informative.