Rush Limbaugh stated during his radio show Monday that he believes the deadly coronavirus wreaking havoc around the world is being used as part of an effort to “bring down” President Trump.

The conservative commentator and recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient made the claim as the stock market slumped over concerns about the coronavirus continuing to spread.

“It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” Mr. Limbaugh said during his syndicated radio show.

“I’m dead right on this,” he said. “The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

Mr. Limbaugh, 69, subsequently proceeded to claim the coronavirus was likely developed by the Chinese government before accusing members of the media of exaggerating its severity.

“I believe the way it’s being weaponized is by virtue of the media, and I think that it is an effort to bring down Trump, and one of the ways it’s being used to do this is to scare the investors, to scare people in business,” he said. “It’s to scare people into not buying Treasury bills at auctions. It’s to scare people into leaving, cashing out of the stock market — and sure enough, as the show began today, the stock market — the Dow Jones Industrial Average — was down about 900 points, supposedly because of the latest news about the spread of the coronavirus.”

“Be very leery of this, folks. It probably is not what the media’s leading you to believe it is,” Mr. Limbaugh said later during the show.

More than 79,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed since it was discovered in China in December, the World Health Organization said Monday. More than 2,500 proved fatal.

The longtime host of “The Rush Limbaugh Show” revealed early this month that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. Mr. Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, the next day.

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