While being a serial liar is definitely not an admirable quality in anyone — particularly in a politician — there can come a point where a person’s ability to spout off falsehoods as if they’re absolute facts becomes… morbidly fascinating? It’s one of the reasons why people are so interested in alleged con men like Bernie Madoff. And likely part of the reason we can’t get enough of hearing about George Santos’ many, many, MANY lies.
To be clear: The fact that a person running for public office would lie about everything from their educational and work backgrounds to their mother dying on 9/11 is downright despicable. But as more and more of Santos’ lies are exposed, the more intriguing his whole tale becomes. And the latest untruth that’s been uncovered about the controversial New York congressman, according to The Daily Beast, is his claim that he was one of the first people in the U.S. who was diagnosed with COVID-19.
As Decca Muldowney writes, New York state confirmed its first case of COVID on March 1, 2020. Less than a month later, on March 30, Santos — who was then mounting his first campaign to run for congress in New York’s 3rd congressional district — told his harrowing tale about surviving COVID while appearing as a guest on a local podcast.
Santos claimed that he began showing symptoms of what he referring to as “the Chinese flu” on March 9, 2020 and was hospitalized just two days later. “It was really bad,” he said. “Fever, body aches.”
Santos said his fight with the virus was particularly difficult because “I have an immunodeficiency and I have acute chronic bronchitis. I also battled a brain tumor a couple of years ago” he said. “I had radiation done, which really lowers your immunity in general. Radiation isn’t a game. I’m susceptible to cancer. It’s in my DNA.”
Is any of this true? Who knows. But it all seemed to be an elaborate setup for Santos to talk about how the reaction to COVID was seriously overblown and that while people were calling him a “survivor,” he didn’t necessarily feel worthy of the term. “It’s just flu,” Santos said.
Initially, he laid out a complex timeline of his illness and treatment. But following that initial interview, Santos never made mention of previously having a brain tumor and/or undergoing radiation for it again.
Following Donald Trump’s diagnosis with COVID, and subsequent hospitalization for it, in October 2020, Santos apparently saw this as a great publicity opportunity for himself and his campaign. So he became a familiar face on TV as a COVID “survivor,” sharing his own story and explaining what then-president Trump might be going through. Which is where Santos’ entire timeline of the events began shifting to fit whatever narrative or group he was trying to play to. He began stating that he became symptomatic sooner and that he was one of the first people in the state of New York — and the country — to fight COVID and survive.
A year ago today I was hospitalized unable to breath. Later in the week my test came back positive for #COVID19.
I was bed ridden for 10 straight days from the 5th-15th. Never in my mind would I think we’d still be fighting this invisible but deadly enemy for this long…
— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) March 5, 2021
Just a few months later, the date and details of his infection changed again:
A quick correction for you, I was infected with Covid in February 2020 and tested positive at Elmhurst hospital in March 7th there was no pandemic then. I was caught my surprise and took this plague serious very early on. Plenty of media to prove this.
— George Santos (@Santos4Congress) August 24, 2021
Like all things that Santos asserts, this is one claim that should be taken with salt — and a side of horse tranquilizer.
(Via The Daily Beast)