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Wilbur Ross, the IRL Mr. Burns, Thinks the Coronavirus Will Be Great for American Jobs

What is wrong with the Secretary of Commerce?

wilbur ross holds a can of soup while being awful

Much of the news cycle has been dominated with coverage of the coronavirus, the quick-spreading virus that has already killed at least 171 people in China and has spread to over 8,000 victims in less than a month. This is, inarguably, bad news, as pandemics are never a cause for celebration.

Unless, of course, you’re Wilbur Ross. Trump’s Secretary of Commerce and Mr. Burns lookalike made an appearance on Fox Business, where he told host Maria Bartiromo that the spread of the virus could “help to accelerate the return of jobs.” Ross remarked that “Every American’s heart has to go out to the victims of the coronavirus, so I don’t want to talk about a victory lap over a very unfortunate, very malignant disease.”

But Ross nonetheless revved the engine of his monopoly man car and proceeded to mow down the Chinese competition, saying:

“But the fact is it does give businesses yet another thing to consider when they go through their review of their supply chain. On top of all the other things, you had SARS, you have the African swine (fever) virus there, now you have this. It’s another risk factor that people need to take into account. So I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America ― some to U.S., probably some to Mexico as well.”

Cool perspective, Wilbur! Ross then said that deaths from the coronavirus will eliminate people and decrease the surplus population before diving into his private pool of gold coins. Okay, that didn’t happen, but it’s a shockingly cynical and dark interpretation of global events.

It’s also wildly ignorant and short-sighted, considering there have already been cases of coronavirus reported in America. The world has cycled through various pandemics and outbreaks since the dawn of time: SARS, swine flu, bird flu, influenza, the black plague. These moments are scary on a personal and political level and remind us of our own fragility and vulnerability.

But instead of reassuring people or offering advice, Ross is only concerned with the profit to be made off of the suffering of afflicted Chinese people. It’s a dark and very Trumpian take on tragedy. But what else would we expect from an administration that profits off of tragedy? Never forget that in the aftermath of 9/11 when the twin towers fell, Donald Trump bragged about his buildings now being the tallest in Manhattan.

Many took to social media to call out Ross’s gross and opportunistic comments:

Once again, there is no bottom, no craven depths to which these people won’t sink to. Truly the darkest of timelines.

(via Politico, image: screencap/CNBC)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.