Thursday, FNC host Tucker Carlson opened his program questioning how Democrats and their political and ideological allies have blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the increase in crime, including homicides, in the country in recent months.
Carlson disputed the claim that the coronavirus was to blame but said it was instead a product of poor leadership.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: One Sunday afternoon last September, a 16-year-old boy called Aaron Pryor was shot to death in a driveway near his home in Oakland, California. Even by the standards of midday drive-by shootings, it was an awful crime. Surveillance footage showed the killer firing more than a dozen rounds before fleeing.
No one was arrested for the murder, but local media did not seem especially interested in finding out who did it because they already knew. The coronavirus killed Aaron Pryor. That’s what they told us.
When local television stations noted that violence in the area had risen since the pandemic began, they must be connected.
Aaron Pryor’s football coach agreed with this. It was COVID that really killed this kid, he told reporters. The coach didn’t explain how exactly COVID had done this killing or what COVID’s motive might have been. But no one asked.
Everyone, particularly people in power seemed happy to blame COVID, the pandemic did it. You’ve heard that a lot, and not just in California. Across the country in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed rising crime rates squarely on the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Police organizations will say that part of the reason that crime is up is because there has been a cut in funding to the NYPD. What do you say to that?
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: This predates any funding decisions. That’s just the truth. The perfect storm I mentioned started in March and April when everything shut down and we saw the violence start in earnest May into June, into July. And it’s clearly because things came unglued.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Right? It must have been the pandemic. That makes sense. The quarantine did it. We forced everyone to stay home and that’s why there are many people on the streets shooting each other and pushing strangers into oncoming subway cars.
Does that make sense to you? No. It doesn’t make sense to anyone. But thankfully, experts soon emerged to explain why something so obviously untrue must in fact be true, quote, “Because of the stresses of the pandemic, they are everywhere,” explained the former CIA officer called Jeff Asher to The New York Times. “You’re seeing this everywhere.” Except we’re not seeing this everywhere. That’s not true.
The coronavirus may be global, but rising crime rates are not global. Police in Canada, for example, reported that crime fell by 18 percent between March and October of last year. In the U.K., crime saw its biggest annual decrease in a decade. In Sweden and Russia, crime dropped, too. Even in Mexico, which is in the middle of a drug war. There were fewer homicides in 2020 than there were in 2019.
So for normal countries, pretty much all countries, the pandemic meant more Netflix, but less killing. Not here. In the United States, the opposite happened. A lot of Netflix, even more killings. You’re seeing the data on your screen right now. It’s from a nonprofit called the Council on Criminal Justice and researchers at the University of Missouri.
It shows the average weekly homicide rate in 21 major cities. Killings spiked in late May, well after the pandemic began. According to Council on Criminal Justice, quote, “Homicides, aggravated assault, gun assaults rose significantly beginning in late May and June of 2020. They jumped by 40 percent during the summer and 34 percent in the fall when compared to the previous summer and fall.
So far this year, these sad trends have continued. Murders are up 800 percent in Portland, Oregon. They’re up 56 percent in Minneapolis, scene of George Floyd’s death. They are up 27 percent in LA, 22 in New York, they’re up 40 percent in Philadelphia.