Thom Tillis Repeats QAnon Claim On COVID Death Toll

Salon reports:

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., on Thursday told a virtual town hall audience that he believed the 200,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. had been inflated in order to “encourage people to use social distancing.” “When the final accounting is done,” the actual COVID-19 death count will be lower, Tillis claimed.

The response echoes a false conspiracy theory pushed by adherents of the baseless QAnon movement: that public health officials are allegedly lying to the public about the true death count because of ulterior or possibly sinister motives. Only 6% of the reported deaths are attributable solely to COVID-19, conspiracy theorists claim.

Tillis also embraced an extreme anti-vaccine position and appeared to welcome herd immunity as part of a strategy to get 60% of the country immune.