A media watchdog fact-checked a facetious claim made by a Republican state legislator, who joked that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had killed more people than the coronavirus.
PolitiFact published an article on Wednesday debunking a tweet from Wisconsin state Rep. Gae Magnafici.
“More people have died from knowing Hillary,” Magnafici tweeted in response to a suggestion from a fellow Wisconsin legislator that the Trump administration might be facing a crisis over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
More people have died from knowing Hillary.
— Gae Magnafici (@GMagnafici) March 7, 2020
PolitiFact reached out to Magnafici’s office about the tweet.
“It’s clearly a joke,” staffer Tyler Ellisen told the fact-checking site.
PolitiFact reporter Eric Litke was apparently not satisfied with Magnafici’s response, writing “dismissing something as a ‘joke’ doesn’t make it immune from scrutiny — especially when it’s not presented as such.”
“As of March 7, 2020, the death toll for the coronavirus was already well over 3,000 people worldwide. The U.S. death toll was at 19 at the time,” Litke wrote.
“Comparing that to people who died due to any connection with Clinton is, obviously, ridiculous.”
Litke, averring that Magnafici’s joke made “no logical sense” and lacked “accompanying context indicating it was meant as some kind of satire,” rated the claim as “Pants on Fire.”