CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart drew strong backlash for his suggestion that the confluence of a major hurricane, California wildfires and a deadly pandemic hitting the US at the same time may be “karma.”

Lockhart posted his one-word tweet – “Karma?” – in response to a Twitter message by anti-Trump author David Rothkopf asking what the hurricane, California wildfires and the Covid-19 pandemic have in common. Rothkopf answered the question himself by saying President Donald Trump had rejected the science needed to address the crises.


Lockhart’s take suggested not just blame, but deserved punishment. Whether he meant that the death and destruction were payback for America in general or Trump specifically wasn’t clear. The comment, however, did not sit well with many denouncing it as tone-deaf, considering that it came at a time people are racing to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Laura and the California fires. 

“Desperate for attention, Joe, or just evil?” one commenter asked.

Desperate for attention, Joe? Or just evil?

Another has compared Lockhart’s moment of schadenfreude to Hillary Clinton’s calling half of Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorable.

“CNN, nice guy to have working for you. Kinda like Hillary’s ‘deplorables’ comment.” 

@Cnn nice guy you have working for you…. kinda like Hillary’s “deplorables” comment

Others have been simply baffled by the comment, asking Lockhart “what is wrong with you?”

What is wrong with you?

“Ooo, if you really believe in karma, you probably won’t like the returns on this tweet, my man,” one netizen quipped.

Ooo if you really believe in karma you probably won’t like the returns of this tweet my man.

Lockhart was White House spokesman under President Bill Clinton and and an advisor to John Kerry during his 2004 presidential bid.

Laura, a menacing Category 4 storm with winds near 145 miles per hour, is forecast to slam the US Gulf Coast Wednesday night and has upward of 20 million people in its path.

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