Lauren Boebert accused of parroting QAnon conspiracy with tweet about missing children

Critics highlight truth behind statistics amid comparisons with alt-right theory

Gino Spocchia
Tuesday 14 December 2021 15:52
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SNL skit mocks Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert’s pro-gun stance

Far-right Congresswoman Lauren Boebert appeared to share a QAnon conspiracy about missing children and was swiftly condemned for it.

The Republican said on Saturday that “365,348 children went missing in 2020”, and inaccurately referred to FBI statistics on missing children.

Ms Boebert did not say that 95 per cent of the children reported missing in 2020 were runaways, causing many to condemn her remarks.

As few as 276, or 1 per cent, of the missing children from 2020 were abductions – with the FBI finding that a noncustodial parent was nine times more likely than a stranger to carry out an abduction.

The congresswoman told her Twitter followers, “You haven’t heard a word from the media about it. There enlies the problem”.

Her remarks appeared to blame the so-called “mainstream media” for not reporting on “missing children”, all the while making a potential reference to QAnon.

Followers of the alt-right conspiracy believe in a so-called global elite that has worked against Donald Trump and Republican figures – while running a child trafficking ring.

John K Roman, a senior fellow in the Economics, Justice, and Society Group at NORC at the University of Chicago, said Ms Boebert’s interpretation of the FBI figures were “potentially quite harmful”.

“Politicising these numbers because you don’t understand them – and criminalising runaways – does not help these kids,” he tweeted. “There’s is A LOT to be said about the damage caused by hysteria over stranger attacks”.

“I don’t know if this is from a well-intentioned place or a conspiracy theory,” he added in an interview with Insider, “but either way, it’s a myth that is potentially quite harmful”.

“This is not a harmless deflection,” added Rebecca Zimmerman, an IPV & public policy researcher at Denver university.

“By deceiving about the true nature, causes, and prevalence of child abuse, Rep Boebert and QAnon cultists are diverting attention attention and resources from real children who need real solutions NOW.”

Ms Boebert went on to tweet: “Oh no, a typo! If I were a Democrat, I’d be able to blame the keyboard for this mistake and then go on TV and cry that ‘I didn’t type the letters”’

“Maybe I should always include typos when talking about missing children, seems that’s the only way you people pay attention.”

She was more recently at the centre of ridicule by Saturday Night Live, who lampooned Ms Boebert and congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for supporting guns.

The Republican accused the show of being “poorly acted”.

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