smallpox blanket

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From stories of the use of blankets infected with smallpox against Native Americans at the Siege of Fort Pitt.


smallpox blanket ‎(plural smallpox blankets)

  1. (idiomatic) An apparently benevolent offering whose real intent is to disrupt, destabilize, or weaken.
    • 1998 May–Jun, Bradford Matsen, “Travel to exotic foreign lands! See beautiful coral reefs! And kill them!”, Mother Jones Magazine, volume 23, number 3, San Francisco [u.a.]: Foundation for National Progress, ISSN 0362-8841, page 67: 
      The irony is that barely two decades into Jamaica's boom time, the country's reliance on tourism can be compared to a smallpox blanket: It'll keep you warm for a couple of nights but kill you in the long run.

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