The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Blood in the Water

The Democrats smell blood in the water as their trained hamsters in the media take a serious but manageable viral outbreak and spin it in a way that induces hysteria and panic across broad swaths of the population. New cases and death are emphasized, while context and calm are jettisoned to achieve maximum panic.

The Dems have settled, it seems, on three talking points: (1) there are not enough "test kits" for everyone to get tested immediately for COVID-19; (2) we wasted time once the earliest signs began coming out of China and should have been preparing since at least January, and (3) the Trump administration is in chaos and has no plan for battling the virus. Let's take each of these points in sequence.

Testing. COVID-19 has no cure, except time. Therefore, knowing you have it does little to improve your health. Testing does provide additional data for the government (worthwhile) and another notch on the media scoreboard (questionable), but in no way leads to getting better. That takes time, and in 8 out of 10 cases, no medical attention is required. Knowing you have COVID-19 should lead to self-quarantine, but if you're sick with any flu, shouldn't you do that anyway? And for those who sneeze once and demand a test? The test you use might have been better applied for someone who actually presents recognizable symptoms to a medical professional.

Slow reaction. Exactly what do the Democrats mean when they tell us that reaction time was slow. They were outraged when Donald Trump banned travel with China, now considered to have been a very wise move. As media induced hysteria ramped up, they criticized Trump for trying to calm fears, suggesting that he wasn't being honest. When he suggested recently that things would get worse before they got better, they criticized him for stoking panic. But the Dems are silent when asked specifically what they would have done differently. Do they suggest that we should have closed schools in January, or maybe hoarded toilet paper when news first came out of China. Or maybe we should have created test kits and a vaccine for a virus whose genome was not yet fully defined. Interesting that none of this concern for lack of preparedness for a black swan event was evidenced in 2009 when H1N1 hit our shores.

A Plan. Joe Biden has offered up a plan that is nearly identical to the actions already put in motion by the Trump Administration who he criticized for "no plan." No surprise there. Biden also formed his own "science based" advisory board (made up of Obama administration retreads), with the outrageous implication that the Trump's advisors are NOT science-based. Tell that to Anthony Fauci, MD.

An example of the media reaction to Trump's recent oval address address is provided by Roger Kimball:
The wretched Jim Acosta, court jester on CNN, complained about Trump calling the virus ‘foreign’ and his identifying the source of the virus as China. That was ‘smacking of xenophobia’ said the babbling head. I wonder if he feels the same about calling German measles ‘German measles’, worries that Ebola is named after a river in Africa, its source, or that Zika is named after some other God-forsaken place in the dark continent. How about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: is that racist about the Rocky Mountains, Jim?
It would be okay if little* Jimmy Acosta were an outlier, but he's representative of a media that hates, hates, hates Trump and allows that hatred not only to obliterate their judgement and objectivity but turns them into Democratic operatives with bylines.

It appears that progressives have decided that anyone who counsels a more measured approach to reduce the outright hysteria that has gripped vast numbers of people is being politically incorrect, and that any one who criticized the hyperbolic, context-free** "reporting" by the media is irresponsible. Progressives claim that their "concern" and their personal sacrifices (e.g., self-imposed social distancing) will help the most vulnerable among us. As usual, exactly the opposite is happening. Broad-based cancellations (e.g., school,*** events, businesses), many highly questionable, have already led to additional costs and significant income loss for millions, many in the lower and middle classes.

Kimball concludes:
[COVID-19] is a formidable bioweapon, not because of its lethality, which is modest, but because of its power as a propaganda weapon in the hands of power hungry politicians and bureaucrats who deploy it to undermine Trump and feed their own authoritarian impulses.

Maybe that's the real answer to the question I posed at the conclusion of my last post.


* I use the adjective "little" not as a reference to Acosta's height (I have no idea how tall he is). Rather, it's a reference to his professionalism, which is infinitesmally small; his objectivity, which is smaller still; his demeanor, which reflects the behavior of a "little" child, and his intelligence, which is little more than passing. Jimmy has "little" to offer anyone except those who are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. He is truly a "little" man.

** On their never-ending scoreboard of COVID-19 deaths (designed to enhance ratings/clicks and increase unease), the media trumpets deaths in Italy (BTW, a socialized medicine country, but never mind). What they purposely leave out is context, as supplied by the respected medical journal, Lancet:
The mean age of those who died in Italy was 81 years and more than two-thirds of these patients had diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer, or were former smokers....Of the patients who died, 42·2% were aged 80–89 years, 32·4% were aged 70–79 years, 8·4% were aged 60–69 years, and 2·8% were aged 50–59 years (those aged >90 years made up 14·1%). The male to female ratio is 80% to 20% with an older median age for women (83·4 years for women vs 79·9 years for men).
For the many innumerate progressives who keep telling us that "sacrifice" is necessary to save "the most vulnerable" among us and that statistical context is politically incorrect, let's be crystal clear. If you're under 80 and in good health, you're far more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than by COVID-19.

*** This evening, the CDC announced that school closures are not such a good idea and that hand-washing (a good idea) would be far more effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Hmmm. This after closures in 38 states.