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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


From the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the media has done more than any other entity to stoke fear and hysteria among the public at large. They would claim that their only intent is to inform. BullSchiff. Their virus score boards, their inaccurate and context-free reporting, their purposeful attempt to avoid any news that might cause people to step back and recognize that although COVID-19 is bad, it is not Ebola—all of that and much more are indicative of an intent to stoke fear, uncertainty and doubt, thereby spiking ratings and/or clicks. And collaterally, doing as much damage to the sitting president as possible.

Victor Davis Hansen pulls no punches when he writes:
Everyone knew before just how biased and unprofessional the media had become in its maniacal hatred of Donald Trump. But few appreciated how uneducated, arrogant, and clueless about simple calculations and logic was this generation of reporters that has emerged from politicized schools of journalism, which taught therapy rather than knowledge, much less a code of conduct.

The media daily blares out preliminary models and data, without even the most remedial context. They parrot the supposedly historic death rate of the virus, without any knowledge that the numerator of virus cases is as inaccurate and misleading as the denominator of deaths is mostly factual.

Then they seemed surprised that the death rate dips as tests and supposed cases spread, without any appreciation that known cases are likely not representative of the populace as a whole, but represent only those who were tested (80-90 percent negative), and thus only of those who felt ill or were exposed enough to be tested. Few tell us that a small percentage of those tested, when ill, have COVID-19, or the death rate is warped by those over 70 with accompanying heart, respirator, and cancer challenges.

When journalists talk of “20,000 cases!” they never remind their readers that nearly 99 percent recover from the virus that has stealthily been with us likely since mid-January, and of those 20,000 or so cases, a large number of the sick are already well. There is now a parlor game on the Internet of cutting and pasting clips from cable news, PBS, and NPR to reveal how inane and unthinking reporters have become.
In 2009, our leaders did NOT suggest social distancing, a partial shutdown of the economy, and all of the many measures local, state, and federal agencies have put into place today. Without those measures, a serious flu, H1N1, infected tens of millions of Americans and killed over 10,000 of them under an administration that was led by a different political party and a different president. The media was generally silent. No criticism, no wild claims, no hysteria. Why is that?

Fast forward 11 years. Today, local, state and federal leadership have worked hard to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. One would assume that the results today should be better, not worse, than H1N1. Why then, does the media present wild and wholly unsubstantiated claims that hundreds of thousands (or in some hysterical claims, millions) of people will die from COVID-19? It just doesn't make sense, but then again, today's media never does.


In my darker moments, I'm beginning to think that the trained hamsters in the media actually want things to get worse—all because it will hurt Trump and provide electoral advantage in November. Why, for example, do the hamsters try to denigrate the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that early evidence has indicated is effective as a treatment for at least some COVID-19 patients. Is it because Trump said it might be a game-changer or maybe becuase an effective treatment might lighten the public mood, at least to some extent. Don't want that ... do we?

Consider the following tweet from the trained hamsters at left-leaning BuzzFeed and Mark Hemingway's response:

The level of blatant dishonesty in BuzzFeed's tweet (along with an earlier Bloomberg post) is astounding. But worse, progressive readers will scurry to parrot their lies, convincing everyone who will listen that Trump has suggested a drug that kills people. DISGUSTING, but sadly, not surprising.


The draconian measures at the local, state and federal level to mitigate the affects of COVID-19 have probably been necessary but they are already doing serious economic damage. In past posts (e.g., here and here), I've asked whether the cure is worse that the disease. Millions are already out of work and millions more are sure to follow. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are stressed to a point where some will not survive. The Democrats are currently obstructing passage of an aid package that will provide limited relief, all because it also provides help for "big corporations" who BTW, employ half of the blue collar workers the Dems profess to care oh-so-much about. You'd almost think that the Dems in the Congress want the country to go into a depression—after all, it certainly would improve their election prospects in the fall.

The media drumbeat has already begin. The trained hamsters will claim that any attempt to restart the economy is irresponsible and ignores the advice of medical professionals. It will grow at about the same rate as COVID-19 cases, stroking still more hysteria—all with the intent of being sure that Trump will be blamed for COVID-19's spread. The trained hamsters seem unconcerned about the effects of a full blown depression (guaranteed if the economy shuts down for months and months). They seem sanguine about tens of millions out of work, people losing their homes, businesses disappearing, and a significant potential for social unrest. As Donald Trump correctly pointed out, we can fight COVID-19 and restart our economy at the same time.

Here's what I think should happen:
  1. One additional week of an extreme shutdown beyond Trump's 15-day timeline should be recommended with a date certain for restarting the economy in early April. The intent is to provide additional time for supply of all necessary testing kits, PPE, masks, etc. to hospitals and the construction of back-up medical facilities in COVID-19 hot zones.
  2. Governors will maintain the ability to establish local rules and regulations, but the federal guidelines for re-opening the economy will provide them with political cover that they need to restart their state economies.
  3. Social distancing and other recommended health care initiatives (e.g.,hand washing) should remain in place
  4. Hot Zones of COVID-19 (e.g., NYC, New Orleans) should remain shut down until data indicate that the spread of COVID-129 has abated. Travel into and out of those zones should be tightly controlled.
  5. Vulnerable populations (e.g., seniors with health issues) should continue self-quarantine, with mechanisms put into place to provide delivery of medicines and food for those who need them. All nursing homes and assisted living facilities should remain closed to all outsiders, and all workers at those facilities should be evaluated daily for evidence of infection.
  6. A detailed plan for restarting the economy should be published. Manufacturing jobs first, retail opening next, and so on.

Obviously, there's a lot more to this, but that's a simple start. Flexibility and adaptability are a must, but anyone who thinks that our country can remain shut down for months and months with economic activity at near zero levels is either monumentally deluded or economically ignorant. An aside: The trained hamsters are lauding South Korea as the leader in the right way to handle COVID-19 and at the same time castigating the federal government for not being more like the SoKos. It's interesting to note that South Korea did NOT shut down its economy.