April 4, 2020

A few random thoughts on this “Coronavirus Crackdown” weekend:

When all of this is said and done I believe a lot of people are going to be even more pissed off at the media and the way they’ve whipped up the hysteria of this virus than they already are, if that is possible. In particular, to watch the way the White House reporters have acted during the President’s daily task force briefings has been an embarrassment; by seeking to one-up each other in their opposition (and in some cases, outright hostility) to the President and his task force members has not been either informational or helpful to anyone who has lost loved ones or their their jobs or businesses as a result of the Coronavirus.

…but it’s not just the White House reporters and the usual suspects in the national media who have been doing this; there are others whom I have normally enjoyed and trusted on the internet (in particular, Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds and Jack Posobiec, who both seem to have dove head-first into believing as gospel the worst of the doomsday models, whipping up daily doses of panic and frenzy with sensational headlines and posts. Knowing Reynolds’ track record of healthy cynicism regarding most things and his commitment to getting the word out on things like disaster preparedness I would have expected a bit of at least lukewarm water being tossed on the hysteria; in the case of Posobiec, while I give him credit for raising the awareness of the virus’s lethal capabilities as a result of his China knowledge and experience at the outset of the pandemic, he completely lost my respect with his over the top, gloom-and-doom posts that have (in my view) contributed in no small part to a lot of the hysteria you now find all over Twitter.

…on the other hand, Powerline blog has been a must-read during this crisis – not only are they reporting the numbers with a healthy dose of realism, their writers have not been afraid to be asking the kinds questions no one else seems interested in asking. And the same with Styxhexenhammer666’s YouTube channel and the Conservative Treehouse blog – all of which are striving to report what is actually happening vs. the breathless hysteria of the mainstream media. I highly recommend adding all to your daily new and information gathering, if only for more balanced and reasoned approach relating to “disease” vs. “cure”. For example, as CT’s Sundance writes:

For every media claim of overwhelmed hospital war-zones, there are a dozen reports from actual workers, nurses, doctors and medical personnel reporting exactly the opposite; and yes, a disparity in reporting even in the New York metropolitan area.

Medical personnel in Wisconsin, Missouri, California, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Georgia New Jersey, and every region in the USA are reporting there are few to no patients in their facility and the medical staff is being laid-off, or told to go home and/or stay home, because there is nothing to do.

How the heck is this level of profound disconnect possible?

If you google (or duck duck) search: “medical personnel laid-off”, or “nurses sent home” there are thousands of various reports showing hospitals and treatment centers essentially devoid of any patients. There are videos of hospitals on social media showing empty medical treatment floors, empty ICU units, empty waiting rooms, empty x-ray labs, and workers waiting for something to do…

Obviously, the collective -albeit anecdotal- reports do not fit with the 24/7 media claims of “war zones” and PTSD suffering medical workers so overwhelmed they are now committing suicide because they cannot cope.

But back to my comments relating to Posobiec, this is one of the things I’ve learned during this crisis: Twitter as a forum is doing far more harm and than good when it comes to disseminating information. Nothing seems to be in context, and every outlandish rumor of people dying in the streets and bodies stacked up everywhere is treated as fact. Which, BTW, has made the President’s job far more difficult and than it should be. Look, I get it that a lot of folks on the left hate Trump and there is nothing he can ever do to change that, but to use a social media platform to spread disinformation and whip up hysteria about the Coronavirus is simply unconscionable. I guess I thought during a time of crisis we as a country would try to listen to the better angels of our nature, but I guess that was expecting too much.

One of the questions I’ve been asking from the start is why both the White House and others seem to be treating the IHME model predicting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the U.S. as gospel; one would think the White House reporters would show less interest in attacking everything the President says and more interest in the data, parameters, and assumptions that went into that model – after all, hasn’t that model been the driving motivation behind all the measures being taken at every level of government currently in the process of destroying our economy?

…I mean, when have the so-called “experts” – be they scientists, professionals, and/or pollsters – gotten anything right? Think about it: whenever something happens with the economy, be it positive or negative, it is always presented as something “unexpectedly”. The news regarding climate change as predicted by so-called experts over the past fifty years has almost always been wrong – remember Michael Mann’s flawed (I would argue totally bogus) “hockey stick”? And how about those so-called “experts” when it came to polling during the 2016 election? Heck, even today they haven’t learned: they’re still using outdated (or, I might suggest, deliberately flawed) models that juice up the numbers for Democrats and against Republicans and Trump.

…given the above, then, why aren’t folks being more questioning and careful about distinguishing between the reported Coronavirus death rates and the actual ones, and how and why some folks appear to get it more than others? And I’m not talking just the numbers of reported cases, but the deaths that can directly blamed on Coronavirus. For example, why aren’t we making a bigger deal about the number of hospital admissions and discharges on a daily basis? Or the number of people who have died without preconditions vs. those having preconditions? Wouldn’t you want to know the actual risk of death to otherwise-healthy people as opposed to making the cure worse than the disease itself? One would think the medical community out there would be just as concerned with publishing accurate data as opposed to so much speculation going on out there. To that end, this interview with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University is a must-watch. We need the data, and everyone is freaking out and destroying the economy without knowing the data. It’s absurd.

…I guess what I’m saying is that when all this is over, this country need to take a cold, hard look at how we got to the point of wrecking our economy and the lives of millions of people – a number far worse than anything the Coronavirus will ever do, not of caution, but outright and irrational fear. And while this might sound cold and harsh, I think we’re also going to have to take a good, hard look at both the homelessness issue and the obesity rate of our population – for the former instituting a “no tolerance” agenda and clearing the streets, for the latter have the medical community start treating obesity more aggressively than we have to date. I guarantee you that the death rate associated with the Coronavirus are heavily skewed by folks with preconditions directly related to diet, social habits, and obesity. I know I would be truly interested in seeing those numbers, I’m sure others would be as well.

And finally, The one thing I’m noticing that few others (at least in the media are) is the performance of states with Democratic governors as opposed to those with Republican governors. I mean, is their a more ineptly run state than New York? And not just during this crisis but well before it. Sure, its density of population would make it a natural hot spot for the Coronavirus, but Andrew Cuomo’s performance has only highlighted just how poorly-prepared the state was and how poorly-managed it has been run in the years leading up to this crisis. And compare and contrast, say, the performance of New York’s Cuomo, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and Virginia’s Ralph Northam with those of Arizona’s Doug Ducey, Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott. One one hand you have ineptitude, finger-pointing and overreaction; on the other hand responses that are more deliberate, measured, and responsible.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 17:42 | Comments Off on Weekending
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