COVID-19 in the US: Stupidity and misinformation

NOT AGAIN: America, at one time, was seen as the leader of the free world but with our democracy comes a huge dose of stupidity. And where are the voices of reason? Where is pharma? Where are insurers?

From the Finacial Times comes this definition of stupidity “Ardis Cerny does not wear a face mask, even though she is 71 and living in a coronavirus hotspot. Nor do her 90-year-old neighbors. Like some other Republicans, Ms. Cerny believes the risk from the virus has been overplayed by a liberal establishment determined either to damage Donald Trump or scare his voters“.

Even as new cases climb steadily across the US, especially in Ms. Cerny’s home state of Wisconsin, she and many of her friends see the president’s rapid recovery from the disease as further evidence that they do not need to change their behavior.

Even as this behavior defies logic Renae Moch, the Public Health Director in Bismarck, North Dakota, just gave Rachel Maddow an excellent interview about the shocking COVID-19 crisis in North Dakota. The infection rate is exploding now, with now only 19 ICU beds available statewide, and literally one—ONE—ICU bed available in Bismarck right now. ONE.

Of course, North Dakota is hyper-Republican and hyper-pro-Trump. And all those who do not support Trump are going to suffer for their loyalty to Monster Trump. And some will die.

There can be no debate that Trump is literally killing people with his lying and false information. I really don’t understand why the AMA, insurers, and pharma companies stay silent?

It’s leading to a major crisis in American healthcare. Gallup reported that Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated against the coronavirus has dropped 11 percentage points, falling to 50% in late September. This sharp decline comes after the percentage dwindled from 66% in July to 61% in August.

Who can blame them when news sites have headlines that say “Johnson & Johnson pauses Covid vaccine trial after participant’s ‘adverse reaction”. Even though we don’t know if the patient was given a placebo versus the vaccine or the possible other health problems she may have had the media is anxious to report J&J’s failure leading to anxiousness.

Misinformation on COVID-19 and vaccines are running rampant on social media. Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms are spreading disinformation everywhere.

People are engaging more on Facebook today with news outlets that routinely publish misinformation than they did before the 2016 election, according to new research from the German Marshall Fund Digital, the digital arm of the public policy think tank. The organization, which has a data partnership with the start-up NewsGuard and the social media analytics firm NewsWhip, published its findings on Monday.

And yet pharma remains silent with an occasional outburst from one of their CEO’s. It’s disgusting and they are complicit in the spread of misinformation. Why not band together to launch a website with credible COVID-19 information?

Americans can and do use our democracy for stupid things. Trump and the people that enable him also share the blame but for God’s sake I hope pharma develops a backbone and fights back.