How could ANYONE think that the deaths from COVID are acceptable and just part of the virus? While data from COVID will be coming out for years, the public already has questions, and they aren’t going to like the answers.
According to Axios, we’re at 962,000+ deaths from COVID, but that number is sure to go over 1 million. Since when did we become so comfortable with these numbers? Why are we willing to accept them and move on?
There’s a lot of blame to go around, including:
Trump– When the first American coronavirus infection was confirmed in late January 2020, Trump had already known for two months that an especially nasty pathogen was killing people in Wuhan, China. Despite this, during a White House briefing on March 10 Trump said of the coronavirus, “This was unexpected.” Six days later he said, “This came up—it came up so suddenly… we were all surprised.” And a week after that, at a Fox News Town Hall, he said of Covid, “Nobody ever expected a thing like this.”
Just before Trump assumed office, the outgoing Obama administration ran a tabletop exercise for the newcomers about dealing with a pandemic. Despite all this, shortly after Trump became President, he shut down the White House national security team that Obama had assembled to track and deal with pernicious viruses before a pandemic erupted. Trump also shut down Obama’s $200-million-a-year program to train American and foreign scientists to detect and slow the spread.
Trump’s actions — and those of his staff and supporters — should come as no surprise. Trump has lied about the dangers posed by the coronavirus and undermined efforts to contain it; he even admitted in an interview to purposefully misrepresenting the viral threat early in the pandemic. Trump has belittled masks and social-distancing requirements while encouraging people to protest against lockdown rules to stop disease transmission. His administration has undermined, suppressed, and censored government scientists working to study the virus and reduce its harm. And his appointees have made political tools out of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ordering the agencies to put out inaccurate information, issue ill-advised health guidance, and tout unproven and potentially harmful treatments for COVID-19.
Republican Governors – Several Republican-controlled states confronted their worst outbreaks by doubling down on resisting vaccine and mask requirements. Ron DeSantis had prevented local governments and school districts from enacting mask mandates in Florida and battled in court over compliance. In Texas, Greg Abbott has followed a similar playbook.
In South Dakota, Kristi Noem, like Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Abbott, a potential 2024 candidate for President, made her blanket opposition to lockdowns and mandated a key selling point. Arriving by horseback and carrying the American flag, she advertised the state’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which drew half a million people, as a beacon of liberty and was responsible for thousands of COVID cases.
Social Media – Has misinformation about COVID-19 circulating on social media affected the spread of the disease? A group of UWM geographers has tested the question scientifically by painstakingly examining nationwide Twitter chatter and then showing the results on a national map, revealing who was sharing what early in the pandemic.
The researchers found a direct correlation between locations where Twitter misinformation originated and subsequent spikes in COVID-19 infections and deaths in those areas weeks later.
According to a study, Americans who consider social media influential on their perceptions about COVID-19 are far more likely than the general population to believe false and misleading information about the virus.
While Facebook has spent over $10 billion rebranding Meta, they don’t seem interested in addressing inaccurate medical information.
The Media – According to KFF, “misinformation about health care topics is nothing new, but social media, the polarization of news sources, and the pace of scientific development on COVID-19 have all contributed to an environment that makes it easier than ever for ambiguous information, misinterpretation, and deliberate disinformation to spread.” They found that belief in pandemic-related misinformation is widespread, with 78% of adults saying they have heard at least one of eight different false statements about COVID-19 and that they believe it to be accurate or are unsure if it is true or false.
The media was more interested in scaring the public with sensationalist headlines than reporting the facts because people were desperate for information.
Healthcare – You would have thought that during a crisis of this magnitude, all healthcare would have banded together to get the message out about vaccines, social distancing, and masking up, but that didn’t happen. Pharma, which will make over $100 billion from the pandemic, never spread the messages about prevention in a unified voice.
It will take years to analyze the data from the pandemic, including how many were directly due to COVID and how many were due because of comorbid diseases like obesity and diabetes. Our healthcare system failed us all even though vaccines were developed. One million deaths should not be accepted under any conditions.