The lying I spoke of in yesterday’s installment was just the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard enough to assess the danger of this pandemic without people deliberately lying. Here are just a few more examples, not from China but from right here in the U.S.A.
The health care workers risking their own health to fight this virus deserve nothing but praise. But in New York, a nurse who claimed in an apparently phony video that she had quit her job after being made to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask fooled CBS News into posting it, complete with background music and captions added to highlight the supposed danger.
In the video, this Instagram “influencer” gets emotional and says, “America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected.” But on Facebook, she had admitted she left her job at the hospital over a year ago and wasn’t sure she was ready to return to work, as she has anxiety and bi-polar depression and was “triggered” by the growing volume of information on COVID-19.
Note the irony in what she posted: “The information overload can be hard for me to sift through as far as what is credible and what is not, it triggers me.” This, when her own words blur the line between truth and fiction.
Not only CBS, but now-former-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was misled by the video. He retweeted the fraudulent CBS NEWS story, adding, “It is insane that our nurses are being forced to care for the sick without masks and respirators. The Department of Labor must immediately issue emergency workplace standards to protect our health workers, their families, and their patients.”
Finding out how New York hospitals are currently doing regarding PPE (personal protective equipment) is challenging. We went back to CBS NEWS to see what they’re saying right now. For one thing, they’re still maintaining the fiction that Trump “dissolved” the White House pandemic response office in 2018; my understanding is that Trump did not get rid of it but consolidated it with other offices. Beth Cameron, who ran it under Obama (and then under Trump until he reorganized), is quoted at length about what keeps her up at night right now –- mostly competition between states for supplies. She says that “without a unified federal plan, states don’t have any choice but to be prepared for their constituents.” She’d like to see a federal-level “logistics czar.”
Recall that just this week, I complimented President Trump on his ability to delegate, to give governors the very responsibility Cameron is worried about them having. When I was governor of Arkansas and dealing with emergencies, I saw that being closer to my constituents made me better able to determine my state’s unique needs, as opposed to having to depend on a “one-size-fits-all” federal bureaucracy. As she is one of those bureaucrats herself, she might not get that.
Yes, we've had challenges getting supplies to hospitals, notably because so many of them have been made in China for years. The CBS story does acknowledge this problem, with Prashant Yardav, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and “an expert on supply chain management,” saying that of all the N95 respirators we might use, half or more come from China. The same goes for protective gear such as masks, gloves and gowns. So, given the startling number of cases predicted, the Department of Health and Human Services warned there wouldn't be enough.
But the CBS story never says that medical professionals caring for coronavirus patients in New York hospitals are going without respirators. I have read elsewhere that in their uncertainty about the supply chain, they have been re-using them, but that’s very different.
The problem as I see it, whether supplies are allocated at the federal level or not, is that most of this stuff is coming from China. That has to change NOW, and Trump has been coordinating with private companies to make it happen. Still, it doesn’t help us determine the severity of the problem when CBS NEWS, Bernie Sanders and others post a fake video by someone who doesn’t even work at a hospital.
Much of the anxiety about demand is based on computer models that turned out to be wildly wrong, dramatically inflating the numbers of people who would require hospitalization. In other words, computer models can “lie,” too, at least in the sense that the predictions they’ve given us to work with are false. Though Tuesday was, nationwide, the deadliest day we’ve had, “the curve” of new cases seems to be flattening in places where infection has been worst, such as New York, New Jersey and the Seattle area, and the need for beds and ventilators is not nearly what was anticipated, thank God. Projections are being revised downward.
Of course, some of the most damaging lies are those told “by omission.” For example, we had the story a couple of days ago about Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett and her swift recovery after literally begging the medical bureaucracy to let her have a prescription for hydroxychloroquine. (Recall that Michigan is the state in which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer temporarily called for doctors in her state not to prescribe the drug for coronavirus.) Over just a few hours, Whitsett's condition had deteriorated greatly, with shortness of breath and fluid-filled lungs, and she was terrified. But later that night after taking the medication, she was already on the mend. And even though she’s a Democrat politician, she credited President Trump’s publicizing of the drug with her treatment and amazing recovery.
On Tuesday night, she and her doctor appeared on Tucker Carlson’s FOX NEWS show. Carlson has been an outspoken critic of Democrat politicians, fanatical anti-Trump media people and some government bureaucrats who are trying to get between patients and their doctors by discouraging the use of this therapy, in most cases only because President Trump has been touting it as a possible remedy. You’d think that to offer their audience hope for a treatment in the coming weeks, some other media outlets might pick up Rep. Whitsett’s story, right?
Wrong. No other major media outlet has picked it up. Nothing about Rep. Whitsett’s recovery was seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, PBS or NPR. The DETROIT FREE PRESS had the story on Tuesday, but even though USA TODAY is under ownership of the same publisher, Gannett, the story did not “go national." Except for the people who watch FOX NEWS –- and perhaps listen to Hannity and other conservative radio hosts –- the story was effectively buried. This is a textbook example of “lying by omission.”
That’s why, when a witness is sworn in to testify, the person is required to tell not just the truth, but the WHOLE truth. With anything concerning President Trump, the mainstream media can never be trusted to get it right.
As I've said before, in the news business it used to be, "If if bleeds it leads," but now, it's "If it makes Trump bleed, it leads." Here’s how ridiculous the lying about Trump and hydroxychloroquine has gotten.
If you doubt what I’m saying, I’ll let Attorney General William Barr have the last word.