The most difficult decision President Trump is facing now is whether to lift some pandemic restrictions and risk accelerating infections and deaths, or wait longer than necessary and risk killing the economy. We all hope and pray that faster, accurate tests will be developed and manufactured and a cure/vaccine found in record time, and there are surprisingly positive indications of both. But until we’re certain, if Trump tries to sound hopeful about the pandemic being not as devastating or long-lasting as feared, his political opponents accuse him of spreading false hope and wanting to sacrifice American lives for the economy – and never mind the devastation to people’s lives that would be caused by shutting down the economy until the November elections, which is likely the dream dancing in their twisted heads.
The media keep attacking Trump for allegedly spreading false information. KUOW, the Seattle NPR radio affiliate, even announced that it will no longer carry his daily press briefings “due to a pattern of false or misleading information.” Because when you want reliable, unbiased news, you can always rely on a Seattle NPR affiliate. You know, one of those taxpayer-supported NPR stations whose programming is so vital that Democrats demanded $75 million for them in the emergency economic rescue bill.
Seattle conservative radio host Jason Rantz, who is familiar with KUOW’s programming, isn’t surprised. He says he suspects their staff is triggered by Trump’s 60% Gallop approval rating for his handling of the crisis and that they’re hearing from angry listeners who still can’t get over the 2016 election. Rantz told the Washington Examiner:
"Their staff is full of progressive activists masquerading as honest journalists. It's not so much that I care they're progressive and have an agenda; it's that they pretend not to. And this exposes them for what they are. But, hey, it's Seattle. They'll probably be called brave for keeping important information from the public."
For the record, I’ll offer again this list of the "Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus," all from media outlets such as the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post, that routinely accuse Trump of spreading lies and misinformation.
In order to make such a difficult choice between acting too soon or waiting too long, government officials on all levels need reliable information. It’s ironic that while liberals attack Trump for allegedly spreading misleading information to further a political agenda, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing since the earliest days of the pandemic, when they accused Trump of being an immigrant-hating xenophobe for shutting down travel from China in January. (Now some liberal news outlets accuse him of not doing it soon enough.)
But it isn’t just the obvious opportunists. One of the most relied-upon sources for predicting the potential spread of the infection and the hospitalization rate is under fire for allegedly being a propaganda tool cooked up by Democratic activists to frighten policymakers into making rash and drastic decisions.
Madeleine Osbourne at The Federalist reports that an online pandemic modeling site called COVID Act Now is being cited by the media and used by officials across America as justification for closing businesses and ordering people to stay home, and even as an argument for shutting down entire states. But so far, its predictions have proven as exaggerated as most radical climate groups’ computer model predictions about the temperature.
For instance, the COVID Act Now model predicted that by March 19, Tennessee would have 190 confirmed, hospitalized coronavirus patients. It actually had 15. By the same date, it predicted 400 hospitalizations in Florida. The real number was 90. Similar dire predictions have also been wildly overestimated, at least thus far.
National security writer Jordan Schachtel reveals that the modeling comes entirely from one team at Imperial College UK that has a track record of bad predictions and criticism from the scientific community, that refuses to release its code that makes the estimates, and that claimed the virus would kill up to 2.2 million Americans.
Osbourne reveals that there are multiple problems with their data, including using early numbers that are likely to be wrong, using outdated demographic numbers, assessing the US as a whole instead of by state, assuming that everyone spreads the disease at the same rate, and not adjusting for “population density, culturally-determined interaction frequency and closeness, humidity, temperature, etc.”
She also reports that the founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers/Democratic activists; and the caveats on it include an admission that “this model is designed to drive fast action, not predict the future.”
To be clear: none of this is meant to downplay the severity of the disease or the importance of preventing its spread. But it does suggest that if someone questions the apocalyptic predictions of unreliable sources that see an opportunity to exploit a health crisis to advance a leftist agenda, then the media shouldn’t automatically assume that the skeptic is the one spreading misinformation.
For further reading, here are some more scientists pointing out the flaws in the media’s favorite fear-generating website. Some even have a theory that millions of people may have already developed a “herd immunity” to the virus and we just don’t know it yet.