Lawrence O’Donnell smirks while essentially accusing Trump of mass murder
Two things are necessary to analyze information: (1) perspective; and (2) recognizing source bias. These tools have never been more useful than now, in a time of coronavirus.
We are not the first to suggest that Democrats in and out of the media are exploiting coronavirus for political benefit. Having failed to take President Trump down with the Russia hoax and the faux impeachment, they’re grabbing on to coronavirus, with none more openly virulent than MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, a grinning jack-o-lantern of doom.
Here’s some perspective:
On March 13, 2020, when President Trump declared a national emergency and mobilized the entire government to fight coronavirus, there were 1,629 cases and 48 people had died. As Sharyl Attkisson detailed, all but five were over 70, with several over 80. Four others were younger but with underlying medical conditions. Seventy-seventy percent of the deaths were in Washington State.
The data were different on October 26, 2009, when President Obama declared a national emergency because of H1N1, which had then been ravaging America for seven months. For a direct comparison to coronavirus, two months after H1N1 got its start, 43,677 people were infected and 302 people had died. By the time Obama announced a national emergency, CNN reported even higher numbers albeit in a calm, rational fashion:
President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the “rapid increase in illness” from the H1N1 influenza virus.
Since the H1N1 flu pandemic began in April, millions of people in the United States have been infected, at least 20,000 have been hospitalized and more than 1,000 have died, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
H1N1 originated in Mexico, but Obama left the border open – and did so with media encouragement.
In China, there were 156,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in a country of 1.4 billion people, with an unknown, but probably higher, number of unconfirmed cases. China admitted to only 5,800 deaths. Proportionately, Italy's situation is more concerning. Coronavirus exploded there, with 21,157 confirmed cases and 1,441 deaths now reported.
Both Italy and China have underfunded, third-world style socialized medicine; heavy pollution; aged populations; and large numbers of smokers. Both had slow reactions when the illness appeared.
In America, we have a first-class, well-funded, proactive medical system, clean air, relatively few smokers, and our population is not disproportionately elderly. Trump closed our borders to China months ago and closed our borders to Europe (including the UK) this weekend. American infections and deaths are still low.
Coronavirus could be an emergency here, but it isn’t yet, and Trump has been proactive.
That gives a sense of perspective.
For bias, look at the pass the media gave Obama for his dilatory reaction to H1N1. America ultimately had 60.8 million H1N1 cases, with deaths disproportionately affecting working adults and children. There were an estimated 12,469 deaths, but the media never complained about Obama. This contrasts with the media’s drumbeat that, with 48 deaths, Trump failed to address the problem.
But if you really want bias, nothing equals Lawrence O’Donnell’s smirking statement that Trump is a mass murderer:
The most incompetent and uninformed president in history has led the federal government into the worst emergency response to a pandemic that we have ever seen in this country. One of our guests will tell us that it’s one of the worst responses by any government in the world today.
More people are sick in American tonight because Donald Trump is president. More people are dead and dying in America tonight because Donald Trump is president. More people are losing more of their life savings and retirement accounts today because Donald Trump is president.
As we will discuss later in this hour, the President’s ten-minute speech from the Oval Office last night directly provoked more loss of stock market value, which is to say retirement funds, than any other speech by any other president in history. If Donald Trump had just said nothing last night, where would we be today?
In answer to O'Donnell's last question, if he'd possessed a crystal ball, he would have seen that Trump’s press conference two days later caused the market to go up by almost 2,000 points.
Media bias is so extreme and unbalanced, and so manifestly contrary to coverage during the H1N1 era, that reasonable people must discount media hysteria. Yes, there’s something serious going on here; yes, we should be proactive to flatten the curve; but no, President Trump has not been a disaster. Instead, he’s been on top of things and it’s the Trump deranged media that’s the disaster.