Fake news media manipulate coronavirus death toll
The mainstream media inundate the American public on a daily basis with the coronavirus's death toll in flashy headlines in an attempt to criticize the Trump administration' response. While reporting on the increasing death toll daily, progressive and mainstream outlets make disingenuous comparisons to death tolls in past wars and catastrophes. MSNBC'S Morning Joe reported that the virus will "kill more Americans than were killed in Iraq, Afghanistan." Vox posted that "the coronavirus has now killed more people in the U.S. than the 9/11 terror attacks." The Washington Post, NPR, CNN, and many other outlets gleefully reported that the U.S. coronavirus death toll now exceeds U.S. losses in the Vietnam War.
The death toll and havoc wrought by the Chinese virus are no doubt real. However, media coverage of the virus intentionally lacks even a hint of perspective and aims to sow fear.
In 1968, roughly 16,000 U.S. servicemembers died in Vietnam. That same year, the Hong Kong influenza (H3N2) caused the deaths of roughly 100,000 Americans. While undoubtedly a tragedy, the U.S. and state governments did not issue any stay at home orders, nor did they shut down the American economy. In 2018, 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The media don't sensationalize and hype the annual overdose death toll, which exceeded the U.S. death toll of the entire Vietnam War. Since 2010, roughly 12,000–61,000 Americans die of the flu on a yearly basis. During that period, media coverage claiming that more Americans died of the flu than on 9/11 was nonexistent.
The fake news media are attempting to create a visual comparison to manipulate and confuse the American public. However, in life, perspective is necessary.
It must be asked: why are the media throwing all perspective out the window and hyping the death toll? Some of the coverage can be chalked up to ordinary sensationalism, another negative characteristic of the modern media. However, the main catalyst in the death toll coverage is political. Prior to the pandemic, prominent progressives prayed and hoped that the U.S. economy would crash in order to "get rid of Trump." HBO's Bill Maher callously exclaimed, "Can I ask about the economy? Because this economy is going pretty well. I feel like the bottom has to fall out at some point. And by the way, I'm hoping for it. Because I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy. So, please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people, but it's either root for a recession or you lose your democracy." NBC's Richard Engel was on Maher's show and agreed with Maher's sentiment, arguing that "short-term pain might be better than long-term destruction of the Constitution." Former 2020 Democrat presidential contender Congressman John Delaney accused the other presidential candidates of "cheering on a recession because they want to stick it to Trump."
The progressive and mainstream media despise President Trump and his supporters. The media have an incentive to keep America shut down and prevent the economy from rebounding. To that end, the media will stop at nothing to prevent President Trump's re-election in 2020, even if that means financial ruin for a sizable portion of the American population.
While the threat from the virus (particularly to the elderly and vulnerable groups) is real, the fake news media's coverage is a disgrace and destroyed whatever sliver of credibility the institution still had. The media disingenuously hype the virus's death toll and push for draconian, job-killing policies that are disproportionate to the threat while at the same time shielding the Chinese regime from any criticism.
Regular Americans and their elected leaders must maintain a semblance of perspective and push back against media propaganda. No other group, save for the Chinese Communist Party, has done more damage to the American economy and our way of life than the media in 2020.
The author is an attorney, military officer, and veteran of the Afghan war. Views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect official policy of the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, or U.S. government.