How many people would still be alive today without media COVID malpractice?

If there's one thing we've learned from the COVID-19 lockdowns, it's that the mainstream media duped us time and again.  Not surprisingly, trust in the Fourth Estate is at an all-time low.

According to Axios, nearly 60 percent of Americans agree with the statement that "journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations."

From the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the pro-lockdown media propagated an apocalyptical narrative, dismissing any hope whatsoever — even though most people infected with the coronavirus eventually recovered.

For nearly a year, the media manically obsessed over cases, cases, cases — instead of highlighting more meaningful metrics, like hospitalization rates and the devastating consequences of lockdowns.  Cases surged because testing increased.  For example, days before Thanksgiving, the line from the Home Depot to the coronavirus testing site on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle, where I happen to live, extended nearly four blocks.

It bears repeating that the survival rate for those 69 and younger is 99.5 percent or better, inferring from the infection fatality ratio.  The IFR is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the number of individuals who die of the disease among all infected individuals.

Incessantly, we were told to mask up and stay six feet apart.  All the while, healthy people of all ages were urged to quarantine.

We now know that asymptomatic spread is still being weaponized to justify draconian lockdowns — even as a recent research study of nearly 10 million people in China reveals "not a single transmission of Coronavirus from a person without symptoms."  This is big news.  And yet, not a peep from the mainstream media.

Meanwhile, on the shuttering of nearly 100,000 businesses nationwide, job losses of up to 40 million, the erosion of our civil liberties, and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests with false positive rates as high as 60 percent, the media's silence was deafening.

And while social distancing might have helped to the stop the spread of COVID-19, it also led to dire repercussions among America's youths.  In some areas of the country, suicide rates among kids aged 12 to 17 soared nearly 70 percent, according to the CDC.  Again, the media downplayed the fallout from isolation and lockdowns — and still does. 

In October, the media mostly ignored the Great Barrington Declaration in which infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists clamored for "focused protection" — a more compassionate approach to COVID-19, in contrast to locking everyone down.  The least vulnerable were encouraged to resume life as normal, with more emphasis on protecting the elderly and the infirm.

"Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health," read the group's website.  "The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health — leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.  Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice."

After a year of lockdowns, millions of children — many seemingly used as pawns by teacher unions — are still being forced to learn via Zoom, even as they are at low risk of transmitting COVID-19.  To his credit, Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times had the presence of mind recently to note this injustice in an opinion piece.  "The blunt fact is that it is Democrats — including those who run the West Coast, from California through Oregon through Washington State — who have presided over one of the worst blows to education of disadvantaged Americans in history. The result: more dropout, less literacy and numeracy, widening race gaps, and long-term harm to some of our most marginalized youth."

And let's not forget how the media maligned the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as an early treatment for COVID-19 after President Trump revealed he was taking it prophylactically.  Last spring, Fox News's Neil Cavuto ripped HCQ, even though the anti-malarial drug has been used effectively for seven decades by hundreds of millions of people worldwide since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it in 1955.

"If you are in a risky population here and you are taking this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus, or in a worst-case scenario, you are dealing with the virus and you are in this vulnerable population, it will kill you," Cavuto warned of HCQ.  "I cannot stress enough.  This will kill you."

Cavuto and others misspoke.  Recently, we learned that the American Journal of Medicine (AJM) changed its tune on HCQ.

"When started earlier in the hospital course, for progressively longer durations and in outpatients, antimalarials may reduce the progression of disease, prevent hospitalization, and are associated with reduced mortality," reads an abstract from AJM.

And now, with some 500,000 Americans dead — from or with COVID-19 — I wonder: how many lives could have been spared if members of the mainstream press were more committed to reporting the truth?  Will they ever be held accountable for duping the public about lockdowns, HCQ, school closures, and other critical COVID-19-related matters?

If Cavuto is any indication, I suspect not.

Elizabeth M. Economou writes from Seattle.