‘Panic porn’: Critics say coronavirus reporting assumes people ‘don’t understand arithmetic’

by WorldTribune Staff, July 1, 2020

Context when it comes to COVID-19 was never a priority for the so-called “experts” and the politicians and major media who hang on their every word, analysts say.

Some of those “experts”, politicians and major media are now warning that a “second wave” of the coronavirus has hit and are urging states to reverse their re-opening plans and go back to lockdown mode.

But those warnings conveniently omit the good news, that more people who are testing positive for the virus have minimal symptoms and the mortality rate is far lower than is widely reported.

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson calls the major media’s coverage of COVID-19 “Panic Porn.”

For example, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran an article on Monday with the headline “COVID-19 hospitalizations in Texas hit another record Monday”.

“Hospitalizations of patients with the novel coronavirus in Texas reached an all-time high Monday after breaking records for nearly every day the previous two weeks,” the article said.

Washington Times columnist Joseph Curl noted on June 30 that the major media “have pumped out story after story about hospitals — and especially intensive care units — becoming jammed with COVID-19 patients. But are those ‘facts’? Are the reports complete? Do they take into account all factors that may be contributing to both the rise in positive tests for COVID-19 and the reason for hospitalizations? And what about the rising number of positive tests for the virus? What’s causing that? Are we even dealing with ‘facts’?”

That would be a “no,” says Berenson, who has been at the forefront of spotlighting the dishonest and biased reporting on the virus.

Berenson on Monday quoted messages he’d received from J.B. Neiman, the managing partner and general counsel of a Texas-based health care company that owns 13 free-standing clinics:

“In June, we tested over 2,231 patients (data through last Thursday). Positive rate is now close to 20% (was 4-6% in May). Vast majority of the cases are mild to very mild symptoms. Average age of the people getting tested in mid-30s. Now with more testing kits we are able to test a broader group of patients,” Neiman said.

He continued:

“Clinically, we’ve had very few hospital transfers because of Covid. Vast majority of the patients are better within 2-3 days of the visit and most would be described as having a cold (a mild one at that) or the symptoms related to allergies. We’ve often provided a steroid shot and some antibiotics. By the time we have follow-up calls, most of the patients are no longer experiencing any symptoms. They often say the shot really made a difference.

“In terms of what is driving them to the ER — Roughly 1/2 have been told by their employers to get a test. They have a sneeze or a cough and their employer tells them to go get tested. The other 1/2 just want to know. They have mild symptoms (and some don’t have any symptoms but game the system and check a box that they have a symptom so they can get a test — they cannot get a test unless they present with symptoms. If they have no symptoms we send them away — which does happen.)”

Neiman continued:

“The average length of stay of Covid patients is 3-5 days. Much lower than the patients being seen in April and early May. Their symptoms are also milder. Most of the patients are not ending up in the ICU. The hospital ICUs are filled with really sick people with non-Covid issues. They [didn’t] come in earlier because they were scared and now they are super sick. From multiple sources at different hospitals — they have plenty of capacity and no shortage of acute care beds.

“No real data on breakdown of patients who have Covid but are not in the hospital because of Covid. Recognition that because all patients are tested for Covid you have some percentage of patients listed as Covid patients who are non Covid symptomatic and that the hospitalization rate is somewhat driven by hospitals taking their normal patients with other medical issues.

“Finally, heard several stories of how discharge planners are being pressured to put Covid as primary diagnosis — as that pays significantly better. Hospitals want to avoid the discussion but if they don’t they risk another shutdown. This may be an explanation for why there is a gap in hospital executives saying they have plenty of capacity and the increasing number of Covid hospitalizations. You open up your hospitals for normal medical care and you test everyone of those patients — the result is higher percentage of patients who have Covid — now.”

Neiman summed it all up: “Overall, based on what we are seeing at our facilities, the above information is really a positive story. You have more people testing positive with really minimal symptoms. This means that the fatality rate is less than commonly reported,” he said.

David Horowitz noted for Conservative Review that the so-called “experts” and the media “propagating viral panic porn think people like us don’t understand arithmetic. They think they can manipulate headline stories warning of increased cases of COVID-19 in order to push more lockdowns, ignoring all the ways that more cases are being discovered, while the percentage of positive tests, new hospitalizations and deaths, and the lethality of the virus are all waning significantly.”

“Arizona’s COVID-19 spread is ‘alarming’ and action is needed, experts warn,” read the title of an Arizona Republic article. Yahoo News breathlessly warned about a “spike” in all the southwestern states.

“As is always the case, there is a grain of truth that is hugely distorted by numerous obfuscations of important facts and context,” Horowitz wrote. “The truth is that new hospitalizations of people coming in for serious coronavirus infections are actually extremely low. What they are actually counting are the extra people coming in for all of the delayed health care caused by the lockdown. But thanks to universal testing in hospitals, they are discovering more asymptomatic cases than ever before, which had nothing to do with the original purpose of the hospital stay. Thus, they are blaming the fallout of the lockdown on the easing of the lockdown.”

Joe Hoft, author of “In God We Trust: Not in Lying Liberal Lunatics”, wrote for The Gateway Pundit on June 30: “Last week the CDC reported that at least 20 million Americans have contacted the coronavirus, making the estimated mortality of the coronavirus near that of the common flu.”

“Contrary to what you’re told by media, blue checkmarks and other assorted figures, more cases do NOT mean more deaths,” Unscripted Ohio podcast host Kyle Lamb tweeted.

A Twitter user added: “The media have managed to indoctrinate ppl into thinking that infection with CV19 = death. They know they’ve done it & we’re gullible to fall for this.”

Also ignored by the politicians and their media allies, Hoft added, is that it was known in March that young people were much less likely to become infected or spread infection “and yet politicians shut down schools.”

“These actions burdened parents and stressed children, parents and teachers,” Hoft wrote. “The social implications to children and families have yet to measured. In fact the seasonal flu kills 7 times more children than the coronavirus.”

Hoft concluded: “Politicians – protect the elderly and sick, remove the masks, open the schools and beaches and let Americans get back to work. And never, never do this to us ever again.”


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