The one constant amid pandemic’s political haze: Mainstream Media mendacity

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By John J. Metzler

Nearly six months into the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States remains mired in the nebulous haze of the “invisible enemy,” suffering greatly both physically and emotionally.  We have been battered and bruised economically and most of all psychologically.  And all this in the midst of a contentious presidential election campaign which in itself has distorted the dangers and depth of the pandemic and somehow suggested that Covid’s wrath was uniquely focused on our shores.

Let’s be clear, the Covid-19 virus remains a deadly and ongoing threat to the U.S. and the world.  The USA has borne the pandemic’s brunt which started in China, spread into Europe, and only then reached our shores.

Mainstream Media fixture Andrea Mitchell. ‘Mainstream Media continues its political blame game not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.’ / Video Image

The timeline illustrates a telling trial of deception, misperception, underestimation and then, full blown panic that has been a sordid narrative.

If this were a political thriller, most would argue the plot was too far-fetched.  A deadly Corona virus starts in Wuhan, China in late autumn.  The Chinese communist authorities go into classic coverup mode but Covid proves more viral than the CCP’s lies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) learns of the threat, wants to act, but is spoon fed disinformation about the extent and danger.  Lunar New Year festivities serve as a transmission belt.

In late January, the WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros while visiting Beijing was still assured that the virus is not a danger to transmit to humans.

On Feb. 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told tourists to enjoy Chinese New Year in San Francisco!  In New York in early March the hapless Mayor Di Blasio was telling people go out and enjoy restaurants, Broadway shows, and life in the Metropolis.

The week of March 9, the tide of false optimism suddenly turned sour; schools were shutting down “probably for a few weeks” and on Wednesday March 11, the WHO declared a global health pandemic.

Within the week the USA was largely locked down, the powerful American economy was put into an induced coma; fear, recriminations and fatalities became a feature of our life.  The death toll stands at 182,000.

President Trump stated, “When the China Virus hit, we launched the largest national mobilization since WWII.  Invoking the Defense Production Act, we produced the world’s largest supply of ventilators.”

But the pandemic remains a global health emergency. West European countries such as Italy, Spain, the UK and France had very high fatality rates; as a percentage of their populations, higher than the USA.  France has 40,000 deaths from a population of 65 million.  The United Kingdom has lost 41,000 from 68 million people.

France again is seeing an exponential rise in cases.  Covid may be mutating into a more spreadable but less deadly virus.

Its wrath has hit countries as diverse as Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa.

While the U.S. appears to have now controlled the scourge of Covid, through massive testing, the histrionics of the Mainstream Media still plays the narrative that somehow the Trump Administration did not care or was scientifically capable handling this once in a century pandemic.  Clearly mistakes were made but many of those in timing emerged from fuzzy early reports from the WHO and the CDC.

Health assessments were soothed by the leading virus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who notably stated on Feb. 29 that visiting malls, movies and gyms “were ok.”

The perpetual political blame game, put on steroids of social media and fanned by woke denizens sets the tone for an election campaign sounding like a simple schoolyard blame game.

New York state has 33,000 fatalities, the highest in the nation.  New York City bears the brunt of the deaths and the economic downturn.  A once vibrant and pulsating city is now only hesitatingly emerging from the lockdown to slowdown.  Many businesses remain closed; some victims of the widespread but largely under reported June looting.  Restaurants, the lifeblood of small business, remain severely restricted, hampered by blunt one size fits all regulations.

Distressingly, many of the talismans of Manhattan’s Upper East Side are either closed or on the verge.

Mostly unreported are the large numbers of moving trucks found on Park Avenue and other upscale places. The writing is on the wall; high taxes, renewed lawlessness, and feel of the 1970’s has returned to the Big Apple. Covid became the tipping point.

So, as we evolve from quarantine and masks to vaccines, the mendacious Mainstream Media continues its political blame game not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

John J. Metzler is a United Nations correspondent covering diplomatic and defense issues. He is the author of Divided Dynamism the Diplomacy of Separated Nations: Germany, Korea, China (2014). [See pre-2011 Archives]