News outlets across the globe are reporting around the clock on the spread of the coronavirus from China and the coming deadly pandemic that will leave many dead in its wake.
The problem with the narrative is that so far, the new virus that has sickened over 87,000 and killed more than 3,000 people worldwide not only isn’t that deadly compared with other diseases, but symptoms can be mild for those infected.
The scientific community agrees that milder cases might go unnoticed as patients will have little more than a sore throat and runny nose. Since it is nearly impossible to test everyone who has the sniffles for the virus, the death rate could be skewed higher than it really is.
Even with the data bias, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found the death rate for the new coronavirus resembles the worst influenza outbreaks more closely than it does MERS or SARS, “which had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.”
Carl Goldman, a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who was quarantined aboard the vessel along with over 3,000 passengers and crew after fewer than a dozen passengers initially tested positive for the virus, talked about his experience with the virus.
“It’s had less of an impact [on me] than the common cold,” Goldman said, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Goldman, 67, continues to test positive for the virus despite having no further symptoms. His wife, Jeri, who was with him on the trip, has not come down with the disease, the Daily News reported.
He is chronicling his stay in isolation on website for KHTS radio, a station he owns in his hometown of Santa Clarita, California.
Some reports surfaced that the quarantine itself exacerbated the problem as passengers were not properly screened and hygiene practices aboard the ship were inadequate to slow the spread of disease.
The virus is slowly making its way through the United States, but overall infections remain sporadic. President Donald Trump has taken the threat seriously from the beginning, including restricting travel from regions that were affected as the virus began emerging, giving the United States time to prepare its response:
So, the Coronavirus, which started in China and spread to various countries throughout the world, but very slowly in the U.S. because President Trump closed our border, and ended flights, VERY EARLY, is now being blamed, by the Do Nothing Democrats, to be the fault of “Trump”.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2020
Trump has been careful to act on the seriousness of a possible widespread outbreak, but reminded Americans there is “no reason to panic” in a news conference Saturday reported on by The Associated Press. As any earnest Boy Scout will tell you, not panicking is exactly the right way to respond.
Like Trump, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh urged his audience not to panic in the face of hysteria about the virus on his Feb. 24 radio show.
In subsequent remarks Friday, he doubled down, advising listeners to “believe half of what you hear from the media because there’s so much hype here for all kinds of reasons. … Look it, when I heard somebody in the Drive-By Media say, ‘This could be an opening for the Democrats,’ then that’s when they started politicizing.”
As if on cue, Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared on CNN Sunday to bash Trump’s remark that the hysteria surrounding the virus was a “hoax.” Biden asked in his best schoolmarm tone, “What in God’s name is he talking about? Has he no shame?”
In a charge that has become embarrassingly trite, Amanda Marcotte at Salon took the opportunity to call Trump’s response to the virus “racist.”
New York Times commentator Gail Collins said it should be named “Trumpvirus” with the tagline of her piece,”If you’re feeling awful, you know who to blame.” Her article picked apart the administration’s response to the virus but didn’t miss the opportunity to take swipe at the president’s much-touted border wall.
Clearly, Democrats and their allies in the media are less concerned about the virus and more concerned with using the pandemic as a proverbial albatross to hang around the president’s neck.
With the 2020 presidential election on the horizon, the Democrats are most frightened of Trump’s booming economy.
The media are enjoying the fruits of their efforts as financial markets suffer a downturn.
With few arrows left in their quiver after the botched Russia and Ukraine hoaxes, inducing panic over a virus that is proving to be serious but not extinction-level is their desperate last gasp.
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