I’m not typically a huge fan of panel shows that feature an argumentative atmosphere, but I’ll make an exception for “The Five,” if just because the shouting a) tends to involve Juan Williams and another member of the panel and b) tends to end with Juan losing in spectacular fashion.
I’ll sit through some shouty-ness for that.
The kerfuffle on Monday’s edition of “The Five” had to do with a report that the White House is changing its messaging over the novel coronavirus.
NBC News broke the story, attributed to “senior administration officials,” on Saturday: The new angle, according to one official, is “The virus is with us, but we need to live with it.”
According to NBC, “President Donald Trump’s top advisers plan to argue, the country must figure out how to press forward despite [the coronavirus]. Therapeutic drugs will be showcased as a key component for doing that and the White House will increasingly emphasize the relatively low risk most Americans have of dying from the virus, officials said.”
To Williams, this was a sign the administration was trying to “normalize” the virus.
“How does the strategy of normalizing the coronavirus help the Trump campaign?” he asked Gutfeld. “I mean, obviously people are dying. This is no common cold. I think that’s evident to everybody.”
Gutfeld, after a laugh, called it “the craziest question you’ve ever done.”
“No one should take anybody in the media seriously in their questioning of process if they haven’t actually made a correct piece of advice,” Gutfeld said.
“Let’s face it. Number one, they politicized hydroxy. Remember that? They were so happy to find that one bad study that said it didn’t work, now they go strangely silent when you hear that it might work and in fact we all kind of knew that it might work. In terms of a strategy, it was well-tolerated among people. We knew there was promise, but the media didn’t like that.”
Gutfeld was apparently referring initially to an April study that found little or no benefit to patients taking hydroxychloriquine. That study, which seemed directly prove Trump was wrong about the drug got major play in news outlets like CNN and The Associated Press.
Less attention has been paid to a study published last week by the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan which, according to the Detroit Free Press, found that patients who were given the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine — touted by the president as a potential treatment for COVID-19, but not yet proven to work — had halved the percentage of hospitalized patients who received the drug and died.
In the study, conducted between March 10 and May 2, 26 percent of patients who didn’t receive the drug as part of early treatment died, while only 13 percent who received the drug did.
Back to Gutfeld: “Two, the rest home deaths. The media bent over backward to cover up for the Cuomos, right? They didn’t want that to be a big story, but that was a big story, OK?”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of course, is the man whose state health department forced nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients being sent back from hospitals, regardless of their potential to infect other patients.
Over 6,300 seniors who had the virus were sent back into the homes. Speaking to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough in June, according to The Associated Press, Cuomo nevertheless claimed that “it is that the staff got infected, they came to work, and they brought in the infection.”
Gutfeld also slapped the mainstream media coverage that belittled Trump’s decision early in the crisis to halt travel from China in an order issued Jan. 31, and has ignored the coronavirus cases it likely prevented.
“And let’s not forget the travel ban, right? Which, many in the media — Juan — said that was stupid and said that it was racist, but that probably did a large part in preventing a lot of death.”
Gutfeld concluded by saying that “the media and those that politicize this need to be ignored.”
“Well, I think there are more than 125,000 dead,” Williams said in response. “Next up, Joe Biden–“
“Really? I didn’t know that, Juan!” Gutfeld said in a sarcastic rejoinder.
All of this is factual — and wholly unpleasant for the left.
There’s no “normalizing” a virus that has left more than 125,000 dead. That said, we do need to live through it. The concept of keeping the nation shuttered until a vaccine is found has been thoroughly rejected by almost everyone at this point. The question is how we reopen and what sort of treatments we employ.
That this is news to anybody should be news by itself. To Williams, an inveterate liberal, this represents the “normalization” of COVID-19.
Americans know differently. They know the world has to be lived in, and it’s not “normalization” to accept reality and make the changes necessary to adapt to it and thrive.
If Williams is the liberal viewpoint, the unquestioned belief on the left that the coronavirus will be a boon for Joe Biden and the Democrats this November should very much be questioned.
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