If you were asked who most of the mainstream media blames daily for every loss of life in the United States from COVID-19, who would you say that is? It’s a rhetorical question.
The New York Times continues that tradition today. They report on a new infection model from Columbia University indicating that if strict social-distancing had been enacted just a week earlier, 36,000 Americans would still be alive.
The article starts, naturally, with comments from the Columbia epidemiologist who conducted the study. But immediately after that, The New York Times jumps right into their favorite blame-game. “President Trump,” they explain, “resisted canceling campaign rallies or telling people to stay home or avoid crowds” and reference one of his early tweets.
“Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,” Mr. Trump tweeted on March 9, suggesting that the flu was worse than the coronavirus. “At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!”
The story mentions matter-of-factly though in a fraction of a sentence that New York Governor Cuomo issued the stay-at-home order for his state six days after President Trump directed Americans to quarantine themselves.
While the Times admits that “The fates of specific people cannot be captured by a computer model” this does not keep them from doing precisely that, telling the tragic stories of four specific families who lost a loved one in that early period.
But here is the most remarkable part of the story. The Times provides a hyperlink to the referenced study for studious readers to check for themselves. Those who did, found this,
The study they use to directly implicate the President in the deaths of 36,000 additional citizens provides a clear warning: “This article … reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated” in a standard peer review process, and thus, “should not be used to guide clinical practices.” The New York Times does not mention this major caveat. This does not stop them from using the report to explain what medical and public safety practices should have taken place and when.
Yes, most major media outlets relentlessly place the blame for our national COVID crisis squarely on the shoulders of one man. The New York Times admitted on May 7th that if blame belongs on one set of shoulders, it’s not the President’s. They explained that when infectious disease scientists tracked the virus’s signature mutations alongside the travel histories of infected individuals, it was clear that “New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source [emphasis added] of new infections in the United States…”
Of course, this places primary blame for our national crisis upon New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo who locked down his state nearly a week after President Trump urged such action. But Gov. Cuomo is not a desirable whipping boy to those of the Fourth Estate, so Americans are given a different and carefully constructed narrative.