Fake news: “COVID-19, shootings: Is mass death now tolerated in America?”

Fake news: “COVID-19, shootings: Is mass death now tolerated in America?”

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Remember Betteridge’s Law of Headlines: if a headline contains a question mark, the actual answer is No. From that link:

The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.

Which leads to this fake news report in the AP by reporter Michelle Smith: COVID-19, shootings: Is mass death now tolerated in America?

The U.S. does seem to tolerate mass death from mass shootings (and many of us wish this was not tolerated). But much of this article is about Covid-19’s impact, and leads with the assertion that Covid-19 was a completely preventable disease.

Nowhere in the world has Covid-19 been preventable by any of the mandated mitigations. In some island nations, mitigations may have delayed the inevitable onset of disease but can never end the pandemic – only delay – if they work at all.

You can see this in North Korea which went from an alleged zero cases to 400,00 new cases per day.

This report goes from an assertion that there was magic hand waving that could stop Covid everywhere to this means we have normalized mass death.

In fact, 27 countries have had higher excess mortality per 100k than did the U.S. Does this mean those 27 countries also normalized mass death? All but a handful of the countries shown in the linked table have had significant excess deaths.

The fake news report says that noting Covid-19 has not been stopped elsewhere is “denying that the deaths were preventable“. There is no evidence provided that these deaths were preventable.

These observations and questions and facts are therefore disinformation, and this weblog is now canceled.

This fake news reports uses multiple methods of propaganda:

  • Assertion
  • Get on the Bandwagon (makes sure to cite experts who agree)
  • Appeal to Authority (cites “experts”)
  • Glittering Generalities (“Covid is preventable”)
  • False dilemma (“You agree with me are wrong”, there are no other perspectives)
  • Name calling (“Denying these deaths are preventable”)

That is quite a collection in a single fake news report.

I suspect the reporter personally believes that all Covid deaths were entirely preventable and then set out to cherry pick points to support that assertion. Which she did. This illustrates how reporters write personal opinion pieces masquerading as “fair and balanced” news reports. They select the topic, and then only solicit quotes that support their position.

Presumably, she believes if we had locked everyone up for 2+ years we would have stopped Covid in the United States. How we would eat never crosses her little mind. How we would obtain health care never crosses her little mind.

In actual fact, my state shut down all non-life-threatening health care in spring of 2020. I had to wait 13 weeks to get diagnosed – with a stress fracture of the navicular one and a partially torn treatment. Lacking treatment, this is now a chronic condition that makes walking, at times, painful. Yet the lock down ultimately failed. Later that year, and then with 94% mandatory mask wearing compliance, daily cases in my state grew by an order of magnitude. Over a year after that, they grew again by a factor of 5x more. None of the strategies did a damn thing – but they denied essential health care while privileged white collar workers like Michelle Smith sat typing away at home, having food deliveries brought by low paid, mostly non-white workers. And from that perspective, she asserts that we could have magically waved our hands and solved all problems.

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