Is the COVID-19 Situation an Instance of this Hysteria Strategy?
I am obviously unable to answer this question. There is so much information out there — some terrifying, some hopeful, much distorted if not dishonest, all incomplete and uncertain — that no-one has any definitive answers. The easiest and safest path is to assume that “this time it’s different” due to the situation’s seriousness. After all, our medical experts, political leaders and major media outlets all appear to agree that the only sensible path is to make decisions based on the “worst case scenario.”
One great tragedy of the past four years is the destruction of credibility that has occurred for our elite class, which certainly includes our political leaders and major media outlets. I have written extensively about both of these groups in this blog (and collected into a book).
On the media front one is not encouraged by their early hope that this pandemic would be “Donald Trump’s Katrina.” Or we can recall the shameless media “turn on a dime” from describing the coronavirus as “Wuhan” and/or “Chinese” to screeching that it’s “racist” to do so when the daily Progressive talking points changed. Nor can we ignore the media’s distortions and outright lies in an effort to use the crisis as a political weapon. How can we expect a media intent on weaponizing this situation against a long hated opponent to provide accurate information to the public?
Nor have many politicians covered themselves in glory. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his Health Department insisted for long past when information about COVID-19’s seriousness was everywhere that New Yorkers should continue life as usual (including congregating in large crowds). New York’s Governor (Andrew Cuomo), after bitterly complaining that the Federal Government had abandoned the state, was revealed to have “had a chance to order 16,000 ventilators five years ago for a discount,
but he opted for death panels and lotteries instead.” Now that New York City is the undisputed epicenter of the viral outbreak these pathetic men are working 24/7 to deflect the blame that they so clearly deserve. On the national front, who can ignore the Congressional Democrat’s craven use of this public health crisis as a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” This statement by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D) was followed up with shameful action by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House (D). We see this bad faith and appalling hypocrisy at work with the recent statement by House Speaker that President Trump “Fiddles’ While ‘People Are Dying.” This from a leader who spent the first six weeks of this year conducting a hoax impeachment and then on February 24 telling citizens of San Francisco “We do want to say to people, come to Chinatown, here we are … come join us.” What can we conclude but that it is far more important for Democrat leaders to burnish their politically correct “virtue” and pursue their partisan power goals than to protect the lives and jobs of U.S. citizens?
But what about the medical experts? Can’t we safely rely on their dispassionate, sure and humane knowledge? This group hasn’t discredited itself over the past four years. Rather they have been in the background doing their jobs with general competence and kindness. But this in and of itself doesn’t guarantee that, in the grip of a new and unknown pandemic, they will use the best information or draw the best conclusions.
Even if they do, there is no reason to assume that the media will accurately understand, let alone explain, this information to the general public. Nor can we assume that politicians will convert their guidance into policies in the public interest as opposed to their own. Finally, we can’t assume that these highly specialized medical experts (who by definition have primarily focused their work in one specific area) are capable of integrating other important dimensions (e.g., economic harm) into their policy proscriptions.