Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have noticed the incredible misinformation being spread in the lay news. From the New York Times, to CNN, to Fox News, to Donald Trump himself- GIANT, OBVIOUS, LIES and ERRORS have been spread to the public. From Masks don’t work, to Hydroxychloroquine is an effective drug, to COVID-19 is a hoax, to antibodies won’t last, to the latest set of lies- herd immunity isn’t happening– all giant lies– on both sides of the aisle. Many of these have been attributed to scientists or academics with one line out-of-context quotes, throwing us under the bus, saying things we didn’t say, blatantly misconstruing or outright not understanding the science behind basic concepts. The lies always fall along party lines and are aimed at manipulating the public for a political agenda. Scientists have become both pawns and scapegoats to the media and politicians. I am really, really, tired of it. And it is literally KILLING Americans.
Without facts, we can’t have rationale policy and people can’t make informed, consenting, decisions about their health. The media lies have created mass public confusion and engendered incredible mistrust of the media, politicians, and scientists and doctors (the people the public can and should trust). All the while the scientific community has had a clear eyed unchanging picture of this pandemic the whole time. The virus is not so complicated. The modeling of the virus is actually not so complicated. But if you are listening to the press, it’s a huge messy complicated whiplash of completely untrustworthy information.
So here are the Five Biggest Lies about COVID-19 spread by the press and politicians:
1.Masks don’t work.
Who spread this? Everyone.
Why? To manipulate the public into not buying N95 masks so health care workers would have them.
What was the harm? It made millions of Americans not believe masks work when the media about faced on this later, killing 10s of thousands. 30% less people would die if everyone wore masks.
2. Hydroxychloroquine works.
Who spread this? Trump and the right.
Why? I really can’t fucking figure it out for the life of me. Trump has some financial interest in the drug? You tell me.
What was the harm? People around the world took a bogus drug with real harmful side effects to their hearts and livers. They also had a false sense of security that there is a treatment for COVID.
Some politicians (below for Ted Cruz statement), have finally admitted the harm in Hydroxycholorquine saying it directly is killing people but still cling to promoting the drug for earlier treatment despite the rigorous clinical trials showing no benefit and indeed harm with the drug. https://thetexan.news/ted-cruz-letter-to-fda-says-hydroxychloroquine-restrictions-may-be-directly-costing-lives/.
3. COVID-19 is a hoax.
Who spread this? Trump and the right.
Why? My suspicion is that they care more about keeping businesses (and their own finances) intact than saving human lives. So they want people to think COVID-19 is not dangerous so people will continue to spend money.
What was the harm? People went about their lives in many states like the virus wasn’t harmful. This killed 100,000 more people than necessary. COVID-19 has already killed 6X the number of people this year than the flu has on average in any given year. It also very well might encourage people not to get a COVID vaccine when it becomes available- which we very much need to do.
4. Antibodies won’t last so herd immunity might not be possible.
Who spread this? The left using scientists as pawns. Here is a quote from a review in the journal, Nature, the number one science journal in the world. Please note the use of “predictable” in the tagline- “Viral Immunologists say that results so far have been predictable- Here’s why that’s good news”. This pandemic has not been mysterious to scientists.
5. Herd immunity isn’t happening because there are still cases.
Who is spreading this? The left and Cuomo and crew. CNN and the LA Times have blatant lies in papers in the last two days. Here is a quote from CNN showing that they are lying about what herd immunity is.
Herd immunity means cases go down, RT<1, not that they disappear or that more immunity isn’t possible. This definition is literally in Wikipedia.
Herd immunity is almost certainly happening. And that is a good reason to wear a mask and not open schools. Things aren’t safe yet but could be soon- we need to be careful for one more semester and ride this out- but also have hope that things will be better soon.
Why? Because they want to protect Andrew Cuomo from the wrath of the public finding out that NYC has had herd immunity all along. They also want to point fingers at the right that their cases are going up because they are holier than thou and are using that politically.
What is the harm? It gives the public the exact opposite impression of what is happening. New York is amongst the safer states now and Michigan is amongst the least safe. States with schools opening that do not yet have immunity should 100% not open. University of Michigan, with your 60k plus students, do not open! Take a clue from UNC Chapel Hill shutting down after one week of classes.
This reckless, abhorrent, blatantly false, characterization of COVID-19 and public health messaging is incredibly harmful. It has killed ~100,000 Americans. The press and politicians on both sides of the aisle need to be held accountable for this. #fakesciencenews