I noted here that most Americans have an absurdly inflated idea of the damage that has been done by the Wuhan virus, with the median American apparently believing the virus has killed 9 percent of our population–around 30 million people. How can the public be so grossly misinformed?
It hasn’t been easy. It has taken a concerted effort by our governments, aided and abetted by the press, to sow misinformation about COVID. Examples could be multiplied endlessly. For the moment let’s describe three.
In Kansas, the Secretary of the Department Health created a highly deceptive chart intended to show the effectiveness of masks, and to indicate that mask-wearing counties were considerably safer than non-mask-wearing counties. This is the chart, per the Kansas Department of Health:
Wow, the “mask” counties, shown in gold, have improved their case rates massively, and are now greatly outperforming those slackers who don’t wear masks. Right? That certainly is what the chart suggests, and the Secretary of Health specifically misrepresented the facts with this exchange:
At about the 15-minute mark of the recording, a reporter asks (according to Norman’s restatement of the hard-to-hear question, “If the no-mask counties would start masking, would it (blue line) drop, and would it dip down below the mask counties.”
Norman said, “I think it would.”
It turns out, though, that if you look carefully, the masked and unmasked counties are plotted on different axes. If you plot the two groups of counties using the same y-axis, this is what you get:
In fact, the “no mask” counties have consistently outperformed the “masked” counties, and while cases in both groups have declined somewhat, with masked counties narrowing the gap, unmasked counties continue to show far fewer cases than those where masks are required. Who revealed the government agency’s deception? Not the “mainstream” press, of course. Rather, The Sentinel, which also exposed further misleading conduct by the Kansas Health Department, also intended to misinform Kansans on the effectiveness of masks, here.
Next, on to Massachusetts. Howie Carr, who hosts the most popular talk radio show in New England, credits Power Line for pointing out that in Massachusetts, like Minnesota, COVID deaths are occurring almost exclusively among the elderly. We linked to a dashboard that was put out daily by the Massachusetts Department of Health that made it easy to see the breakdown of COVID fatalities by age bracket. Howie started tweeting about the data on nearly a daily basis, like this:
This was more truth than Massachusetts’ state government could handle. Howie describes what happened:
What happened to the state’s most revealing daily virus chart — Deaths and Death Rate by Age Group?
It’s disappeared! Vanished! Gone without explanation from the MA Coronavirus Dashboard!
How odd that Gov. Charlie Parker would decide to deep-six the chart @howiecarrshow tweets out almost every day.
Could it be because the chart provided some inconvenient truths, like the fact that only 146 people under the age of 50 have died in MA?
Or that the average age of the decedents is 82?
Or the fact that zero — that’s right, ZERO — people under the age of 20 have died in MA.
The hacks said they have “streamlined” the daily report.
Apparently streamlining means getting rid of the one chart that best explains the overreaction, hysteria and panic porn that Tall Deval has been pushing like a deranged cult leader for the last five months.
Finally, Minnesota, where Scott has been documenting the follies of the Tim Walz administration and the uncritical adoration of the local press for some months now. Minnesota is distinguished from its neighbors by the fact that it issued the harshest shutdown order in the Upper Midwest. In contrast, the surrounding states, especially South Dakota and Wisconsin, are bastions of freedom. Yet Minnesota’s COVID fatality rate is nearly double Wisconsin’s, and more than double South Dakota’s. Moreover, both of those states’ economies have suffered far less than Minnesota’s. In fact, Minnesota has both the highest per capita rate of COVID fatalities in the Upper Midwest and the highest rate of growth of jobless claims–a remarkable exacta of policy failure.
You would think these facts would be of interest to Minnesota voters. Actually, I am sure they would be, which is why both the state government and, shamefully, the state’s press corps keep them more or less secret. Scott related the most recent instance just yesterday:
At about 21:00 of the audio recording below, Minnesota News Network’s Bill Werner asked how Minnesota compares to its neighbors. Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann and state epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield were on hand to respond. They provided numbers comparing Minnesota (favorably) with Illinois and Michigan. How about any state that actually neighbors Minnesota? Lynfield didn’t quite get there in her response to Werner.
Werner followed up with a question about Wisconsin. Answer: we don’t compare favorably — she gave the numbers — but that might be because of our superior number crunching. Really. Kevin [Roche] adds: “[N]one of Minnesota’s actual ‘neighboring’ states has worse statistics than ours, so I can understand your eagerness to go several hundred miles to the east to find one.”
Following the news on a daily basis, it is hard to escape the conclusion that governments at all levels, along with more or less the entire journalism industry, are intentionally trying to convey an inflated impression of the impact of the Wuhan virus. Further, there is a growing body of empirical evidence, both nationally and internationally, that strongly suggests the cataclysmic shutdowns that have been imposed by governments both here and abroad have been more or less useless. Our governments have made mistakes that have resulted in the devastation of many millions of lives, and our reporters and editors want to keep that fact quiet. This isn’t surprising, of course: we all know what side they are on.