Numerous others have declared Trump is responsible for the spread of the virus. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) used the virus as a pretext to criticize Ivanka Trump, regarding her father’s immigration policies, although she later tweeted that several of Trump’s orders were “the right response in this critical time.” A growing list of celebrities, such as Debra Messing, Chrissy Teigen and Anna Wintour, have lashed out at the president, his family and his supporters over the virus.
Like Limbaugh and Regan, these liberal voices have every right to express their opinions. But with the coronavirus, some opinion has mutated into criticism with strong and obvious dislike for Trump.
The media, politicians and all Americans most certainly are entitled to disagree with Limbaugh and Regan. But, as the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once correctly pointed out: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
One fact is that news coverage of the swine flu a decade ago was a fraction of that given to COVID-19. Was the threat of the highly contagious swine flu dialed down, and positive reports on Obama’s handling of the crisis dialed up, because of bias or politics? That is open to debate — especially because the way news is covered has changed dramatically since then, particularly on social media — but the seriousness of the swine flu outbreak is not. During its run across approximately 70 countries, it infected almost 1.5 billion people and killed 300,000 to 700,000. In the United States, more than 60 million were infected, around 300,000 were hospitalized and more than 18,000 died.
And yet, life in the United States went on as normal. No panic, no closures, no shutting down of sporting events, restaurants, or movie theaters. No cities were locked down, and residents weren’t told to practice “social distancing” or to “shelter in place.” More importantly, the U.S. economy was not decimated. Small businesses did not close because of the flu, and hundreds of thousands of jobs weren’t lost.
So, the critical questions become: Did the media or the Obama administration irresponsibly underreact back then? Have the media or our government irresponsibly overreacted now? Or is the answer somewhere in between, based in part on differences between the perceived dangers of the two diseases?
With so many in the mainstream media openly declaring their dislike of President Trump over the past three-plus years, is it fPost too long. Click here to view the full text.