Why Is The Media Suddenly No Longer Interested In Blaming COVID Waves On Red States
By now, it’s become a truth universally acknowledged that the media must continually be in search of a governor and specific political ideology to blame when COVID cases rise.
Well, I’m old enough to remember when it was a truth universally acknowledged.
But that was way back in the summer, when cases were rising in the Southern states, mostly run by Republican governors who refused to acquiesce to demands from the media to mandate masks and vaccine passports.
The seasons have changed, however, and case trends along with it.
The Midwest and the Northeast are now the epicenter of the latest COVID surge.
[ZH: We thought these two charts may also help explain the lack of media malificence]
And just like that, inexplicably, the media’s no longer interested in blaming local officials or the political beliefs of residents for the dramatic increase in COVID cases. Imagine that!
After scores of hysterical articles on Florida were written, despite the fact that the inevitable crash of cases and hospitalizations in the state almost immediately proved them wrong, interestingly the mass panic and hyperbole is noticeably absent of late.
There are a few possible explanations for this confusing lack of interest, and after reviewing the data from each state, some interesting conclusions can be drawn.
Most of the states have several things in common that seem to insulate them from the levels of severe criticism reserved for governors like Ron #DeathSantis.
Let’s see the lessons that can be learned from the COVID situation across the country.
How many of you knew that Michigan now leads the country in recent case rates?
Probably not many!
Just for the sake of comparison, I Google searched “Florida leads the country in new covid cases” and here are a few of the top results:
I then searched “Michigan leads the country in new covid cases November” and these were a few of the top results:
Well that’s certainly different, isn’t it?!
Here’s how the curve of new cases looks in Michigan though:
Not great, huh?
In fact, Michigan is rapidly approaching the same heights it reached in April, when the CDC director said they needed to again implement lockdown measures to control the surge.
Yet I searched for Vanity Fair articles labeling Governor Gretchen Whitmer the “Angel of Death,” as they did with Ron DeSantis and came up with a big fat blank.
I’m not kidding. They literally called DeSantis the “Angel of Death” and said he was a “super-spreader event:”
I also checked those keywords to see if Bess wrote a similar article on Gretchen Whitmer:
Very strange, isn’t it?
It’s also strange that DeSantis has been accused of courting “anti-vaxxers” and not doing enough to encourage and promote vaccinations, while Florida has significantly higher vaccination rates in every single category.
As of today, here’s the key vaccination states for both states:
TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 60%/54%
12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 69%/63%
65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 92%/85%
TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 70%/61%
12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 81%/70%
65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – >99%/87%
Literally in every single category, Florida’s had higher vaccine uptake. Yet only DeSantis has been accused of being “anti-vaxx,” because he…promoted a life-saving treatment that cuts hospitalizations and deaths by 78% in high risk populations.
Really odd, huh?
Minnesota currently ranks second in the U.S. in recent case rate, reporting an average of 700 cases per million residents over the past seven days, which has nearly doubled in just the past few weeks.
Minnesota also has a higher than average vaccination rate, with 67% of the entire population at least partially vaccinated, 78% of everyone 12 and up, 80% of the over 18 population and 99% of the 65+ population.
Has anyone seen an article accusing Governor Tim Walz of being the “Angel of Death?”
What’s even more impressive about Minnesota’s recent surge is that they’ve essentially equaled Texas’s recent summer peak:
It’s fair to ask at this point, but did a major online media outlet say that Greg Abbot was running a “death cult?”
The answer, as always, is yes. Yes of course they did.
You’ll undoubtedly be shocked to learn that I searched for “Tim Walz death cult” and didn’t get any results, even though Minnesota has reported more cumulative COVID cases than Texas after adjusting for population. Bewildering.
New Mexico & Oregon
The state with the third highest recent case rate is New Mexico, who you might remember from the glowing article published in September 2020 in Scientific American, extolling their virtues for “controlling” the spread of COVID.
Infamously, that article was written before cases immediately went up 2,450%. But back to this year.
As True Believers in The Science™, New Mexico is one of the few states remaining to have a statewide mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, which has been in place for nearly three months.
Shockingly, cases have nearly doubled since:
And naturally, as a result of this dramatic success, they extended the mandate just a few days ago.
Confusingly, New Mexico’s currently reporting higher case numbers than neighboring Colorado and Utah, states that have followed nearly identical curves for twenty months now:
New Mexico’s vaccination rates are the highest of the three as well:
TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 74%/63%
12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 86%/74%
65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – >99%/89%
TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 69%/62%
12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 80%/73%
65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 95%/87%
TOTAL POPULATION AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 62%/55%
12 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 77%/67%
65 AND UP AT LEAST ONE DOSE/FULLY VACCINATED – 98%/88%
I’ll admit I didn’t check, but I have significant doubts that Michelle Lujan Grisham has been accused of running a death cult or being a dangerous “anti-vaxxer.”
Meanwhile, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown has seen deaths skyrocket to the highest levels of the pandemic, currently ranking in the top 10 in the country despite an active mask mandate and above average vaccination rate:
Nothing to see here either!
One of the more remarkable surges is happening in Vermont, which currently ranks fifth in the country in population adjusted case rate.
Cases in Vermont peaked last winter at 277 per million in January of this year. Their recent case rate peak this month is 591 cases per million.
Remember, this is after world famous expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that getting just 50% of adults vaccinated would make surges a thing of the past:
Vermont has 93% of adults with some level of vaccination. Cases are double what they were last winter.
And while Governor Phil Scott is a Republican, 66.1% of state residents voted for Joe Biden.
Somehow I doubt Salon will be updating their story on “unvaccinated Trumpers spreading Delta” given what’s happened in Vermont:
Hard to blame “unvaccinated Trumpers” in a state where only 30% of people voted for Trump and 93% of adults are vaccinated, so you won’t be seeing any stories from the media placing the blame for COVID on Vermont’s political ideology.
Sure does poke some holes in the obscene push for vaccine passports as well, doesn’t it?
* * *
So what are the lessons we can learn from this? Well, if you belong to the proper ideology, you can avoid being accused of running a death cult, being the Angel of Death or courting anti-vaxxers by promoting monoclonal antibodies. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have mask mandates or have lower than average vaccination rates, you can avoid most media criticism.
Four of the top five states in current case rates are either run by Democratic governors or where the populace overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden. All are also seeing hospitalizations rising significantly too.
It’s remarkable how it works, isn’t it? When cases are rising in areas where the incorrect set of political beliefs is dominant, it’s a moral failing that would be easily preventable if masks were mandated or vaccination rates improved.
When cases rise in areas with the correct set of media approved political beliefs, no matter what the vaccination rates are or mask wearing rules, it’s an unfortunate barrier to be overcome and an unavoidable increase likely due to seasonal effects and infinitesimal percentages of unvaccinated Trumpers. Or unmasked kids.
This was an entirely predictable sequence of events, and exactly the same pattern we saw last year. Cases rose in the South during the summer, leading to mass criticism of free-dumb loving Covidiots, only for colder climates to take off a few months later to deafening silence.
The media never learns. Purposefully never learns. They’re unable to accept that the spread of a highly infectious respiratory virus is not a moral examination to be passed or that there’s essentially no correlation with government intervention and better COVID outcomes.
Remember, Sweden ranks 54th in the world in COVID deaths per million:
Is it any wonder why we never hear about them anymore?
Thu, 11/18/2021 – 21:40