Friday, May 15, 2020

Media Lies: Democrat Governors Doing Great Jobs Despite Higher Virus Death Rates

What’s a Republican governor have to do to earn respect from the mainstream media? I’m asking because saving a lot of lives without totally trashing their state’s economy doesn’t seem to do the trick. Meanwhile, certain Democrat governors are portrayed as quietly competent heroes while having the worst infection and death rates in the nation.

AG Hamilton noted on Twitter earlier this morning:

Florida began its reopening process on Governor Ron DeSantis’ orders over a week ago, smartly putting retiree-heavy South Florida on a later, longer schedule. DeSantis also closed Florida much later than other states did — to media howls. Nevertheless, even though Florida has two million more people than New York does, and its population skews older than New York’s, New York has about eight times more COVID-19 cases than Florida has suffered.

Remember the Democrat attack ad from 2012, showing a Paul Ryan lookalike rolling a wheelchair-bound granny off a cliff? All Ryan had done was propose Medicare reforms. Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo got thousands of grannies and grandpas killed with his March 25 directive ordering nursing homes to accept coronavirus patients. Cuomo even forbade nursing homes “from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.” The result was thousands of needlessly dead.

In a sane world with a nonpartisan media, DeSantis should be enjoying improved poll numbers, while New Yorkers ought to be gathered in front of the governor’s mansion with torches and pitchforks. And yet, Cuomo’s approval rating has shot up to 72% according to the latest from Quinnipiac. DeSantis, on the other hand, has seen his once-strong approval ratings decline over the last few weeks.

Despite Florida’s impressive COVID-19 numbers, compared to New York or New Jersey’s, the Washington Post felt the need to ask two days ago, “Does Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis know what he’s doing?“. If the New York Times gave a damn about its own city, they’d be demanding the heads of Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Instead, they’re running scare pieces on Florida with headlines like “‘Found Unresponsive at Home’: Grim Records Recount Lonely Deaths.” And Yahoo News felt the need to explain “How the coronavirus undid Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.” The Wuhan Flu didn’t undo DeSantis; the mainstream media did.

Cuomo has recieved almost nothing but fawning press coverage, particularly from the Orange Man Bad crowd. Eddie Scarry wrote on Tuesday for the Washington Examiner:

So how are the media’s COVID-19 governor heroes doing? Daily press briefings by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, are run top to bottom live on cable news outlets, and his performances are cherished by the press. The New York Times last month called Cuomo’s delivery “articulate, consistent and often tinged with empathy.” The paper also likened the briefings to a “tender embrace.”

That soft hug, however, is currently accompanied by the shockingly high death rate of 139 per 100,000 people, a number that was boosted in part by Cuomo’s appalling decision to force nursing homes to accept any elderly person who had been infected with the virus. This directly exposed many high-risk people to the coronavirus and has probably resulted in many deaths.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is a Republican, but he gets a lot of love from the press because he’s always ready to attack President Trump. His state isn’t doing so hot, either, with a rate of 28 deaths per 100,000. That means Maryland has a death rate more than twice that of Georgia.

New Jersey — where Democrat Phil Murphy is governor — has a population not much less than Georgia’s, yet has four times as many COVID-19 cases. I was unable to find a single negative MSM headline about Murphy in a week’s worth of stories from the mainstream media. The Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, has been given the same treatment as DeSantis, portrayed as a cross between a bumbler and a murderer. Kemp has been accused of “deadly ignorance,” and begged not to “risk virus’ resurgence here.” He even placed on a list of “The Definitive Ranking of the Worst U.S. Government Responses to the Coronavirus.”

But would you rather be a retiree with existing medical conditions in Kemp’s Georgia, or in Phil Murphy’s New Jersey? Would you feel safer on a Florida beach, or in a New York nursing home?



Republicans increasingly doubt Anthony Fauci but trust Donald Trump

Washington: At the beginning of the novel coronavirus outbreak - and for weeks afterwards - there was one thing Americans could seemingly agree upon: Anthony Fauci.

Today, that's considerably less the case. While Fauci retains the faith of a strong majority of Americans, opposition from Republicans has crept up steadily over the past month or so, as conservative media figures and politicians have increasingly called his advice into question.

Picking up that mantle in a particularly prominent way Tuesday was Senator Rand Paul, who spent his time at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee grilling Fauci and suggesting he shouldn't oversell his knowledge about what might become of the virus - along with Fauci's role in decisions about the response.

Paul pressed Fauci to admit he wasn't the "end-all" when it comes to the response, particularly when it comes to decisions about whether the economy should be reopened at this point.

Fauci offered a subtly pointed response. While noting that he had never presented himself as the "end-all" - Fauci has made a point to say that others are in charge of economic considerations - he repeated Paul's allusions to using "humility" in offering prescriptions about what might lay ahead.

Particularly, he pushed back on Paul's suggestion that schools could reopen because children suffer many fewer deaths from COVID-19 by saying people should be "humble" about what they don't know about how the virus impacts young people.

But Paul's line of questioning reflects an increasing conservative scepticism of Fauci - a scepticism that has grown over the past month in part thanks to people like him questioning Fauci's advice.

And a new poll this week reinforces that this scepticism is slowly taking hold: The CNN poll suggests a significant decline in GOP regard for Fauci's expertise when measured against other similar polls of Fauci in recent weeks.

While 84 per cent of Republicans said they trusted the information they received from President Donald Trump about the virus, just 72 per cent said the same about the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, while just 61 per cent said the same about Fauci, the CNN poll found.

That split in regard for Trump and Fauci is something that simply didn't exist even a month ago.

A Fox News poll conducted in late March showed very little difference in GOP perceptions between the two. At the time, 85 per cent of Republicans approved of Fauci's handling of the coronavirus, versus just 8 per cent who disapproved. His plus-77 rating was about the same as Trump, for whom 86 per cent approved and 13 per cent disapproved (plus-73).

That gap, though, has progressively widened over the past month.

A Quinnipiac University poll in early April showed Republicans approved of Trump 89-10 and Fauci 77-8 - still sterling numbers for Fauci, but not quite on Trump's level.

By late April, a Gallup poll showed 91 per cent of Republicans approved of Trump on the virus, but just 71 per cent approved of Fauci.

Early this month, Republicans in a Washington Post-University of Maryland survey said Trump had done an "excellent" or "good" job on the coronavirus by a 79-21 margin (plus-58), as compared to 68-25 (plus-43) for Fauci.

And now, the CNN poll shows the biggest gap yet - at least on the narrower measure of trust. While Republicans trust Trump on the coronavirus by a margin of 84 per cent to 14 per cent (plus-70), they trust Fauci by less than half that margin, 61-29 (plus-32).

Trump has thus far declined to clash with Fauci publicly - apart from retweeting a call for his firing at one point in mid-April. But many of his allies in conservative media (and now the Senate) have been happy to pick up that torch and question Fauci's advice, as they push for a more aggressive reopening of the economy than Fauci has advocated.

And it seems to have gradually had the intended effect - even as Fauci, to date, retains a relatively strong image.



Social distancing not as effective as hoped, Minnesota modelling shows

Minneapolis: New modelling by Minnesota researchers of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that social distancing isn't as effective as initially expected in reducing deaths and infections, but will still help protect the state from a novel and highly infectious coronavirus.

Initial models were based on estimates that Minnesota's statewide stay-at-home order would reduce face-to-face contact and disease transmission by 80 per cent, but the new model released Wednesday showed it only reduced that by 59.5 per cent.

COVID-19 remains a new disease globally, and new understanding is helping to create a more precise model, said Stefan Gildemeister, state health economist, as he unveiled the new modelling results on Wednesday morning.

Initial estimates of the impact of social distancing in Minnesota were based on experiences in China, where the coronavirus first emerged. "Mitigation (in China) was very different from what we were experiencing here," Gildemeister said.

The modelling predicted roughly 1700 deaths in Minnesota by the end of May, but a range of 16,000 to 44,000 deaths over 12 months of the pandemic. That is higher than prior state modelling estimates, Gildemeister said, based on updated understanding of an earlier peak of the pandemic and broader spread of the virus in the state. "We hope these are pessimistic estimates, but it is certainly a plausible outcome," he said.

The latest model also was based on feedback from doctors that 100 per cent of people would die from COVID-19 if they needed ventilator care in hospitals to breathe and didn't receive it.

Minnesota hospitals have worked to increase ventilatory capacity in the past two months, and now have 3702 available - though 858 remain on back order. As of Wednesday, only 562 ventilators were in use statewide by patients with COVID-19 and other patients with medical problems unrelated to the pandemic.

Modelling of different scenarios showed that stay-at-home orders would reduce ventilator demand and deaths. A stay-at-home order through the end of May would cut in half the forecasted number of deaths compared to the state doing nothing at all from the start.

Modelling was instrumental early on in the pandemic for the state's governor Tim Walz, who issued school closures and statewide stay-at-home orders based in part on state-specific forecasts showing that COVID-19 cases would far outstrip the available supply of critical care beds and ventilators in hospitals.

The last model update was publicly unveiled on April 9. Walz has made key policy decisions in the absence of new forecasts - including another two-week extension of the stay-at-home order that is scheduled to end May 18.

More than 83,000 people have died in the US, representing more than one-fourth of global deaths and the world's highest toll. On the planet more than 4.3 million have been infected and about 295,000 have died.

Eager to restart the economy, US President Donald Trump has been urging states to lift restrictions, and many governors are doing so gradually, though consumers remain leery of going back to restaurants, social events and sporting competitions.



The Left hate us and want us out of the way

There are many on the Right, often with more, er, establishment leanings, who seem to be dismissive of the warnings we have seen from Kurt Schlichter and Dennis Prager, among others, of how much the Left hates grassroots Americans. The Never Trump faction has long been in denial of reality, and it starts with what seems to be misunderstanding the Left.

At the very least, many so-called “progressives” want Patriots to shut up and get out of the way. You don’t need to just take the word of your Patriot Post team; just look at Elizabeth Warren’s campaign platform. For her, it was not enough to pass sweeping restrictions on our Second Amendment rights, punishing millions of law-abiding Americans for crimes and acts of madness they did not commit. She wanted to sic the Internal Revenue Service on the National Rifle Association.

In her mind, the many lawmakers who defend our right to keep and bear arms do so because they are “corrupt” — the notion that another American could look at Second Amendment issues and come to a different good-faith conclusion about what policies should be pursued seems to be completely foreign to her.

Given that her presidential campaign flopped, Patriots might want to breathe a sigh of relief, but she is a top contender to be Joe Biden’s veep. Given what many speculate about Biden’s health, Warren would be a heartbeat away from being president.

Between Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS Tea Party targeting, Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigations, the efforts by state attorneys general to silence opponents of the “green” agenda, Spygate, and Andrew Cuomo’s jihad against the NRA, there is a clear pattern. When they are in power, Democrats have a proclivity toward using police-state tactics against their opponents.

Worse, the tactics worked. We’ll never know for sure, but those abuses undoubtedly played a part in losses over the years. Even the Supreme Court has not been immune from threats (particularly the chief justice), and in the recent Second Amendment case some justices backed down in the face of pressure.

Also coming as a harbinger of police-state tactics is the fact that, according to a report by Fox News, Department of Defense technology intended to combat radical Islamic terrorist groups is now being turned on domestic political actors — President Donald Trump’s supporters.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency denies it, but after seeing what happened with Lois Lerner, Fast and Furious, and Spygate, can we really believe that denial? Once again, the past misconduct, the bureaucratic usurpation of power, and the lack of accountability raise doubts about the denial.

Given all of this, the situation should be patently obvious to anyone. Leftists have been telling us who they are and what they intend to do. The question is, do those who criticize Trump supporters not believe them, or are they being willfully blind?



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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