Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in California because of the 114 reported cases of the coronavirus in the state of 40 million residents. Was this to play into the hand of the media, which has hyped the flu virus as the next plague, particularly because every year, tens of thousands of people die of that season’s flu?
“Let’s call it Trumpvirus,” a New York Times opinion writer said. Cable news hosts wear their most dire faces while reporting on the coronavirus flu, as though the United States has never seen or dealt with an outbreak.
An Associated Press article was equally dramatic and hysterical: “Crossing more borders, the new coronavirus hit a milestone Friday, infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide as it wove itself deeper into the daily lives of millions, infecting the powerful, the unprotected poor and vast masses in between.”
Conspicuously missing from the AP article is the important distinction that being “infected” for nearly everyone is not life-threatening, and most people don’t even know they had the virus.
This coronavirus, first observed in late December in Wuhan, China, and was reported to the World Health Organization China bureau in Beijing. By January 31, 2020, President Donald Trump had declared a public health emergency and began restricting U.S. access to non-citizens from China.
“Compare Trump’s response time to the H1N1 pandemic in June 2009, when American health officials declared a public health emergency, but it wasn’t until four months later, October, that then-President Obama declared an H1N1 national emergency. By that time, the disease had infected millions of Americans and more than 1,000 people had died in the U.S.,” PJ Media reported.
Imagine if the media gave this much coverage to an actual pandemic health danger in California: hundreds of thousands of homeless drug addicts and the mentally ill living in squalor on city streets throughout California. Hepatitis, typhus, typhoid fever, and threats of Bubonic Plague are real in cities with homeless people living on streets, on rivers and in parks.
Actual Annual Flu Statistics
According to the Center for Disease Control, the 2018-2019 flu season, lasting 21 weeks, was the longest in a decade; 61,200 died, 647,000 people were hospitalized. The CDC says that is on par with a typical flu season.
In 2018, nearly 80,000 Americans died of nasty flu, the kind that more people end up in the hospital with. It caused more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly.
In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to — in the worst year — 56,000, according to the CDC, prior to 2018.
Did Sierra College close down in 2018 when two students tested positive for the flu? No, but it closed this week for two cases of coronavirus. How about the Elk Grove School District – did it close in 2018 for one case of the flu? Nope. But that is what the school district announced over the weekend, because of one case of coronavirus.
For 2 cases of coronavirus, the Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency, including Indian Wells where the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament was to play the two-week event, normally attended by 450,000.
Occasionally during flu season, a small office will close down and post a sign: “Out sick with flu.” That’s a small office where everyone caught the flu. But if one person caught the flu the office would not shut down.
“Shocking. Elk Grove Unified School District closing its doors this week because one of its students was being quarantined for the coronavirus is shocking,” Marcos Breton with the Sacramento Bee wrote. “More shocking. Saturday’s announcement, with such widespread implications, including the possibility of triggering public anxiety and panic, was rolled out with little or no coordination between the county’s public health department or key elected officials in Sacramento, even though a letter to parents Saturday said ‘this complex decision involved close collaboration and coordination with our Board of Trustees, labor groups, the Sacramento County Office of Education and the Sacramento County Public Health Department.’”
The fatality rate is one percent or lower, despite the media claiming a much higher rate. “As the nation gears for battle against coronavirus, our biggest enemy is false information,” Betsy McCaughey wrote at Fox News. “Trump officials from the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services have been briefing the public daily, as they fine-tune their response to this rapidly evolving global virus. So Senators, just go to cdc.gov to read the 52-page plan and stop whining.”
McCaughey said so far there are 18 deaths this year from coronavirus while there are already 18,000 deaths this year from the seasonal flu. The hype is political and more dangerous than a flu virus.
UPDATE: The CDC reports on March 10 there are now 25 deaths from coronavirus.