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The Public is Weary of the Media's COVID Panic

by: Sloan Rachmuth

Many took to Twitter over the weekend to mock WRAL's headline about a "back-to-school Covid surge."

The article points out that respiratory viruses spread early in the school year without mentioning how the common cold fits into this category. Misinformation lurks in that omission.

WRAL also buried its lede. The UNC Health spokesman quoted in the article admits that increased COVID cases aren't expected to be as serious as previous upticks. A recent Stanford University study shows what we already know: COVID is being treated better by doctors, and the virus has provided immunity to the population. Those who have contracted the virus before are more likely to have milder symptoms and, in some cases, may not even present symptoms if they become infected again.

Does WRAL bother to mention the study? Of course not.

The article, and others like them, are having the intended effect of alarming people, but not in the way the media anticipated. General Assembly phones are apparently ringing off the hook. State Senator Todd Johnson sent out the following email to his constituents:

Our office has recently received substantial calls and emails concerning potential COVID emergency orders and potential mask mandates.
I want to review some history and where we are now.
In 2020 I joined four other NC Senate colleagues in opposing masks mandates.
SB 232 - Repeal Death Invest Conf/Masks/Health&Safety.
I have not changed my position. I trust our community partners - be they businesses, schools, restaurants - to best make those decisions for themselves.
Governor Cooper's mandate inflicted widespread harm in our schools and business - many of which never recovered.

Politicizing COVID risks isn't just a North Carolina phenomenon, it's a national strategy. A number of science experts are pushing back.

Dr. Vinyay Prasad, health writer and professor of Oncology and Health Policy at UC San Francisco, has taken the gloves off against the New York Times:

Prasad's view of the minuscule risks of COVID comports with a majority of Americans according to a May poll published by Morning Consult. Only 26% of Millennials are "very worried" about a new outbreak of the virus. As for the high-risk"population, just 19% of baby boomers are worried according to the poll.

Recently author Alex Berenson also called out the CDC for COVID fear-mongering. He links to a potent study that shows the minimal risks of kids contracting the virus at school.

Speaking of baseless panic, Dr. Anthony Faucci appeared on CNN this weekend and admitted that masks may not work in general. He was asked about a Cochrane Library review that suggested masks did not reduce the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Fauci said, “when you're talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong.”

In spite of this, Fauci said that people should comply with government regulations if COVID cases rise.

It's clear that the media and the CDC rely on fear-mongering practices to propagate COVID fears and promote insanity, exposing the public to unnecessary risks and unnecessary fear. It's common for the media to accuse Republicans of using "dog whistles" to stir up controversy while stoking fears with their own inaccurate public health reporting.

By tuning their message to the fear and anxiety of the public, instead of the current science, the media is spinning a narrative to manipulate people's reactions.

Is it to soften people up for the next round of draconian restrictions? Is it to sway public opinion ahead of the 2024 election? Who knows? But the public sees through the manipulation.



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