Opinion

New Report on Hydroxychloroquine Adds to List of Media Malpractice Regarding Covid-19

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Posted: Jul 06, 2020 4:00 PM
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New Report on Hydroxychloroquine Adds to List of Media Malpractice Regarding Covid-19

Source: (AP Photo/John Locher)

Notice how we have heard very little in recent weeks regarding the possible remedy for some patients who contract the coronavirus? The press had completely walked away from that subject, after successfully dismissing the possible benefits that had been touted by President Trump. A new report has come out in the past week that shows there is now a possible life-saving aspect to administering the drug in the early stages of contracting the virus, and it becomes just another item on the ledger of media malpractice. 

One of the consistently infuriating results of this nation being cast under the pall of a pandemic -- and that is a lengthy collection of grievances -- has been the media and its approach to the crisis. Not only has there been conflicting reports, but the press itself has been remarkably inept in its ability to remain consistent, all while showing it has been very desirous to politicize the outbreak. The assessment of President Trump’s reaction and performance has been a constant source of negativity, but much of it is either rooted in contradictions, or even mitigated by the press itself.

Has Trump done plenty worthy of criticism? Obviously, yes. Adding to that are the many quotes and malaprops he has delivered to only fuel the press disdain, but who is looking at the press itself in the same fashion? The media has been steeped in contradiction these viral months with the only constant being the scorn they heap on Trump. 

The press scorched Trump over allegedly not taking action for over 70 days. Yet while the administration began taking steps in January the press was still denying the seriousness of coronavirus well into February. In January there was criticism over Trump not closing down travel and then when he did ban flights from China that month he was called a racist xenophobe. Journalists complained they were not briefed enough on the administration’s response, then when the White House began holding daily briefings journalists called for their networks to stop carrying them. 

This has been the practice of the press all the while, and their responsibilities are exposed in a variety of subjects concerning the coronavirus

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)

It has been clear the media was on a mission to discredit the recommendation of this drug, all based on their desire to deliver a political hit as opposed to delivering public safety information. They claimed the drug was unproven, while it has been on the market since the 1950s. Trump was irresponsible recommending the drug designed to fight malaria, ignorant (or likely, ignoring) that HCQ serves over a dozen other off-label treatments. 

They exaggerated the dangers in administering HCQ despite millions who take the drug daily. It was said to be a high health risk when the most danger was seen in long term users, not the 5-day regimen recommended to fight COVID. Trump was called ‘’reckless’’ for telling people to take an unproven medication when the non-medically-trained journalists failed to note it was only available under doctor supervision. Now a doctor has reported after looking into over 2,500 cases they saw that giving early treatment of HCQ cut the mortality by 50 percent. This was just as under-reported as the medical survey released months ago showing thousands of doctors worldwide who said they had the best success in treatments with HCQ.

Caseloads

Statistics are the crutch of the press; easy to compile and quickly digested by the audience. They have been dutiful in detailing the number of cases nationwide and by state, as well as the death count. What is less compiled is the rates. We always hear about the spikes and the spread, but we have seen very little in the way of reporting on survivals. As they breathlessly detail the mounting number of those infected we do not get a commensurate recognition that death rates are falling as a result. 

Recently Katie Tur gave a report courtesy of the CDC that we could actually be experiencing an infection rate ten times higher than recorded. This would be a result of people who contracted the virus but were asymptomatic. As the report was delivered with alarm it is actually great news. That means everything grave about the disease is diminished. Herd immunity is being achieved, resulting in severe cases, hospitalizations, and death rates becoming ten times lower. The death rate has been under 400 per million, and those are overwhelmingly seen in the elderly. For every 200 deaths of those over the age of 50, there are around 20 in those younger than 50. 

Ventilators

Remember when these medical devices were all the rage? Rather telling that after weeks, or even months, of the press hyperventilating over the drastic need for these machines they have fallen out of the news cycle. When the press was declaring the administration had dropped the ball on the ventilator supply they refused to note a number of executive orders had been passed to allow businesses more legal freedom for them to be mass-produced. The press will not note that effort has either been wildly successful, or the need was severely over-hyped.

States and governors were loudly reported to be in need, but curiously there was light coverage when those same states shortly began sharing their surplus machines with others. At one point there was a call for New York to receive thousands of the breathing devices, and President Trump was neglectful in failing to fill the need. General Motors was one corporation compelled to join in the production effort, with an order for 30,000 of the machines to be produced through this fall. It has not come close to fulfillment, and before the end of that same month, New York was donating its surplus machines to third world nations

Medical Face Masks

The press has been more than willing to make the wearing of masks a high-priority political issue. Journalists have taken to shaming the President, and anyone else of note, if discovered to have gone without the ‘’proper’’ face covering. If only there was medical agreement found that was as ardent as the hectoring journalists. Over time we have seen messaging from The CDC, the Surgeon General, Task Force physician Dr. Anthony Fauci, and even that favorite of the press corps, the WHO. on the ineffectiveness of wearing the masks. Of course, we have seen almost as many conflicting reports, often from the same sources. Here is what is never addressed -- with the press screeching about masks, and politicians and local governments mandating their use, if they are such a proven prevention aid then why are we not opening up the country right now? Either these are a beneficial safeguard and we can operate without risk, or the benefits of these required masks are overblown and the social scolds can calm themselves down. 

Crowd Gatherings

There has been no other coverage more blatant to expose the press in hysterical hypocritical outrage than the recent weeks of the public going out and about.  For months the general public had been shamed about leaving their homes, individuals were being arrested for opening their businesses, and protests against the stay-at-home orders were roundly criticized. Then the Black Lives Matter protests erupted and the press forgot all about public distancing. People who had to forego holding funerals for loved ones were forced to stay home and watch George Floyd become eulogized in THREE public services. 

Now the press has swung all the way back to prevent gatherings, trying in vain to report on spikes in cases in many states while not daring to mention the protests. The LA Times strained for weeks to explain how their stricter standards in California led to sharp rises in cases. We saw the blatant press paradox take place within the same day last weekend. On Sunday morning reports came about the irresponsibility of people in Arizona gathering to float down rivers with innertubes as COVID cases increased. Then that same afternoon a massive street protest with thousands packed in for a gay pride rally took place and not a word of outrage was heard.

Despite these growing cases of media malpractice they continue to position themselves as the medical experts in this nation. It is showing to be time that we stop swallowing their snake oil tonic without question.