Opinion

CNN Begins the Revisionist History of the US Pandemic Response

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Posted: Mar 30, 2021 12:01 PM
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CNN Begins the Revisionist History of the US Pandemic Response

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

One constant throughout the year of our nation dealing with the response to the Covid-19 pandemic was the contentious stance the press took toward President Trump. Another was the press holding contradictory positions, often in an effort to slam the president. Note how he was called racist for describing the outbreak with terms like "Wuhan Virus," or "Chinese Virus," terms the press employed themselves for weeks in the early stages of the outbreak, or how they wavered from demanding regular updates from the White House to then declaring they should halt coverage of the daily Covid task force briefings. 

Before a full national recovery has taken place, we are already seeing signs of a post-mortem on the president's response. On the horizon is a flood of new explorations on the response, from books to specials and documentaries, one of the first being served this coming weekend on CNN. In a documentary titled "Covid War,’’ the news outlet sat with many of the featured physicians seen over the past year to discuss the events as they played out, exposing some of the troubling decisions and reactions, as it is being presented.

You have a sense of the flawed nature of things by a basic reality; this was hosted by CNN’s in-house medical professional Dr. Sanjay Gupta. One of the prevailing myths we were delivered last year is that President Trump took far too long to respond to the outbreak, with the empty claim of having waited 70 days to declare the virus a threat. While the Trump administration was provably making moves in January of 2020 (setting the China travel ban, forming the Coronavirus Task Force, and more) look who was downplaying the severity of the virus in March of last year—CNN’s own Dr. Gupta.

This revisionism is seen throughout the CNN special, beginning with the biggest vacillating expert on the matter, Dr. Anthony Fauci. This man has been the source of so many conflicting declarations over the year that anyone still regarding him as an authority on this pandemic deserves whatever embarrassment they receive. Here we listen to Fauci say he "would have been horrified if he knew a year ago that 500,000 Americans would eventually lose their lives to Covid-19.’’ This is almost laughable, as Fauci has been all over the map as far as his documented claims of how many people he expected to fall victim to the virus. 

Two of the claims CNN touts as being among the big revelations seem to contradict each other. Dr. Deborah Birx talks about how actions taken could have mitigated deaths, but Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC states he believes the transmissions could have been taking place in the Fall of 2019. Back then no one had a clue of this, including the World Health Organization which did not acknowledge the reality until mid to late January 2020.

Birx also makes a statement about the administration possibly being stalled at times because they were receiving so much intel at once -- "there were too many parallel streams of data." Now, this seems to contradict the running narrative that Trump last year was ignoring the science and the experts. But also, Dr. Birx seems to be excusing herself in this statement. It was she, and Dr. Fauci, who counseled the president to follow with their suggested shutdown protocols based on the Imperial College Pandemic Models. That is the study that has now largely been dismissed, as it was declaring the possibility of 2.2 million deaths, and all but assuring that over 1.5 million would take place. 

In that New York Times piece Dr. Birx stated she was behind this. ’’Asked at a news conference with President Trump about what had led to the change in thinking by a White House task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the task force leaders, said new information had come from a model developed in Britain.’’

These are the people that CNN is resting on to get their messaging out about the confounding image of an administration that was confused and bungling. CNN relies on the experts to paint an image of a confused administration by using the very people who were fueling much of the confusion.