Contrary to many johnny-come-lately liberal outlets, when news of the Wuhan coronavirus first started breaking in late January the Daily Caller was among the first to cover and take it seriously. One of the scariest aspects of the virus then was the unknown, not to mention those harrowing videos of people collapsing on the streets and hazmat suit-clad Chinese locking things down and spraying everything in sight with God-knows-what. As the virus proceeded to spread across the globe, in no small part thanks to severely lax travel policies, Fox News host Tucker Carlson played a key role in helping President Trump understand the gravity of the situation during a March 7 meeting at Mar-a-Lago.
Fast forward a month later and this virus appears to be less than advertised. To date, it’s infected around 1.5 million people, purportedly killing almost 90,000 worldwide. This, out of a population of 7.5 billion, 150,000 of whom die every day for all manner of reasons. It’s a tragedy, especially for those directly affected, but statistically speaking, it’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. Our response, on the other hand, has been over the top. The United States and many other countries have shut down huge parts of their economies, billions of people have been quarantined against their will, police states are running rampant, and businesses have been shuttered, all while government prints trillions to attempt to “relieve” the dire economic situation.
While leftists seem thrilled about the coming Great Depression and the rampant police states full of governors and public officials living out their tin-pot dictator fantasies and seem perfectly happy being confined to their mom’s basements, many conservatives are now questioning the necessity of the current state of affairs. While Tucker Carlson has always been for taking the virus seriously - as we should take any transmittable disease - he’s among many now questioning the wisdom of the government’s approach:
“What if we’d asked the elderly and immunocompromised and anyone else facing statistically higher rates of risk to stay inside, cloistered away?” he asked during a “Tucker Carlson Tonight” monologue last week. “And then at the same time allow the rest of the population to use informed common sense and continue to work? What if we’d done that a month ago? Would the death rate today be much higher than it is now? Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know. But it’s clearly a conversation we should’ve had before we locked the entire country down and put 10 million people out of work.”
But tragically, that’s exactly what we’ve done, except the number of out-of-work cases continues to skyrocket while COVID-19 cases continue to, well, remain pretty tame compared to what we were told to expect. But what about all those models that predicted a literal zombie apocalypse if the world didn’t stop functioning? Just a week or two ago, weren’t we told there would be 100,000, even 200,000 deaths in the United States alone, even with social distancing measures taken into account? Now the IHME model is predicting around 60,000 deaths by August - in other words, pretty much the equivalent of a rough flu season. And that's probably still high.
Then there’s mounting evidence, nay admissions, that plenty of attributed coronavirus deaths may not have even been caused by the virus itself. “COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death,” reads the actual CDC instructions. During Tuesday’s press conference Dr. Birx admitted as much, saying, “We've taken a very liberal approach to mortality.” So, do we do that with other causes of death? If someone has a heart attack and a cold at the same time, do we attribute the cause of death to the cold? If someone had stage 4 cancer and was given six weeks to live, then catches coronavirus and dies in three, does anyone really think the virus is what did them in in the end? If someone has a car accident and happened to have coronavirus in their system, do we chalk another one up to COVID-19? We should all be asking why our medical experts are using such a “liberal approach.” Could it cynically be to try and justify this heavy-handed response, now that things aren’t turning out as dire as the models led us to believe?
As if that weren’t wild enough, covering the issue again on Tuesday night’s show, Carlson discussed the fact that in the last several weeks, for some odd reason, CDC-cited pneumonia deaths have been “far lower” than normal. “It seems entirely possible that doctors are classifying conventional pneumonia deaths as COVID-19 deaths,” he said. “That would mean this epidemic is being credited for thousands of deaths that would have occurred if the virus never appeared here.”
There’s also the growing belief that we’ve lived with this virus for months even before the national panic started. To be clear, this is anecdotal, but I know more than one person who had the “worst flu of their lives” sometime in November or December. With hundreds of thousands traveling freely back and forth from China, should we really believe our first cases happened in February?
“It’s starting to look like the Coronavirus is more transmissible than we expected, or were told,” Carlson told his audience after citing several examples. “The good news is, it also seems far less lethal overall. People are dying in large numbers. Not all of them are sick or old, and that’s terrifying to watch. But as the data trickle in, there’s evidence that many infected people aren’t sick.”
As things progress, the numerator will hopefully continue to be lower than projected and the denominator will continue to rise as more and more people are tested and especially if we develop a way to find out if people have ever contracted the disease. That’s actually good news, unless you’re a leftist who wants to use this “crisis” to accomplish your sinister goals.
These observations mean no disrespect to anyone who has been negatively affected in any way by this disease. While the vast majority recover just fine, it takes a grave toll on a certain percentage of its victims, and they deserve our thoughts, prayers, and support. Nobody wants it, and reasonable measures should certainly have been taken to protect the vulnerable and mitigate its spread. However, as far as superviruses go, this one may not turn out to be the end of the world as we know it. The Chinese coronavirus is the Dr. Evil of superviruses, putting its pinky to the corner of its mouth, laughing maniacally and promising to kill “tens of thousands” of people. But as for the damage that's to come? We've done that to ourselves.