Fox News: Why Republicans don’t fear the virus
“Afraid of coronavirus?” asked Giovanni Russonello in The New York Times. “That might say something about your politics.” Two national polls now show that Democrats are far more likely to view its spread as a “dire threat” than Republicans are. One, from Quinnipiac University, found 60 percent of Republicans “were not especially concerned,” while two-thirds of Democrats said the opposite. The other, from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, found almost 80 percent of Democrats think the worst is ahead, while just 40 percent of Republicans feel that way. It’s “not surprising,” said Zeesham Aleem in Vox.com. President Trump, his congressional allies, and conservative media outlets have been downplaying the crisis “since day one.” Fox News’ Sean Hannity echoed Trump’s claim that the coronavirus was like the flu, while Rush Limbaugh called the virus “the common cold” and a “ploy to stop Trump rallies.” All this while Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was warning that if Americans don’t practice “social distancing,” we’ll face a catastrophe.
Actually, it’s the Democrats who’ve been “lying their heads off” about Trump’s crisis management, said Nick Arama in RedState.com. The president made a timely and decisive decision back in January to restrict travel from China, which at the time was the virus’ epicenter. Rather than acknowledge the wisdom of this decision, Democrats cried racism and xenophobia. They also falsely claimed that Trump “muzzled scientists,” when Fauci has been speaking publicly every day. Democrats have been “hyping panic.”
Fox News might end up with blood on its hands, said Justin Peters in Slate.com. By repeatedly comparing the new coronavirus to the flu, and echoing Trump’s claim that he was doing “a great job” controlling its spread, the network has persuaded its aging viewers to ignore “the hysteria” and go about their lives as if nothing has changed. These lies are even more perverse when one considers that the network’s elderly demographic is among those most at risk for death if they become infected, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting mortality rates at 8 percent for those between 70 and 79 and almost 15 percent for those over 80. That’s compared with less than 1 percent for the same age group for the flu. This “may well be a new low for Fox News”—and that’s “really saying something.”