The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Morning Joe’ Goes Nuts, Screaming About Fox News: ‘They Never Learn!’

Posted on | April 24, 2020 | Comments Off on ‘Morning Joe’ Goes Nuts, Screaming About Fox News: ‘They Never Learn!’


Joe Scarborough is smarter than everybody, so smart that he had foreknowledge of the coronavirus pandemic — “back like in February!” — that would have saved “more people . . . than died in the entire Vietnam tragedy!” Despite this, I have never heard Joe Scarborough criticize Andrew Cuomo for New York’s lack of pandemic preparedness. (New York and New Jersey have 53% of all U.S. coronavirus deaths.) Instead, in his Thursday meltdown, Joe seemed obsessed with Fox News:


To sustain his “Orange Man Bad” belief system, Scarborough and others in the anti-Trump media mob must ignore a lot of actual science.

For example, the recent reclassification of a California woman’s death in early February contradicts what we thought we knew about how soon COVID-19 began spreading in the United States. This is related to the discovery, from antibody testing, that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is actually a fraction of those infected. In other words, because only a small percentage of infected people experience symptoms serious enough to seek medical treatment, the disease was being spread quite widely by people who were asymptomatic long before the presence of the disease was known by U.S. public health officials.

I’ve pointed out before that New York didn’t report its first coronavirus case until March 1. Within two weeks of that first case, however, there were hundreds of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York, and the sudden nature of that “surge” can only be understood in the context of what we now know about the high percentage of asymptomatic cases. So if you want to cite to me quotes from President Trump or Fox News personalities from February or early March, expressing a belief that the threat of COVID-19 was exaggerated, you must first answer, what was the known number of cases at the time of the quote? And then you must produce evidence that you (or your preferred sources) were contemporaneously offering better information about the disease.

It was not until the first week of March that the size of the coronavirus threat became evident, and even then, there were still plenty of Democrats — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio among them — who didn’t take it seriously, so it’s not as if Republicans had a monopoly on doubt.

On Jan. 22, President Trump said the coronavirus was “totally under control” and, as far as anyone knew at the time, that was true. Those who claim Trump ignored advice from scientific experts must reconcile their claims with the fact that, until March, even Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that the public was at little risk from the disease. The situation changed very rapidly, and Trump was understandably reluctant to shut down the entire economy over a comparative handful of cases. It was not until the pandemic in Italy spiraled out of control, prompting a nationwide lockdown order, that the threat here became undeniable.

The key to all the Trump Derangement Syndrome reactions to the coronavirus pandemic — including Joe Scarborough’s screaming rant — is the belief that somehow America is worse than other countries. But this belief is false, as the deaths-per-million rates demonstrate:

Belgium …………….. 576
Spain ………………… 482
Italy ………………….. 423
France ………………. 335
U.K. ………………….. 276
Netherlands ………. 250
Sweden ……………… 213
Ireland ………………. 161
United States …….. 152

Good news! Our COVID-19 death rate has been less than one-third the rate in Belgium or Spain. But you won’t see them report that on MSNBC.

(Hat-tip: Ace of Spades.)



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