Scott Tibbs

Shamefully dishonest coronavirus propaganda

By Scott Tibbs, March 31, 2020

One of the more frustrating things about the coronavirus is the total inability of some to see nuance or the fact that all public policy has negative consequences. The idea that anyone who questions locking everything down forever does not care about lives lost is both a despicable slander and extremely simplistic thinking. The world is not black and white, and there are always multiple angles to consider in policy.

Max Boot, in typical partisan fashion, blames "right wingers" for questioning if "the cure is worse than the disease" regarding quarantines to slow the spread of the Communist Virus. Boot ignores the fact that the New York Times published an editorial asking the same question. It is only bad now that President Donald Trump has asked the question, because "Orange Man Bad."

I'm not going into detail on this again, but shutting down the economy does have real human costs. It harms people's mental health, which harms physical health. It will lead to "deaths of despair" including alcoholism, addiction and suicide. People who are made destitute will not be able to afford necessary medical care. Boot dishonestly ignores these trade-offs in order to score partisan talking points.

Boot brings up a man who died after ingesting fish tank cleaner, and NBC Nightly News explicitly blamed Trump for this death last week in one of the most dishonest segments I have ever seen. But Trump was obviously not telling people to ingest fish tank cleaner. He was extolling the potential for a professionally-produced pharmaceutical, tested and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Blaming Trump for this is hyperpartisan dishonesty of the highest order, and is an example of why conservatives have distrusted the mainstream news media decades before Trump ever ran for office. Again, Trump did not cause conservatives to dislike and distrust the mainstream media. We have been there for decades. Trump was only repeating and reinforcing what we already believe.

The most dishonest and hypocritical part of the editorial was this:
A Daily Wire host said we should accept "way over 35,000" deaths to "preserve our economy."
Followed by:
I am astonished by the callous willingness to risk large numbers of innocent casualties.
Boot dishonestly ignores the context: That we already accept the deaths of well over 30,000 people per year in order to gain economic benefit - specifically the economic benefits of the automobile. That was precisely the point that Matt Walsh was making. If Boot really is "astonished" and by this "depravity," I assume he wants to immediately ban the automobile, right? Well, not really. He is just another hypocrite, clutching his pearls while pretending that there are never any trade-offs to the way we live our lives.

Look. The quarantine orders are causing serious problems. There are real human costs to the policies we are implementing in the states, and people will die and become permanently disabled as a result of those policies. This is not and has never been about money against human lives. But for those whose ability to think clearly has been annihilated by Trump Derangement Syndrome, it is a simple black and white choice. It sure is easy to think in black-and-white terms, but that is not how the world works.

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