– June 17, 2020

With the overwhelming politicization of mainstream media, it has become difficult to get reliable information on Covid-19 spread and fatality rate. AIER has played a crucial role in attempting to de-politicize the virus so that it can be regarded as a medical matter and not a political one. That didn’t happen this time but it needs to happen next time if we are going to behave rationally and intelligently toward disease mitigation. No side in the present case has done this, and the disastrous results are all around us.

AIER has been a crucial alternative platform for rational discussion of this topic, and this has been useful for alternative voices on all sides. Broadcaster Rush Limbaugh cites AIER at some length in his radio show today. Here is the transcript.

RUSH: Dr. Fauci is now saying that he would not go to the Trump rally. I guess we need to wait for John Bolton to weigh in on whether he would go to the Trump rally. Somebody will ask him, “Would you go to the Trump rally in Tulsa over the weekend, Mr. Bolton?” “No!” “Do you think you’ll ever speak to the president again?” “Nope.”

“What was the first thing the president said to you when you first spoke to him?” “It was a lie. I don’t know what it was, but he lied, lied all the time.” “So you wouldn’t go to the rally?” “No.” “Well, if Bolton wouldn’t go, we can’t go!” And then Fauci says, “Oh, no, no, no!” Fauci says, “I will not go to the Trump rally. I wouldn’t go.” Now, Dr. Fauci ought to be in heap big trouble, but he’s not.

Dr. Fauci admitted to lying to the American people in the early days of all this. He told people that wearing face masks was no big deal. He said it’s not guaranteed to protect you; you don’t have to wear a mask. He knowingly lied to people, and he’s now saying he did that so that the general public would leave these masks alone so that the medical community could have them all because there was a shortage of them, particularly the N95 masks.

But just think about it. You want to throw all of this stuff into the hopper and expect the American people to trust the world’s foremost authorities in white lab coats, and even Dr. Fauci admits now to misleading people. Experts told us that masks don’t work, all the while knowing that they did work. Experts told us we had to wipe down every surface to protect ourselves.

We now know that’s not necessary; that’s not how the virus is spread. We were told to “social distance,” but the Democrats say that’s nonsense if you are outside attending a protest, a riot, or a looting event. The same people tell us we don’t need the police anymore. We don’t even need the Second Amendment to stay safe.

Now the same people are dictating what T-shirt you can wear, and they want to censor your online presence — and we’re being called (chuckling) the fascists! Just amazing. Remember, folks, you’ve gotta keep in mind… I know the news is filled with brand-new record cases, and they love pointing out that they’re happening in Republican-led states that opened up, like DeSantis in Florida, Greg Abbott in Texas, Greg Kemp in Georgia.

The Drive-By Media is ecstatic. The Drive-By Media is thrilled! They can’t wait to tell you record number of daily cases. They don’t bother to explain that a lot of this is because there’s testing being done more frequently than ever. They don’t tell you that most of the cases are asymptomatic. They don’t tell you. In fact, they lie, and they try to convince you that cases equals death, that cases equals sick.

You’ve gotta remember something as all this happens, because they are trying to get these governors to lock their states down again. They’re trying to get DeSantis to do it. They want Greg Abbott to do it in Texas. The Democrat mayor of Houston is thinking of shutting down Houston, turning NRG stadium into a hospital. That’s all being done to put pressure on the governor.

Same thing in Georgia and anywhere else that’s opened up. The Drive-By Media is being its activist self, attempting to convince these governors that they need to buckle to pressure and close and lock down. Remember something: The lockdown, the shutdown was never intended to protect people from getting the virus. It was never intended to reduce the numbers of people who get the virus.

There’s no way it could. If you lock people down for two months, they’re still gonna come out at some point. All you’re doing with a lockdown or shutdown is a delay of people who are eventually going to become infected. But, folks, it’s important to remember: The lockdown, the shutdown, the shelter-in-place was never about preventing the spread.

It was about one thing. It was about flattening the curve temporarily so that hospitals would not be overrun by patients who could not be treated. Well, now that’s not a factor. We got ventilators out the wazoo. We got masks out the wazoo. We’ve got all kinds of PPE and medical equipment that we didn’t have two months ago or three, and the hospitals are not overrun now.

You ought to hear the anecdotal stories of people who end up in the hospital now for something else, and they talk about how deserted the hospitals are ’cause a lot of people are still not going in for elective treatments. Hospitals are being reserved for COVID patients, but they’re not overwhelmed.

But the point is, there’s no need to lock down again. It was not… The lockdown could not prevent people from getting the disease. It could not prevent the spread. But the media is doing its level best to convince people, “We gotta shut down to stop the spread.” It was never about that. It was about protecting the hospital system, not being overrun.

But now the hospital system can handle many more patients of COVID-19 than they could three months ago, precisely because the Trump administration got into gear and made sure there were ventilators and made sure there were masks and all kinds of other PPE-type of equipment. Don’t fall for this, “We need to lock down again!”

There’s no reason for it. There’s no reason to lock down. It’s not gonna change in the long term the number of people who become infected. It’s not gonna change the number of people who don’t become infected but become asymptomatic. It isn’t going to change anything.

They’re just trying to scare the heck out of you into supporting another shutdown, because they want the economic crash that would come along with it, because what they really want is Donald Trump out of the White House.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. So supposedly, now, the coronavirus is percolating all over again in China. “New China Outbreak Raises Fears for World,” Drudge lead headline. “Schools Shut, Flights Halted in China,” Drudge headline. “Residents Rounded Up,” Drudge headline. “Six U.S. States See Record Jump in Cases.”

Oh, my God. It’s coming again. We’ve gotta lock down. That’s not stated, but that’s implied. And then the final headline, “Dr. Fauci: I would not go to Trump rally.” I would not be caught dead at Trump rally. I would not be caught dead where Trump is period.

Okay. So let’s look at some contradictory stories. American Institute for Economic Research: “What Spike? Hospitalization Data Show No Indication of a Second Wave.”

My point, folks, you can’t believe anything in the news, because there isn’t any news anymore. And I’m sorry for being redundant. There’s a media, but they don’t do news. They are not journalists. They’re hiding as journalists. They are activists every bit as much as liberal judges are not judges; they, too, are activists. There is no pretense of doing news. There’s no pretense. The only thing that’s happening is destroy Donald Trump, destroy Trump voters, destroy the Republican Party, reelect Democrats. That’s all that’s going on.

You cannot believe this stuff. You can’t believe the virus numbers. Look, the hospitals have every incentive to call every patient a virus patient ’cause they get money for it. The press, the media has every incentive to hurt Trump. And the people counting and adding up all these numbers, they have issues with counting, and they’re hiding their math. The modelers, the projections, we’re not getting the truth out of anything.

“Are we on the verge of a second wave of coronavirus infections? Is there a spike in infections in states that reopened first? The only way to answer that question is to watch as the data roll in.” This is Stephen Miller at the American Institute for Economic Research.

“Arguably the best data to look at to see if a second wave is beginning are the hospitalization numbers. The media frequently reports the biggest and most dramatic numbers, often devoid of context. The number of cases has been reported regularly since the early days of the pandemic, and yet we know that the number of cases can be misleading,” particularly as the incidence of testing, which identifies cases, increases.

The point is this story says hospitalization data right now shows no indication of a rise in infections and the hospitals have every insensitive to show that. They get money for it.

Next story by Chris von Csefalvay, Spectator USA. “Have the Protests Proved That Covid-19 Risks Are Being Vastly Exaggerated?” This guy’s a virologist specializing in bat-borne diseases. “Chris, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“That’s a great question, Dad. I can’t wait — I want to study — I want to study diseases that bats spread around.”

“That’s really interesting, little Chris. How did you come up with that? Do you even know what a bat is?”

“Oh, yeah, Dad. We got a bunch of them at the attic. I love ’em. They’re my friends. And I want to know how they spread virus.”

How does somebody decide what to do? It always amazes me. Anyway, this guy specializes in bat-borne — thank God for these people, don’t misunderstand. He’s a visiting lecturer in mathematics at the Budapest University of Technology. And he says, you know, by now we ought to be seeing massive numbers of new cases from the looting and the rioting and the protesting and in Seattle where all this other stuff is going on, and we aren’t. He’s contending that the anti-lockdown rallies of a month ago have not shown any increase in cases when everybody thought that they would.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: And look at this. A researcher at the Hoover Institution’s — conservative think tank, Stanford — says that the coronavirus lockdowns cost the economy $1 trillion without saving many lives. The lockdown was not intended to save lives. Everybody was misled about that so that they would go along with it. One of the biggest lies of this whole thing. [Reference to David Henderson, who called for ending all lockdowns on April 13]

AIER Staff

Founded in 1933, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) is one of the oldest and most respected nonpartisan economic research and advocacy organizations in the country. With a global reach and influence, AIER is dedicated to developing and promoting the ideas of pure freedom and private governance by combining advanced economic research with accessible media outreach and educational programming to cultivate a better, broader understanding of the fundamental principles that enable peace and prosperity around the world.

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