It’s not easy to say why the establishment media has constantly misled the American public about the threat of COVID-19, yet they continue to do so. The rabid fear mongering of 2020 has not let up, as many conservatives assumed it would if former President Donald Trump were not re-elected. Whatever their reasons, left-leaning reporters and pundits continue to terrorize America with COVID horror stories that are sometimes entirely fabricated. Rolling Stone recently published a piece of pure fiction about an Oklahoma hospital overrun by victims of Ivermectin poisoning when, in fact, the establishment had not treated a single such case.
Not to be outdone, Washington, D.C.’s most famous propaganda machine on September 7 published a horrifying account of how this year’s motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota caused a wave of new infections that rippled across the country. As is usually the case with the left-wing media, the article in question was peppered with a mixture of speculation and facts that are contradicted, not only by CDC figures, but also by two other articles – from September 2, 2020 and August 26 of this year – printed, of all places, in the very same Washington newspaper.
The author of the far-fetched article, physician Ashish K. Jha, claimed that, following this year’s event, the infection rate in South Dakota increased by 600%. This is how it’s done by propagandists; use words or numbers that look scary while remaining vague on details. In fact, South Dakota health officials confirmed 16 cases in the state that could be connected via contact tracing to the Sturgis rally as of August 26 – according to a report in this very Washington paper.
By September 1, the state had 424 cases of COVID-19, Forbes reported. That was a more than 600% increase in the number of known infections prior to the rally. However, the numbers Forbes used came from The New York Times’ “tracker,” which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in objective reporting. Additionally, no number of reported infections – since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020 – has accurately reflected the actual number of infected. A lot of people who have or had the virus were asymptomatic. Those people, unless tested, would not have even been aware they had COVID-19. Also, how many people have had the virus with mild symptoms and did not report their health status to anyone?
Thus, neither The New York Times nor anyone else knows for certain how many cases of infection there were in South Dakota either before or after Sturgis. But that’s almost beside the point. By the end of August, the total number of COVID-19 infections traced to the rally attended by an estimated 700,000 mostly unmasked people stood at 123 across five states.
In the same article, Jha claimed that, following the 2020 rally, “we saw massive outbreaks across the Dakotas, Wyoming, Indiana, even Nevada. Much of the region was aflame because of Sturgis, probably causing thousands of deaths.”
The Language of Fear
For a medical professional, Jha is remarkably irresponsible and unscientific with his suppositions. Again, though, this is pure incitement of fear. The phrase “probably caused thousands of deaths” sounds like a wonderful justification for mask and vaccine mandates – and banning future motorcycle rallies that are mostly attended by people who almost certainly do not share the left’s political views. In reality, one death had been linked to Sturgis by early September of 2020. That victim was a man in his 60s who had underlying medical conditions, so even this one fatality may not have been caused by the virus.
Which newspaper reported this solitary death? There are no prizes for guessing; it was the same paper in which Jha wrote that the Sturgis rally of 2020 “probably” caused “thousands of deaths.”
Perhaps, in years to come, a few journalists will come clean about why the so-called mainstream media decided to whip up such hysteria around COVID-19. It is true – and has been since the first outbreak – that no reasonably healthy person under the age of 65 faces more than an incredibly small chance of dying from the virus. According to the CDC, more than 78% of all U.S. COVID fatalities (or deaths attributed to COVID), have been among those 65 and older – and a very large number of the deceased had comorbidities, or additional medical conditions that may or may not have been complicated by the virus, leading to death.
In fact, the media is mostly to blame for the decidedly irrational response to the virus, which has now lead us to mask-wearing (which is probably here to stay) and vaccine mandates, which will never end as new variants or supposedly more dangerous viruses spring up from now until the end of time. It wasn’t always lies they fed the public; sometimes it was mere exaggeration or – as in Dr. Jha’s case – baseless speculation disguised as “news.” Because of their unwillingness to tell the truth, the scribblers and talking heads of the news business have changed our world forever – and not in any good way.
If nothing else, perhaps Americans will have learned, once and for all, never to trust traditional media and, more importantly, never to allow their elected leaders to make laws based on what they are reading in the newspapers or watching on cable news.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.