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Friday, May 29, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Is it me or do the media seem almost giddy, in a macabre way, that America has passed the 100,000 mark in deaths attributed to the coronavirus?

Since February, The Washington Post has kept track with a front-page graph of daily and total deaths, suggestive of a corporate sales chart.  


On Wednesday, the front page featured 100,000 in giant figures in white against a black background. With the paper full of the usual anti-Trump articles, it practically screamed, “See? He did this!”

Over at CNN, legal and national security analyst Asha Rangappa tweeted: “I have a suggestion. How about, no matter you tweet about, you end the tweet with the following phrase: ‘Also, Trump is responsible for the death of 100,000 Americans.’ That way there’s always a reminder.”

According to Newsbusters.org, Ms. Rangappa’s tweet was quickly seconded by MSNBC’s counter-terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance. This is the guy who suggested in April 2017 that Mr. Trump deserved an ISIS suicide bombing of Trump Tower Istanbul because he phoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him for winning a referendum. 

On May 24, a few days before the death count hit 100,000, The New York Times Sunday front page headline was “U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS,” accompanied by a list of 1,000 names of victims. 

For the families who have lost loved ones, these are, indeed, incalculable losses. We should be praying for each and every family that has suffered such a loss, and for those who are battling for life.  

But we also need to be aware of how much the media and leftist politicians are using the pandemic as their main chance to beat President Trump in November, keep their House majority and recapture the U.S. Senate. They seem intent on keeping the nation locked down and in a near-Depression as long as possible.  It may be their only hope.

The numbers may be off, too. While some claim an undercount, New York and other jurisdictions have designated thousands of “probable” but undiagnosed cases as COVID-19 deaths. All deaths linked to the coronavirus are now classified as “COVID-19 deaths regardless of cause or underlying health issues that could have contributed to loss of life,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

More than 35,100 nursing home deaths have been reported in 37 states, out of 174,381 cases in 42 states, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than 80 percent of the deaths are of people 65 and older.  

So, it boggles the mind to recall orders by three states for nursing homes to take in people who tested positive for the coronavirus, thus putting at risk the most vulnerable population.

Although most of the media have studiously ignored this huge scandal, The New York Times published an article on April 24, “‘Playing Russian Roulette’: Nursing Homes Told to Take the Infected.” 

Here’s the key paragraph: “At the epicenter of the outbreak, New York issued a strict new rule last month: Nursing homes must readmit residents sent to hospitals with the coronavirus and accept new patients as long as they are deemed ‘medically stable.’ California and New Jersey have also said that nursing homes should take in such patients.”

More than 29,000 people have died in New York state, about 75 percent of them aged 65 and older, many in nursing homes, even while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was being praised by the media for his brilliant leadership during the crisis.

Curiously, when you click on the link to Mr. Cuomo’s executive order, the state page says the “document may have moved,” and directs the reader to a later order about specimen collections.

With Joe Biden looking frailer by the day, and Mr. Cuomo being suggested as either a VP candidate or a fallback presidential contender, the disappearance of his nursing home order is convenient at the very least.  

New York and New Jersey have had a combined 40,279 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University’s count, or more than 40 percent of the 100,000 U.S. reported deaths. The vast majority are people 65 and older, with those infected over 80 having the highest fatality rate. 

In early April, New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli issued a directive to nursing homes to accept clients diagnosed with COVID-19. As of this past Friday, 537 long-term-care homes in the state reported coronavirus outbreaks, with 5,750 deaths, or more than half of the state’s 11,401 COVID-19 fatalities.  

In late April, Ms. Persichilli warned of a second outbreak and said she was worried about nursing homes, which have shown “very little resiliency” to the coronavirus. No kidding.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration issued a similar order: Skilled nursing facilities “shall not refuse to admit or readmit a resident based on their status as a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.” What were they thinking?  

As of Friday, 1,632 nursing home residents in California had died of the virus, out of nearly 4,000 total deaths in the state.  

These three states are among the hardest hit by the virus, and all are governed by Democrats. 

But you can bet the farm that the media will blame President Trump for every single COVID-19-related death right up to Election Day.

• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His website is roberthknight.com. 


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