On the coronavirus, President Donald Trump strikes the right tone. His Democratic rival Joe Biden, on the other hand — well, off the mark is putting is kindly. Off the rails is more like it.
Americans, at this point in time, are fearing lockdowns, shutdowns and total economic clampdowns much more than they’re fearing the virus.
And Trump’s calm but “we’re going to make it through this” messaging versus Biden’s “let’s listen to the lockdown-loving experts on this” is what America needs to hear right now. It’s what America needs to see put in place.
Just ask the stock market.
“Stocks sink as coronavirus cases continue to spread globally,” CBS News just wrote.
“Dow Slides As Coronavirus Fears Hammer Stocks,” NPR reported this week.
“S&P and Dow: How coronavirus is hurting stocks,” CNN wrote, on its daily real-time update page.
CNBC’s Jim Cramer, on the coronavirus effect on the stock market: “Everyone is just fearful.”
Yes. And the media aren’t helping. And the Democrats aren’t helping. And the Biden campaign isn’t helping.
They’re all selling messages of fear and gloom and doom and deadly viruses sweeping across America, piling bodies in the street — or at least, in the nursing homes. And they’re selling these messages absent any type of scientific evidence.
Biden just claimed an additional 200,000 Americans will die — will die! — from COVID-19 before the end of this year. Why? Why, because of Trump, he suggested. Because Trump just won’t listen to the scientists and send people home — or at the least, mandate face masks for every man, woman and child, Constitution be hanged.
The media happily report such ridiculous claims as fact. Or even when they fact-check them, as CNN did with the Biden death claim, they come up with another just-as-ridiculous replacement message.
“Facts First,” CNN wrote about Biden’s 200,000 claim. “This needs context. One study published in October in the medical journal JAMA showed that there were more than 225,000 excess deaths in a five-month period at the start of the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to past years. … The study then predicted that the total number of excess deaths would likely be greater than 400,000. … These are merely projections. The latest forecast from an influential coronavirus model projects about 315,000 deaths by December 31.”
Can I get 450,000? How about a cool half-a-million?
Excess deaths are such beautiful statistics for Democrats to work with because they mean, well, nothing. At least, insofar as deterring truths about COVID-19 fatalities, they mean pretty much nothing. They’re the numbers of people who died above and beyond the numbers of people who died in previous years. They prove nothing.
But they sure do sound alarming, yes? Not just deaths — good God, man! Excess deaths.
The markets are paying attention to the hype.
Businesses are in a state of hushed uncertainty, unsure whether to hire for the holiday season, or wait to see who wins on Tuesday. And that means Americans, both employed and unemployed, are standing in states of uncertainty as well, unsure whether to go buy those holiday presents or save for a rainy day — a rainy day that, depending on Election Day results, could last well into 2021. Or beyond.
America can’t last like this.
Americans can’t live like this.
The country’s at the point now where the response to the coronavirus is undoubtedly worse than the virus itself. Schools are still closed, businesses are still down and out, the American worker is still unsure what tomorrow will bring. Suicide and substance addiction rates are still problematic — uncharacteristically high. Now stocks are wavering; savings and investments are teetering.
It’s clear. The response truly has done more damage than the virus.
But with Democrats in charge, that damage will only continue for who knows how long.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.
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