White House This Week Has Launched An Unusually Organized (For Them) Disinformation Campaign About COVID-19

Which is intended, we suppose, as a ramp up to Trump’s Tulsa rally Saturday, his first since the pandemic took hold

Itching to do his next rally, after almost 4 months of abstention (this is a photo of the last one)

This campaign seems to have kicked off with Vice President Mike Pence’s opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal, which hammers on blaming the media for making the administration’s disastrous COVID-19 response a big deal at all. When really the job the White House has done (always presented as “a testament to the leadership of President Trump”) is nothing short of a:

Cause for celebration, not the media’s fear mongering.”

Sound familiar? It’s more of less the same language Trump son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner used when he declared we should consider the President’s response a “great success story.”

Despite the fact that close to 117,000 people have now died according to the CDC, and that number’s still growing.

Pence touts the fact that “deaths are down to fewer than 750 a day”. And while Pence isn’t expressly saying that number is acceptable long term, it’s certainly something he’s pointing to as good.

So let’s do some math on that. There are 197 days left in the year. So if 750 a day is a level to be proud of, that means another 148,500 deaths this year, for a total of 265,500 could be in the realm of OK?

Remember when Trump said anything under 200,000 people dying would mean he did a great job? Remember when he said 60,000 people dying was what was going to happen? Remember when he said it was “15, within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero?

But what really caught our attention was this contention from Pence:

While talk of an increase in cases dominates cable news coverage, more than half of states are actually seeing cases decline or remain stable.”

You may say he’s just trying to be an optimist, and seeing the glass as half full, and to be fair, he’s also trying to get himself and Trump re-elected.

But what “more than half of states are actually seeing cases decline or remain stable” also means is that in more than half the states infections are still going up or not coming down.

And “stable” isn’t a victory either. It’s a dismal failure. Because the only way this virus starts going away is if each person who gets infected in turn infects less than one other new person. “Stable” means that just isn’t happening. Each person who catches the disease is still infecting at least someone else.

More widespread mask wearing could improve that. And in other countries that aren’t fighting or ignoring public health guidelines, and more specifically wearing of masks, cases have dropped so far down that some have now fully opened back up without masks.

But no, we’re having none of that.

Even as Trump’s own former FDA Director, Scott Gottlieb points out:

New Covid cases vary by region of the country, with hardest hit parts now showing biggest declines, while other regions expand. This probably reflects, in part, greater precautions being taken by people in regions with the worst, early impacts like New York.”

In light of that, we’re sure you’ve seen this graphic right now of the U.S. compared to the rest of the world, but it bears repeating.

Click on the graphic for more data from the New York Times

That’s not the fault of media hysteria, folks. It might however, at least partly be the fault of a President who refuses to set an example in any way, and has in fact made not complying with public health recommendations or rules a badge of honor: a demonstration of loyalty to Trump. A fact which should be on full display at the Saturday rally.

The Wall Street Journal today saying that Trump told them in an interview some Americans are wearing masks:

[N]ot as a preventative measure but as a way to signal disapproval of him.”

  • First of all, not everything’s about you, Mr. President!!!!!
  • And secondly, the subtext of that statement of course is not wearing a mask is a great way of showing your support for the President.

We’re not going to spend more than a second on the rest of  Trump’s role in this latest public relations salvo focused mainly on political gain, which leading up to his rally also consists of bashing Joe Biden with “what about-ism” on the Obama administration’s record handling swine flu back in 2009.

We caught swine flu that year. We had really high fever for a couple of days. We didn’t die. We realize this is totally anecdotal, but in our lifetimes we personally know of zero people who died from swine flu, or the regular seasonal flu for that matter. We know at least half a dozen people who have died from COVID-19, and many others who have recovered, but for a time—usually stretching into weeks—were brutally and mercilessly battered by a disease more devastating than anything they’ve ever been sickened with before.