This could be the most condescending headline written in a long time. “The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic” sits atop an article from Axios, complete with a header image of a megaphone. It is long past time for the media or “health experts” to persuade us, especially since they are now admitting things that many of us have known to be true for months.
Apparently, pollster Frank Luntz decided to test certain phrases related to the pandemic to see how persuasive they were, especially for those gosh darn Republicans who seem to be a little less prone to taking what CNN tells us at face value. A poll on the reasons for that would be fascinating, but I digress.
To be fair, I like Luntz. However, I would be willing to wager that I have read more research and reporting from more sources about COVID-19 than he has since February. A lot more. I also live in Georgia, which has been open since April 24 without tragic consequences that have approached the level of tragedy experienced in states with dystopian lockdowns. Because of all the reading and reporting I’ve done, I have a pretty good idea why this is the case.
You can peruse the full list of how they intend to persuade you in the article if you feel like being condescended to. I’ll pick a few of the bullet points I find hilarious based on facts I have known to be true for some time that CNN and the corporate media still deny. Or, at a minimum, refuse to concede are true.
Numbers: Health experts often refer to hospitalization rates, but this feels distant and impersonal to the average person, Luntz said. Instead, they should focus mostly on talking about deaths, since that’s universally understood.
First, the media and health experts don’t use hospitalizations as the governing metric. They use the amorphous term “cases,” which really means positive tests. Even the New York Times has reported this is a garbage metric by exposing that up to 90% of positive tests may detect levels or pieces of viral RNA that are not infectious at all, let alone contagious. This is because samples are amplified excessively with cycle thresholds of 37-40 when one as low as 30 is likely sufficient. Public policy and emotional leverage are based on total positive tests or the percent of positive tests.
Deaths may be an approximation of the severity of the pandemic, however, a retracted paper from Johns Hopkins basically asserted that COVID-19 deaths were not adding to total deaths. This is because deaths for heart attacks and some cancers are down, indicating that COVID-19 is a proxy for other causes. In short, these deaths would have occurred in the near term in any case.
Imperial College researcher Neil Ferguson predicted this at the end of March. Additionally, a recent study confirmed that 89% of COVID-19 deaths in two New Jersey hospitals happened among patients who had do-not-resuscitate-orders in place before being diagnosed with the virus. This indicates that COVID-19 is most dangerous to the terminally ill, not just anyone with certain preexisting conditions.
Sorry, Frank. Even death counts will not persuade me to panic, wear a dirty piece of cloth on my face, or hide in my home. Neither one of these suggestions will persuade me either:
Lockdowns: Survey respondents had a much more positive reaction to the term “stay-at-home order.” “Calling it a lockdown brings to mind jailing your population,” Luntz said.
Safety measures: The data shows that Americans have a more positive reaction when rules and regulations to address COVID-19 are called “protocols” as opposed to “mandates,” “directives,” “controls,” or “orders.”
I can’t be the only one who finds it odd that respondents were okay with stay-at-home orders, but not other orders about how to behave. I have a better idea. How about our health experts and the media giving us the complete information we need to make good personal decisions?
For example, they could have just said that President Trump, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the European Union were correct as far back as May in recognizing that young children’s risk of serious harm from COVID-19 was near zero, and they were not primary vectors of transmission. Instead, as Tucker Carlson noted in his monologue last night, we are only beginning to understand the damage politicized public policy that caused eight months of school closures has done to nearly 60 million children.
Given that I can roll off facts related to many of these bullets, it might make sense that this bullet made me howl with laughter:
Defining policies: Saying that policies to combat the pandemic are “fact-based” is more effective than saying they’re based on “science,” “data,” or “medicine.”
Health experts and the media have gotten nearly everything wrong since the beginning of the pandemic. A look back at the entire time period from late January 2020 to whenever they lower the PCR test cycle threshold on the CDC Guidance to make Joe Biden look like a hero will be quite a story. Especially when the comments and research that dissenting voices have been trying to get through the gatekeepers for months are reported as “fact-based.”
Many won’t remember Dr. Scott Atlas’s words, Dr. Harvey Risch on Mark Levin, or Dr. Simone Gold. They had to be suppressed, ridiculed, discredited and in some cases, ruined to keep their observations and research out of the public square.
The only remotely true statement in this entire article is this one:
“Media in some cases tends to pick sides,” said Brian Castrucci, CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, which published the study with Luntz.
“Some” should be changed to “all” for most corporate media outlets. This meant using selective science, half-truths, and meaningless statistics to make President Trump look incompetent or ignorant. Then they elevated the voice of a singular “expert,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, who will feel like an old comfortable shoe as he continues his career in the Biden administration.
Yet, they can change the language and modify the propaganda. I will not be persuaded to do things that have no basis in science, data, or medicine.