If a Pandemic Ends and No One Hears, Does It Make a Sound?
Can we count on media outlets to spread good news about Covid19 as enthusiastically as they did the bad?
“We still have a problem with COVID,” President Joe Biden told 60 Minutes frankly on Sunday evening. “We’re still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over.”
“If you notice, no-one’s wearing masks,” the President continued. “Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape…I think it’s changing.”
Mr. Biden’s seemingly unscripted remark hit the commentariat and media classes very hard.
“The president made the remark in an interview that aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night,” the paper of record stated. “By Monday, the backlash was in full swing.”
The NYT was right about the backlash. At the bottom of the article, however, the Times inadvertently shows its hand:
“F.A.Q.: What is long Covid? Do I need a booster shot if I’ve had Covid? What do I need to know about vaccinating my toddler? Here are the answers to your nagging questions.”
“At Home: When someone in your house tests positive for Covid, there are some guidelines you should follow- including for when you test negative but develop symptoms.”
“Covid Treatments in N.Y.C.: Antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies are available across the city. Find out how to get them.”
“Immunity and Reinfection: Exposure to the coronavirus- through vaccination or infection- does not mean that you are completely protected from future infections. Here is what to know about Covid immunity and reinfection risks.”
Reading between the lines, the subtext is hard to miss: For the New York Times, and subscribers still firmly in the grips of a full-scale public health emergency, the Covid19 pandemic is far from over.
And the Covid19 vaccination rate among toddlers is extremely low.
NPR took President Biden’s news even harder: “How Biden’s declaring the pandemic ‘over’ complicates efforts to fight COVID.”