The Following e-mail, received Sunday (3/22/2020) from a listener named Teya, motivated this week’s Soapbox. It is edited for brevity, with answers provided and lays the foundation for the rest of my essay:
“I’m an avid listener of your show since Rob seems to be the only logical and responsible media person… . I noticed listening to the Thursday and Friday shows that Rob’s tone sounded much more grim… I just want to be clear, are you, Rob, now saying that it is time to be worried about this virus?” About the virus? No. “Or has the tone changed simply because there isn’t a place for dissenting opinions anymore?” The cancel culture remains alive and well amidst this global crisis but I have no intention of giving in to it. We will discuss below the tone changes you’re noticing. “Basically, do you still believe that the death rate is over inflated because of low testing rates and etc., or is it real?” Absolutely I still believe that, now more than ever (but it’s all but irrelevant at this point and until we are picking up the pieces of what’s left of America). “Up till Saturday morning I had been able to maintain a very rational level of non-panic about this virus, but that was before my local farmer’s market got turned into a police state, with armed uniform officers stopping every car more than once to assure everyone stayed in their cars while picking up food items…that experience combined with hearing the tone change of Rob on the past two shows has me wondering if it’s really as bad as the mainstream media would have us believe. Please advise all of us maggots Rob.” Read on.
As more of America isolates, and test results increase exponentially (as well as more and more data flooding in from countries around the world), we are getting a clearer view of the idiocy, danger, and incompetence of a variety of people. Some will say that now is not the time for blame; they are wrong. Now, in the nexus of this mess, is exactly the time to use the evidence of simply looking at the world around you and pointing out the worst amongst us. The true villains of this virus, in no particular order, are as follows:
THE FEARMONGERS AMONGST US: People continue to cite “experts” that agree with their narrative, while ignoring those who don’t. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t claim that the experts are who we should listen to, and then ignore experts that say other experts are wrong who are presenting equally compelling data. As we discussed on-air last week, more and more scientists and the all-mighty “experts,” are questioning the data being used to report the mortality of the Coronavirus, including John Ioannidis, Harvard trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and current Stanford Professor who also happens to be the Chair in Disease Prevention. You don’t get a more impressive profile than he[i]; and his article raises all of the questions many have been asking (but have been dismissed because they weren’t “experts”).
Ioannidis, and others make the following points[ii]:
- It is possible that this virus is 5 times more deadly than what we’re being told…but it is ALSO possible that it is 5 times LESS deadly and has a mortality rate that is a rounding error when compared to other threats, and yet, we’re changing everything based on assumptions and presumptions.
- The fact that Italy is classifying everyone who dies who was tested positive as having died from Coronavirus (despite that fact that they’re also all old as dirt) is a giant assumption and is not at all scientific[iii]
- Most of Italy’s deaths can be attributed to the fact that their healthcare system was overrun with bed shortages and there wasn’t the ability to treat people infected. This virus is survivable, even for the elderly, with proper care[iv]
Meanwhile, readers of this space will remember Mike the Mathematician. Others have gotten into that act and come up with wildly different conclusions than Mike and his “Chicken Little,” outlook. Those “experts,” in data, however, are being censored and canceled[v]
THE MEDIA: I don’t begrudge the media reporting the most hysterical data and ignoring the most grounded. The childish view that media’s job is to dispense facts disappeared decades ago in this country. The media’s job is to attract and hold audience because it’s a business. The expression “if it bleeds, it leads,” has never been truer. Leading the evening news with the pronouncement “more and more experts cite facts, logic and reason to provide a reason for calm,” doesn’t capture viewers.
I do, however, loathe the environment we’re in which remains disgustingly political. At a time when we’re told that we all need to come together, the conservative media continues to sing the praises of a bumbling Trump administration, while the mainstream media literally lies about things like the top disease expert in the country disagreeing with Trump over experimental drugs.[vi] And then there’s scumbag moderator of “Meet The Press,” Chuck Todd, who on Sunday morning went beyond being political about Coronavirus and just inserted some good old fashioned pettiness. At thirty-one minutes into the broadcast as Todd went to commercial, he promoted his upcoming segment as follows: “How well is President Trump handling the first crisis of his presidency NOT of his own making?” Despicable, misleading, untrue, and unnecessary now more than ever.
THE NERO’S: Opposite of the previously mentioned fearmongers are those who are fiddling while Rome is burning. Like it or not, agree or not, we must now all behave in the same fashion to save what’s left of the American economy. As I heard someone say on TV, “if we’re going to go through hell, let’s do it as fast as possible.” Meanwhile, people across the country, young and old, are ignoring orders and suggestions to stay inside. In Washington D.C. this weekend, thousands of people congregated together, sans social distancing, so that they could watch flowers bloom.[vii] If Martial Law is ever declared, remember who we have to blame.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: Despite President Trump’s clumsy reaction to the Coronavirus, this isn’t a Trump issue. Covid-19 has, more than ever, exposed the ineptitude, incompetence, and stupidity of relying on big government.
When it comes to Coronavirus, it’s the spread not the virus that’s the problem. That is solved first with proper testing and reporting of who actually has the virus, as they did in South Korea. America, the greatest nation on Earth, to this moment, remains embarrassingly short on testing kits. Testing kits it should have had weeks ago, which would have prevented allowing the spread to become the problem. Due to a lack of tests, we have quarantined a number of health care workers across the nation out of an excess of caution after they were exposed to “presumed” Coronavirus patients. The snowball effect of not knowing who has it, and then quarantining health workers who might have not even been exposed to it creates a devastating shortage of care. Additionally, across the nation people with possible symptoms (but no confirmed tests) are being treated (taking up beds) as though they have Covid-19. This leaves less (or no) room for those who might actually have it and are more vulnerable. The cascading effect of our overreaction caused by a total ignorance of who actually has the virus falls squarely at the feet of all of government.
As of 3/22/2020, less than 14% of all Americans tested are coming up positive.[viii] This, at a time when only the most symptomatic are being tested and when we’re told by the fearmongers that Coronavirus is so contagious it will infect 80% of us. The numbers don’t add up, and only more testing will put a stop to what is possible insanity.
Look no further than both political parties and their total inability to pass financial relief in a timely fashion of any kind. America is already in a recession (the stats will prove that in a couple weeks when we learn that the economy shrunk by double digits in the first quarter this year), hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and millions more will, and your government is arguing over whether or not to give you $1200 and how it should be delivered. It’s embarrassing and disgusting.
THE HOARDERS, SCAMMERS, AND CONSPIRACY THEORISTS: These disgusting fellow citizens of ours stocking up on toilet paper, bottled water, bread,
and everything else when there is absolutely no legitimate belief that the supply chain is anything other than functioning properly and will continue to are beyond reproach. The scammers and conspiracy theorists are always in play, but as more of America becomes isolated and bored, they also become more susceptible to such rubbish. Most recently, countless gullible people are racing to a scam website to fill out their census information because an email told them that’s how they’ll get their stimulus check from the government. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, and identities are being stolen left and right.[ix]
As for my tone late last week, Teya (remember her from 1,400 words ago?) was correct in her perception, but not so in her conclusion. Thursday, and especially Friday, brought a much more negative outlook for me; but not because of a changed view of the mortal threat of Coronavirus, but rather an absolute realization and understanding of just how devastating the fallout from all of this is going to be. Seeing people fail to follow shelter-in-place orders, hearing reports of fights over OTC medicine, a total disregard for social distancing when grocery shopping, and an endless drumbeat of layoffs with millions more on the way show that we’re already in hell, and we’re not working on spending as little time here as possible.
Breaking down with attorney Kevin Hughey the reality that there is no enforcement arm in place now for those who will find themselves on the receiving end of both employees and employers taking advantage of this situation was downright depressing. As person after person called and wrote in with situation after situation, all of which demonstrated devastating personal and financial tolls, they all asked the same thing: “can they do that?!?!” The answer to that question used to be “they (whoever they are) can do whatever they want…the question now is what are you going to do about it?” And then we would go through options like government agencies who oversee such things (mostly closed or skeleton staff and overloaded), or maybe a civil action (which will now be delayed for even longer than before and will be of no help at all if it ever sees a courtroom), or possibly “going loud,” and putting the person or company “on blast,” (not an option in a time when the news is flooded and overloaded).
There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a very real crisis; one that must end as soon as humanly possible. The doubt remains in whether or not the crisis was created for legitimate reasons, or out of mass hysteria and panic.