In an interview with CBS’s DJ Sixsmith on Monday, celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky said he was more concerned about the country’s reaction to the coronavirus than he was about the ramifications of the disease itself. While Pinsky didn’t attempt to downplay the severity of COVID-19 or its potential for widespread destruction, Pinsky said that the panicked quality of the media’s coverage was likely to do at least as much harm to the American public.
“A bad flu season is 80,000 dead,” Pinsky reminded Sixsmith. “We’ve got about 18,000 dead from influenza this year; we have 100 from corona.”
Pinsky said it was important to keep things in perspective.
“Which should you be worried about, influenza or corona?” he asked. “100 versus 18,000, it’s not a trick question. Look, everything that’s going on, with New York cleaning the subways and everyone using Clorox wipes, and get your flu shot, which should be the other message, that’s good, that’s a good thing. So I have no problems with the behaviors.
“What I have a problem with is the panic and the fact that businesses are getting destroyed and people’s lives are being upended. Not by the virus, but by the panic,” he continued. “The panic must stop, and the press, they really, somehow, need to be held accountable, because they are hurting people.”
Pinsky’s cautious and responsible take on the coronavirus is shared by Dr. Abdu Sharkawy of the University of Toronto. Sharkawy wrote Friday that while the coronavirus is clearly deadly among certain vulnerable populations, attempts to clamp down on the spread could prove more harmful than the disease itself.
“I am not scared of COVID-19,” Sharkawy wrote. “What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world.”
It would be “nice” – if that’s the right word for it – to blame the media’s coronavirus panic on the usual suspects: Ratings, money, etc. Unfortunately, there is another, even more sinister reason for the abject glee with which news networks and national papers are promoting this story. Quite simply, they see it as the last, best chance to tank the market and turn Donald Trump into a one-term president. They are literally willing to send this country spiraling into a deep recession if it means they can install another globalist shill in the White House.
There’s a way the media can cover this virus without resorting to hyperbolic tricks and cheap sensationalism. It’s called: Report the facts. This would have been an excellent opportunity for them to go back to that basic premise.