When those who preach science ignore the data.
Throughout 2020 we have seen numerous claims made in the press of gatherings being alluded to as ‘’super-spreader events’’. Trump rallies, anti-lockdown protests, and the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally were all demonized in the press as becoming contagion drivers in this pandemic. That only certain crowds were promised to spread the virus while other approved groups never were criticized showed there was a blatantly fluid concern from the journalists.
While these have now become mockable reality what all of these reports of super-spreader groups had in common was a predictive aspect to the hysteria. We were told how they would become hot spots of an outbreak, with assurances that these events would lead to widespread death. That they never actually led to the threatened death toll was never reported with the same vigor. There was an attempt at a follow up with the Sturgis event, however the numbers delivered were shown to be guesswork, as an economist used modeling based on cell phone tracking to assume outbreaks were evident.
Despite the press straining to cast blame on those on the right for reckless behavior, a report from CBS News that states there is in fact a measurable occurrence rate based on another gathering, one that shows all the evidence of widespread transmission in this country, yet one that has curiously escaped most media scrutiny and has not been reported on with anywhere near the same amount of condemnation.
In February the pharmaceutical corporation Biogen hosted a massive medical conference in Boston. Attendees came from numerous states and other countries, countries where the coronavirus had already broken out. The official tally had been that 100 people became infected at the Biogen conference, but that was based only on measurement in that state, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The first cases of Covid-19 which were recorded in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Indiana involved Biogen executives who had attended the conference.
By the time the experts could begin tracing, once concerns of the outbreak were reported, those in attendance had already left and spread the virus to 6 states, to Washington D.C., and to three other countries. Now medical experts have begun tracking the strains of the virus from that event and have come to the conclusion that the spread has been extensive. Studying the genetic markers the medical experts have been able to track the spread from that conference and have some eye-opening numbers — they estimate that anywhere between 200,000-300,000 Covid cases can be traced back to that event.
To give a sense of how this can be studied the scientists tracked the markers of the virus in the Boston area and were able to determine just how impactful this one event had been in the region.
The conference was key in spreading the virus in Boston. Through November 1, nearly half of the COVID-19 cases in the four counties making up the Boston area had the genetic marker that linked the virus to the conference, implicating the event in 51,000 cases in the area.
Now this concerned only one metropolitan area. Once you consider how many attendees were spread across the country and how many cases today can be attributed you might think there would be feverish excitement (apologies for the phrase) in the press over this conference. Consider that at the exact same time — in Washington D.C. — the conservative political convention CPAC was taking place. One attendee was reported to have tested positive and the media was filled with energized reporting of all details concerning this occurrence. The Boston medical conference — not so much.
Why then has there been so little coverage over what is now appearing to have been a true super-spreader gathering? Other isolated outbreaks have garnered their share of coverage, such as a wedding in Maine, or a nursing home where two dozen residents had succumbed to Covid. The scientists had been able to pinpoint the markers of that particular outbreak and found it had not spread beyond the nursing home facility.
It becomes another chapter in the disturbing behavior of our press corps that they have selective interest and outrage regarding certain events in relation to the virus. We have seen them lambaste protests from those opposing lockdowns as being dangerous virus spreaders while excusing the Black Lives Matter protests. They condemned the GOP convention event held at the The White House as a danger, yet the very next day a demonstration involving thousands was held down the street and CNN declared that to be safe and important.
Now we see that as the promises of other gatherings becoming pandemic-fuel falling apart a genuine event that has led to growing the outbreak is given scant coverage and concern. It becomes yet another example of the press who bleats about needing to follow the science are presented with a scientific study that defies their narrative, so they choose to overlook it instead of covering the details. These are the same who love to accuse others of denying science, mind you.