As a family physician, when a patient comes to my office, we ask them several questions. We ask about current symptoms, any medications they may be taking, and their general state of health. We even ask about their health history and the health history of their family members.
We do not ask them if they are Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, or Green Party. We do not ask them about where they stand on policy and political issues or, for instance, the latest Supreme Court ruling. And that is as it should be: the health of a human being is not contingent upon political considerations.
In the same way, viruses – even the novel Coronavirus that came out of Wuhan China – do not discriminate based upon political affiliation or views.
However, the same is not true of the national media. In May, when thousands of concerned citizens appeared at various state capitol buildings around the country to protest the lock downs and speak out in favor of reopening their states, the media was quick to bring up the Coronavirus contagion risk. They portrayed these protesters as being selfish, and not caring about their fellow citizens, even though many were motivated by the severe economic hardship they saw being caused by the shutdown.
After the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer, people again took to the streets. For weeks there have been protests, but there has also been looting and, in some cases, straight-up rioting. And these mass gatherings, where people are not socially distancing themselves, continue to occur on a regular basis. Yet, the media is reporting on these protests without a mention of the health risk posed by this exposure.
But wait, there’s more! As you’ve probably heard by now, President Trump has announced that he is planning to resume his famous “Keep America Great” rallies. The first will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma, later this week, followed by a Students for Trump event right here in my home state of Arizona.
Right on cue, COVID-19 is back, and worse than ever – at least, that’s what you would think if you listened to the mainstream media. A great example of this is NBC News, which was taken to task for a pair of tweets the other day that showed a large gathering of protesters packed together and did not include a single mention of potential health concerns, followed by another tweet announcing the planned Trump rally with the phrase, “health experts are questioning the decision.”
This is a ludicrous about face by the media, who went wall-to-wall with their coverage for months urging everyone to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, but now give tacit approval to those protesting for social justice to gather by the thousands. Remember when we were told that churches had to be closed because groups singing in close proximity to each other could spread the virus? Well, apparently repeatedly chanting and yelling “no justice, no peace” is exempt from this restriction.
Most of the media has not pointed out this serious double standard. It is tiresome to hear Democrats and left-wing media personalities try to attack the President and Republicans as being “against science.” We are all for science; what we are against is the blatant hijacking of scientists and science to satisfy political agendas.
We have seen the same bias with reporting on the upcoming Republican National Convention later this year. Much has been made about North Carolina’s Democrat governor, Roy Cooper, rejecting the bid by Republicans for a full-scale convention, which ultimately led to its relocation to Jacksonville, Florida. Yet, the media seems to have little interest in how the Democrat convention is supposed to proceed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, even though it is scheduled a week earlier than the Republican convention.
Will they meet in-person as planned? Or will the Biden campaign choose to go virtual, using that as an excuse to muzzle the die-hard Bernie Sanders delegates? Perhaps they fear a replay of the 1968 Chicago Convention, a convention known better for the riots that happened outside than what took place inside. Honestly, no one knows what the Democrats intend to do – and that’s the point. The media isn’t taking the time to find out. What we do know is that whatever they finally decide to do, it will be portrayed as the wise and prudent course of action by their friends and partners in the media.
We already knew the mainstream media wasn’t trustworthy when it came to presenting a fair and balanced perspective on political issues. Sadly, it appears they are choosing now to remove the veil entirely, proving they will always kneel to political correctness when it comes to public health and science, even in the midst of a national pandemic.
Dr. Kelli Ward is a family physician, two-term Arizona state senator, and the chairwoman of the Republican Party or Arizona. On Twitter: @KelliWardAZ