As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news cycle, conspiracy theories abound. As it happens with similar types of situations, people on both sides are coming up with all kinds of crazy new explanations for what’s going on. Some of these theories are downright laughable. Others are straight-up deceptive.
Unfortunately, some on the right are parroting conspiracy theories that are misleading. Conservative pundits Diamond and Silk recently released a video suggesting that the media is somehow inflating the numbers of coronavirus deaths that have occurred in the United States.
A few days ago, the duo posted a video on social media in which they discussed the spread of the virus. “In a matter of two weeks, over 1,000 people supposedly died from the coronavirus,” Silk said. “In a two-week time period, over 1,000 people after being tested positive have died from the coronavirus.”
It was at this point that the duo expounded on the supposed media conspiracy theory. “My president said on March the 24th, Tuesday this past week, my president said that he would love for America to be back up and running,” Silk noted.
Diamond chimed in, indicating that she understood where this story was going. “I knew this was going to happen. I knew after he said this was going to happen,” she said.
“At the time, he said it there was 25,489 cases with 307 deaths,” Silk continued. “Instantaneously, you had the media calling President Trump out, he want it open by Easter, he want this open by Easter – me and you was talking, I said now watch the number of deaths go up. Watch everything increase because they want to make it look bad in front of our eyes.”
So, Diamond and Silk either believe that the Democrats and the media – sorry for the repetition – somehow infected over one thousand Americans to make Trump look bad, or they are intimating that the corporate press is artificially inflating the numbers. Since it’s not likely that they would think Jim Acosta was running around infecting people with the ‘rona, it seems more sensible to conclude that Diamond and Silk are claiming that the left is exaggerating the numbers.
But there are a few problems with this theory. Firstly, it lacks evidence. Neither they nor anyone else has provided any proof demonstrating that progressives are skewing the numbers to make them look higher than they actually are. Johns Hopkins University of Medicine is one of the more prominent entities that is tracking the number of U.S. COVID-19 deaths. Media outlets on both sides of the political divide have relied on their data.
There is also the issue of the virus itself. One of the reasons why world leaders are concerned about the coronavirus is its ability to spread rapidly among a population unless they are taking certain precautions to slow it down. Multiple medical experts have referred to the danger of the virus spreading, especially since one can carry the virus – and be contagious – without experiencing any symptoms.
Lastly, when the media lies, they typically do so by omission, not commission. Diamond and Silk are 100% correct in their assertion that the media is politicizing the coronavirus. The corporate press was already showing its true colors when the rate of infections was rising. Their objective is clear: They want to use the outbreak to smear President Trump and decrease his chances for re-election.
But they are not hoping to achieve this objective by making up extra coronavirus deaths. Indeed, it would be impossible to do so – how could they account for all of the fake deaths they reported? Did they somehow convince Johns Hopkins University to lie about the rate of COVID-19 deaths? Of course not.
Instead, the press is trying to make sure that the American public does not see the President’s daily press conferences. They are refusing to broadcast his meetings with reporters. Why? My colleague Streiff explained it well:
“It has everything to do with the press conferences showing Trump in command in a decisive way, with him and his staff announcing data and actions directly to the American public without Glenn Kessler and Politifact injecting Democrat spin; it has to do with Trump coming across as a real individual and not the caricature the left, the media, and their NeverTrump fluffers have made him out to be.”
The press wishes to omit Trump’s direct comments to the public so that his approval numbers stop increasing. Also, remember when the media pretended Trump said the coronavirus was a “hoax?” While the President actually did use the word “hoax” in his speech, the corporate press omitted the part where he referred to the Democrats’ false narrative about his handling of the virus.
Sometimes conspiracies can be fun. But in other cases, they just help to spread disinformation, and we already have enough of that from progressive media, don’t we? The best way to oppose the media’s smear campaign is not by fighting fake news with more fake news. Instead, it makes more sense for our pundits to fight it with the truth.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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