Times Square, which is usually very crowded on a weekday morning, is mostly empty Monday, March 23, 2020 in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered most New Yorkers to stay home from work to slow the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
One of the liberal myths that you can see being spread on social media, aided by some in the liberal media, is that Fox News downplayed the Wuhan coronavirus and because of that that Republicans/evangelicals/those “other people are going to spread infection everywhere, just you wait and see.
The problem with this goofy conspiracy theory is that every element of it is wrong. Fox didn’t downplay it more than any other media outlet. Indeed, it wasn’t Fox calling things like Trump cutting travel from China racist and suggesting there was nothing to fear; it was Democrats and outlets like the New York Times.
Remember back in the day?
New York Times: "Who Says It's Not Safe to Travel to China?"
That was 7 weeks ago.
— Ken LaCorte (@KenLaCorte) March 24, 2020
Yeh, the Media downplayed it. Check NYC health commissioner promoting Lunar New Year attendance. Geez!! pic.twitter.com/jLjhDz36MQ
— Arthur Knapp (@artknapp88) March 24, 2020
Now, it may change, but the states/areas largely impacted by the virus are not known for being Republican areas – NY, NJ and Detroit and the surrounding environs.
Plus, it turns out it’s the other way around, it’s people who are fleeing places like New York City who may have spread the virus to other areas, just as Florida Gov. De Santis complained a couple of weeks ago.
Preliminary data and anecdotal evidence suggest that fleeing New Yorkers may have hastened the spread of the coronavirus https://t.co/l1jc2mMmzn
— NYT Metro (@NYTMetro) April 10, 2020
Throughout the region, the virus seems to be mostly following a logical pattern of infection, growing outward from its epicenter of New York City. But there have also been small bursts of flulike symptoms in areas where New Yorkers have summer homes, like the Adirondacks, the Jersey Shore, the Catskills and the Hamptons.
That’s one of the reasons that a quarantine was postulated by President Donald Trump but Governor Cuomo balked, calling it “war.” So they called it a “strong stay at home order.” But many had already fled New York by that point.
That said, while some obviously did spread to Florida, Florida is nowhere near New York’s numbers, with under 20,000 cases and under 500 deaths. New York has over 180,000 cases and 8627 deaths. De Santis ordered anyone traveling to Florida from the New York, New Jersey or Connecticut area to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival and made it a criminal penalty to violate the quarantine order which might explain why the spread isn’t greater.