I’m well on the way toward formulating a new Law of Life: “If you’re hoping for accurate information about anything, always read to the very end of a relevant news item.” And I got a lot closer to final endorsement upon opening my Washington Post today and seeing the banner headline topping the front page blaring “70 days of denial, delays and dysfunction.” The subhead helped, too: “From the White House to the CDC, political and institutional failures cascaded as the virus spread. Despite being better prepared than many countries, the U.S. saw opportunities to mitigate the crisis slip away.”
Honestly: Why didn’t the Post just lead off with “Why the Bozo in the Oval Office Needs to be Impeached Immediately or Defeated in November”? What else could the newspaper’s real intent have been?
At this point, let me just note that I don’t keep focusing (in part) on the Mainstream Media’s (MSM) performance during this CCP Virus crisis because I don’t like their journalists, or because I’m a supporter of many of the President’s policies and I think (correctly, in my opinion) that these news organizations have done an especially poor and biased job in covering the Russia collusion and related impeachment stories.
Instead, I keep focusing on the MSM because they’re the main way the nation receives not only news but much information of any kind, and this goes double for the current situation – even taking into account the daily presidential press briefings (which, not coincidentally, have been directed toward the…press).
In this vein, here’s some crucial information that you find out if you make it all the way to the end of this looooong story, which maintains in the fifth paragraph (which comes on the front page of that print edition lead story, “Warnings were sounded, including at the highest levels of government, but the president was deaf to them until the enemy had already struck.” For good measure, in the seventh paragraph, the Post reporting team emphasizes that
“it took 70 days from that initial notification [from China on January 3 – from a health official to the head of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC – that something new and dangerous was spreading in Wuhan] for Trump to treat the coronavirus not as a distant threat or harmless flu strain well under control, but as a lethal force that had outflanked America’s defenses and was poised to kill tens of thousands of citizens. That more-than-two-month stretch now stands as critical time that was squandered.”
And let’s not forget the charge that “Trump’s baseless assertions in those weeks, including his claim that it would all just ‘miraculously’ go away, sowed significant public confusion and contradicted the urgent messages of public health experts.”
Again, what could be more awful?
Elsewhere in the article, however, we learn that
>”On Jan. 6, [CDC chief, Robert Redfield] sent a letter to the Chinese offering to send help, including a team of CDC scientists. China rebuffed the offer for weeks, turning away assistance and depriving U.S. authorities of an early chance to get a sample of the virus, critical for developing diagnostic tests and any potential vaccine. China impeded the U.S. response in other ways, including by withholding accurate information about the outbreak.”
>Nor did China’s obstructionism end there: it reported on January 14 that it had seen “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.”
>As of late January, “The Chinese were still refusing to share the viral samples they had collected and were using to develop their own tests. In frustration, U.S. officials looked for other possible routes.
“A biocontainment lab at the University of Texas medical branch in Galveston had a research partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) head of preparedness and response hoped that scientists at the two labs “could arrange a transaction on their own without government interference. At first, the lab in Wuhan agreed, but officials in Beijing intervened Jan. 24 and blocked any lab-to-lab transfer.
“There is no indication that officials sought to escalate the matter or enlist Trump to intervene.”
And in a major omission, this lengthy Post account ignored compelling evidence that the first CCP Virus case in China dates from November 17.
>On the purely American side, regarding testing, the CDC had developed “an institutional arrogance, a sense that even in the face of a potential crisis there was no pressing need to involve private labs, academic institutions, hospitals and global health organizations also capable of developing tests.”
In other words, these CDC failings long pre-dated the Trump presidency.
>In a meeting in the Situation Room in mid-February, [head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony S.] “Fauci and Redfield told White House officials that there was no evidence yet of worrisome person-to-person transmission in the United States. In hindsight, it appears almost certain that the virus was taking hold in communities at that point.”
The point of this post isn’t to add to the blame game, but rather to underscore how one-sided the MSM’s participation has been. And even though the proverbial buck in the United States rightly stops with the President, and consequently it doesn’t sound terribly convincing to claim that many long-serving experts in the U.S. bureaucracy have let him down, in this case, here’s an episode where it has the added virtue of lots of truth.