A new axis of media coverage: are there double standards for Covid protocols?


Monday was a day full of pandemic dissonance. Tuesday will probably be too.

That same day we learned of a big leap forward for public health – Pfizer saying its Covid-19 vaccine is safe for children – we also heard of a horrific marker of death. “Despite all the scientific and medical advances of the past 103 years,” wrote CNN’s Holly Yan, this pandemic “has now killed more Americans than the influenza pandemic of 1918.”

Other news outlets ran similar stories when the Johns Hopkins scorecard broke the 675,000 dead mark. Some sites have illustrated the news with historical photos from 1918.

When authorities say the United States averages around 2,000 Covid deaths per day, while the same sources say fully vaccinated Americans are well protected from serious illness, we find ourselves in a state of pandemic dissonance every day. . It’s a special kind of tension that exists when images of crowded stadiums appear in social media feeds alongside stories of overwhelmed hospitals. I see it on my thread when a breakthrough like the news from Pfizer occurs: People who have been “back to normal” for months can’t believe other people are still taking strict precautions – and vice versa.

This tension is particularly acute when we do not have the appropriate context or data to assess the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Try this: Find your own community’s Covid data dashboard. Try to determine the number of recent hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated versus unvaccinated adults. I tried this for my neighborhood and failed.

Every now and then, federal and state officials provide snapshots that show that the vast majority of suffering and death occurs among the non-vaxxed – that is, adults who have chosen not to protect themselves. But the data is not available in a consistent and searchable manner. It is at best piecemeal. So it remains for us to assume, guess, do risk assessments without reliable data, and this leads to even more pandemic dissonance …

Follow the rules or change the rules

The double standard behavior of Democratic politicians and loosely defined members of the “elite” is a daily theme of right-wing media coverage. Here’s an example from Monday’s Daily Caller homepage: “Elite people attend galas and awards shows without masks while servants have to cover their faces.”

I understand the whole context of these scenes, but the photos always make me disgusted. It shouldn’t be just a “right-wing media” problem. It’s a question of “everyone with common sense”. CNN’s Brianna Keilar, to her credit, cited an example of hypocrisy on Monday’s “New Day.” She showed the video of the SF London Breed mayor partying, without a mask, with a fully vaccinated crowd. “The mayor of a major American city is not following the sanitary guidelines of his own health department,” Keilar said.

Breed, defending, told reporters “we don’t need the funny police” to “micromanage” mask wearing as long as the population is vaccinated. I agree – but that’s not the city’s position or that of the CDC. These politicians should follow the rules or change the rules. If they don’t have authority, they should put pressure on those who have it. If it’s too complicated, they should push to make it simpler. The restrictions, rules and recommendations in this phase of the pandemic should not be uniform. They should be customized based on specific locale, positivity rate, and tolerance levels. But they are not. As the “rules” have less and less meaning, and they are not applied equally or not at all, they will be followed less and less, if at all …

LA County Says Emmys Did Not Violate Mask Mandate

Oliver Darcy writes: “There has been a lot of talk over the past 24 hours as to whether those who attended the Emmy Awards violated the LA County Mask Mandate, which requires everyone regardless of their vaccination status, to cover your face. Well, the short answer is, no, apparently not. An LA County public health spokesperson told me that “exceptions are made for film, television and music productions” because “additional security changes” are made for such events. The department explained that everyone at the Emmys was considered an artist and “everyone appearing on or in the audience of the Emmy Award Show was fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “And the department added that the Emmys had contacted” in advance to share their safety protocols, “which they said” exceeded basic requirements. ” Read the full statement here… “

The stories of the right

There is, of course, an unbalanced right-wing media that does not care about the context. Take this banner from Tucker Carlson’s Monday show: “CELEBRITIES ARE APPARENTLY EXEMPT FROM ALL RULES.” There’s also this headline on the American Thinker website: “COVID Turned Leftists Into Child Abusers” Due To Mask Warrants For Toddlers. Some of the comments on vaccine mandates have been equally far-fetched.
But there are more compelling arguments made in other corners. I noticed Seth Mandel, editor of the Washington Examiner Tweeter about “watching 4 year olds playing football with masks on”, and I thought, well, that doesn’t make sense. My 4 year old went to soccer class on Saturday and there was no mask in sight. The viral threat is roughly the same in our two cities. So who makes these different decisions and why? It’s easy to see how much social trust has been lost throughout this ordeal. And if we ignore this reality, even more trust will be lost …

Notes and quotes on the vaccine war

– Two children who recently lost their 45-year-old father to Covid-19 spoke out on CNN’s “New Day” and blamed Tucker Carlson for some of the misinformation about vaccines he believed … (Mediaite)
– Carlson’s new rant, which is sure to be absorbed throughout the GOP, concerns the US military’s vaccination policy: “The purpose of compulsory vaccination is to identify sincere Christians in the ranks. , free thinkers, men with high testosterone levels, and anyone else who dislikes Joe Biden and makes them go immediately. It’s a takeover of the US military! “(Twitter)
– Shawn Boburg and Jon Swaine write about Thomas Renz, a “once little-known lawyer” whose rise “shows how vaccine misinformation can fuel fundraising and far-right fame …” (WaPo)
– On a related note, Kiera Butler explains how “a very popular app for churches is now an anti-vaccination hotbed …” (Mother Jones)
– Matt Gertz writes about how far-right Breitbart writer John Nolte “tries to get his readers vaccinated” through a “false and crazy” argument… (MMFA)
– “Anti-vax hypocrite Eric Clapton breaks his own vow, plays a role with a vaccine warrant …” (Rolling Stone)

6 rules …

Katherine J. Wu, Ed Yong and Sarah Zhang’s latest story for The Atlantic is titled “Six Rules That Will Define Our Second Pandemic Winter”. One of the many prominent quotes: “The more concentrated the unvaccinated people, the easier the virus can find its next victim …”

CNN RTO Update

Oliver Darcy writes: “No surprise here. CNN on Monday became the latest company to postpone its full return date to 2022. Network boss Jeff Zucker broke the news to employees in a memo, saying executives were” came to the conclusion that a full return to the office in October does not look good to me. Zucker, who mentioned the rise of the Delta variant in Atlanta, where CNN’s headquarters are located, said the new target date was January 10. But he encouraged employees to start coming to the office now, which many staff have already done. I’ll find… it’s actually pretty awesome, ”Zucker said, adding,“ The transition doesn’t start in January. She’s starting now… “”

>> This article from The Atlantic is an important reminder that “working from home” is not the norm: only 13.4% of Americans “worked from home” in August …

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