Donald Trump’s mishandling the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak continues to reap tragic consequences. While infections and fatalities increase, Trump is still downplaying the risk and trying to blame his failures on Democrats. He even tweeted his thanks to Republicans in the Senate for passing a bill to provide funding for coronavirus related projects. Never mind that it was an $8 billion bill (Trump asked for only $2 billion) that was authored by Democrats, who provided the majority votes to pass it.
Considering the gravity of the issues at hand, the press is generally taking care to offer useful information and a realistic presentation of the facts, without causing undue alarm. However, on Fox News they have a different philosophy of journalistic responsibility. Predictably, they are serving as Trump’s mouthpiece to trivialize the matter so as not to negatively impact his polling and reelection prospects. and to both Trump and Fox News, those are the most important considerations.
To that end, Fox News anchor Ed Henry interviewed Florida’s Republican Senator Rick Scott. And from the outset it was clear that the segment was intended to prop up Trump’s management of the crisis. Henry prefaced his first question with a brazenly leading slant saying that he was just “adding this important context” (video below) …
“In your state there have been 18 cases of COVID-19, two people, sadly, have died, but both of those residents were elderly and had traveled internationally. So when you hear the context, it’s not quite as scary”
“Not quite as scary” to whom? Certainly seniors who travel would be shaken by these statistics. Henry is saying explicitly that the deaths of a few old folks don’t really matter, and the rest of the American people can comfortably ignore the loss of these doddering old coots. He apparently believes that fewer elders don’t really figure in the big picture. Just put it into context, and who really cares?
Let’s set aside the abhorrent insensitivity of Henry’s comments for a moment look at the sheer ignorance he is displaying. Henry is oblivious to the fact that the coronavirus can attack anyone. And even if the victims are younger and have stronger immune systems, they can pass it on to others with greater vulnerability, including children with respiratory ailments, young adults with diabetes, cancer patients, etc. And all of these potential victims likely have families that would be devastated by losing a loved one. So Henry also belittling the suffering of those indirectly affected.
Twenty-six Americans have already died from this budding pandemic. Over 700 have been diagnosed as infected. And considering that the U.S. is woefully lagging in testing, there could be thousands more. That could translate into hundreds more fatalities. Among those exposed (so far) are six members of congress, five of whom are Republicans. There may actually be a greater risk for the GOP and Trump supporters due to Trump’s purposeful and self-serving deceit. Trump himself interacted with someone infected at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). And let’s not forget that he is one of those disposable elderly folks. As are the majority of Fox News viewers.
Henry’s gross disregard for the lives of seniors is a new low for Fox. There is simply no excuse for this sort of callous thoughtlessness. But for Fox News it is far too common. They have never been especially concerned about humane policies, whether addressing healthcare, taxes, climate change, immigration, or guns. Now they are simply fulfilling their mission to serve up Trump-fluffing propaganda without regard for the truth or the well being of the American people. Because that’s the position of Trump. And Fox is, as always, committed to echoing Dear Leader’s cruel and inhumane approach to governance.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Fox anchor Ed Henry on coronavirus deaths in Florida: "There have been 18 cases of COVID-19, two people, sadly, have died, but both of those residents were elderly and had traveled internationally. So when you hear the context, it's not quite as scary" pic.twitter.com/5aRW09WP1S
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) March 10, 2020