Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

There Is Nothing Normal about One Million People Dead from COVID

Scientific American: “Sometime in the next few weeks, the official death toll for the two-year COVID pandemic in the U.S. will reach one million. Despite being the wealthiest nation on the planet, the U.S. has continued to have the most COVID infections and deaths per country, by far, and it has the highest per capita death rate of any wealthy nation. This is an unfathomable number of people dead, yet, mass media are downplaying it. This is despite an empathetic New York Times headline in May 2020 of “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss,” and using its entire front page to print names of some of the deceased. As Luppe B. Luppen noted on Twitter, the newspaper’s more recent headline was the cruel and callous “900,000 Dead, but Many Americans Move On.” The Times is not alone; several large mainstream publications, in complicity with politicians of both major political parties, have been beating a death knell of a drum for getting “back to normal” for months. The effect is the manufactured consent to normalize mass death and suffering—to subtly suggest to Americans that they want to move on. News media are helping to shape public opinion in order for business to return to the very circumstances that have created this ongoing crisis. A return to normal will allow profits to be reaped by people working relatively safely from their homes (the target audience of many news organizations’ advertisers) at the expense of people working or studying in person who are more vulnerable. A few weeks ago, David Leonhardt, the writer of the Times’ newsletter “The Morning,” asked Michael Barbaro, the host of the company’s podcast “The Daily”: “If [COVID] is starting to look like a regular respiratory virus, is it rational [emphasis by the Times] to treat it like something completely different— to disrupt all our lives in all these big and consequential ways[?]” I was dismayed. That rhetorical move is a familiar one to me: Two white men frame what they think is rational, deeming any questioning of their stand as irrational…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.