NYT: Liar, Lair, Coronavirus Pants on Fire

Senior in the NYT:

On Saturday, The Associated Press reported that Trump overruled his own health officials, who wanted to warn older Americans and the fragile against flying on commercial airlines. Our storied C.D.C., now annexed by politicians, continues to insist that only the most floridly symptomatic patients be tested for the virus. Even that remains a challenge: Last week, it refused to test an ailing nurse in Northern California who’d treated a positive patient, prompting the head of National Nurses United to read her story aloud at a news conference.

At a Friday news conference at the C.D.C., Trump told reporters that tests for the coronavirus were now available to anyone who needed one. Yet just afterward, we heard from governor after governor and doctor after doctor that this is categorically untrue, with states in dire need of more tests. “We have no local testing available,” Dr. Walter Mills, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, told The San Jose Mercury News.


Reuters just reported that Democrats are twice as apt to view the coronavirus as an imminent threat to our country as Republicans, and the reason seems clear: The news outlets that do the president’s bidding are playing down the potential scope and severity of the problem. Meanwhile, more clear-eyed governors are declaring states of emergency and speaking directly to more mainstream news sources to voice their concerns, as are doctors and epidemiologists.

The gulf between their discourse and the talking points of the federal government can be measured in light years. The administration is still talking containment. Epidemiologists, in the main, are assuming it can no longer be contained, and that we should all be responsibly thinking about next steps so that hospitals don’t become overwhelmed. Many of them are worth following on Twitter. Epidemiologists are the new rock stars.

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