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News Clash

New York Times Blames Churches, Not Riots For COVID Spike

The Old Grey Lady is having a little trouble getting her facts straight. It couldn’t be that her biases have blinded her, could it?

Remember the good old days when we were told ’15 days to slow the spread’ — and the public actually believed that ‘experts’ wanted the country to reopen again?

No. Each for their own reasons, experts are happy to see this shutdown.

For some, it’s the long-hoped-for silver bullet that can shoot down some of the strongest arguments for a Trump re-election bid. Arguments like a strong economy.

For others, it’s fear-based. It almost seems like our policies are being written by liability lawyers concerned that they — personally — are going to be sued into oblivion if a single person gets sick on their watch.

Others seem to enjoy exerting control over others.

For the Times, it may be some unholy combination of that list. There is ideology at play, certainly, but they seem to enjoy sticking it to people they disagree with, too.

For example, they were shamed into sanitizing a headline.

Here is the title and opening as it existed after they quietly changed it:

Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are Confronting Coronavirus Cases.
The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps. More than 650 cases have been linked to religious facilities during the pandemic.

The earlier version was far more openly hostile.

Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.
Weeks after President Trump demanded that America’s shuttered houses of worship be allowed to reopen, new outbreaks of the coronavirus are surging through churches across the country where services have resumed.

The question is, did the data actually support the headline? Nope.

Except the article paints a different picture in the actual numbers: “More than 650 coronavirus cases have been linked to nearly 40 churches and religious events across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic.” I’m no epidemiologist, but I don’t need to be, because simple math shows that 650 out of 3,000,000 cases across our nation means 0.0216 percent of them trace back to churches. Less than one-tenth of 1 percent should not — and cannot — be called a major source of this infection.

…The Times presents the actions of churches and churchgoers in as negative a light as possible, writing, “as the virus rages through Texas, Arizona and other evangelical bastions of the South and West, some churches that fought to reopen are being forced to close again and grapple with whether it is even possible to worship together safely.”

It’s disingenuous to pin the caseloads of these states on churches, ignoring that contact tracing connects dozens of cases in Texas to churches, for example, out of their 230,000 and counting total cases. It is divisive. It’s fake news. A tiny fraction of a percent can’t responsibly or seriously be described as a “major source” of transmission. And it’s a total distraction from what drives the predominance of coronavirus infections.

When infections and transmissions are overstated like this, especially in a time of crisis, it makes it harder for the public to know who they should listen to or trust for accurate information. In turn, this makes people more likely to make decisions based on feelings or “knowledge” shared by friends who may not have their facts straight.–Federalist

But maybe the Grey Lady just views ALL public gatherings with a jaundiced eye.

Could that be it? Nope again.

Congregations have worked hard to keep up with the changing information that health officials have shared about coronavirus. They’ve learned rapidly how to do services online, how to work with local health guidance on the size of gatherings, and how to institute effective cleaning and disinfectant measures.

Yet these additional actions often aren’t enough to placate health departments, and they’re apparently not enough for the NYT either: “But as new cases and clusters have emerged in recent weeks from Florida to Kansas to Hawaii, public health experts have emphasized that, even with social distancing, the virus can easily spread through the air when hymns are sung and sermons preached inside closed spaces.”

Of course, there’s no word on when other gatherings where people are excited or passionate — like, say, mass protests — will be in the targeting-sights of officials. Either being together, inside or outside, loudly championing a cause or singing a hymn is a recipe for COVID spread, or it’s not.–Federalist

If we believed for a moment that the Times had any interest in ‘objective reporting’, we would be looking for a retraction and perhaps a written apology.

But we know who they really are.

They are nothing more than a small part of the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party.

It’s a sad end to a once-proud paper, really.

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Wes Walker

Wes Walker is the author of "Blueprint For a Government that Doesn't Suck". He has been lighting up since its inception in July of 2012. Follow on twitter: @Republicanuck