Evidence Trumps Covidiots in a Trumpist World
Posted on October 25, 2020
A Facebook post by my wife today set it off. It was about this morning’s Covid-19 announcement by the premier of Victoria of a delay in reopening Melbourne’s retail sector due to a new outbreak in its northern suburbs whose extent had yet been fully defined.
Replying to some heated political rhetoric she was witnessing online, it verbatim read, “Calm down Melbourne…. take a breath and wait 48 hours ….. We have all waited so long … another 48 hours will not kill us ….”.
It sparked an interaction between me and one of her friends who replied with the cable TV spin that 48 hours would cause “some people” to “kill themselves” because in Covid-19 lockdown “a lot” already had.
Thing is, suicides were not up in Victoria though this year, Australia still definitely faced three epidemics in mental health, suicide and domestic violence—all of which were agonisingly prevalent before the onset of Covid-19.
I posted a report by the Coroner’s Court of Victoria as evidence, and asked my wife’s friend to refute it. You can read it here: No increase in Victorian suicides Under COVID-19.
And things quickly spun into the surreal.
There’s a law in life: Never argue with a fool or a drunk or on social media. Make it your mantra.
Social media isn’t about winning arguments. You can’t. But as a writer of opinion and analysis, and an accredited journalist, I have dedicated the rest of my life to ensuring that truth gets heard by telling all sides to a story, especially in this era of Trumpism where lying has become an extension of bullying.
So, with that, my interaction ended; there was no last word to be had.
Without a doubt, Covid-19 has impacted Victoria more than any other State in Australia due to the allegedly sloppy functioning of its DHHS health bureaucracy, now under investigation, and by the State leadership’s PR missteps.
It’s pain, however, is also a factor of leadership mistakes at the national level that in March saw Australia segmented into State Covid-19 responses rather than standing together as one “Lucky Country” powered by the Aussie attitude that mates have each another’s backs. It’s why Australia’s prime minister now can’t get his States and Territories to unify in reopening.
For the first time in my life, we have States believing that they are alone—and relishing it.
Were I an American in 2016, I admit, I’d have voted for Trump. What I never foresaw was the divisiveness he’d bring to other countries after he’d won, Australia among them.
And I definitely would not have foreseen that should a pandemic more contagious than SARS and MERS suddenly hit the world, that the USA would not take the lead in an international response. There is no Covid-19 international response!
Instead, we have an International Media House sowing fear, hatred, falsehoods and bitterness doing Trump’s bidding.
You know what the irony of that is? Its owner, Rupert Murdoch, has always hated Trump. He detests him and it’s now hit his wallet while also cost him a son as his media heir.
But in fear comes money.
Or it once did.
That’s why in Australia, viewers have the Seven Network masquerading as their poor man’s Sky News; Sky masquerading as their poor man’s Fox News—all seeking that elusive fear-profit but now all losing billions.
Everyone deserves an opinion and all should be applauded for expressing it. But everyone too, has a duty of care to ensure that if expressing it as fact in a crisis, they’ve checked the proof to back it up.
We still have a president of the United States calling Covid-19 “a plague that will disappear”, and we have a prime minister of Australia eager to reopen his country to international travel to get a multi-billion-dollar tertiary education sector out of mothballs.
But if most of the world outside Australia is currently experiencing Wave 2s and even burgeoning Wave 3s, with a disease whose reproduction number remains R2 to R5, how can any of that make sense? By the way how can the Dow Jones be at record levels either?
That’s where Trumpism comes into frame again. The truth doesn’t matter, if you can defraud the mob by corrupting it.
So, you show up with evidence.
© 2020 Adam Parker.