One of the biggest reasons the media is pushing fear of the Corona Virus is simple to understand. Drug company profits.
The media does not try and inform people in America. They sell fear. Fear sells products. So it is with the Corona Virus. What they are doing is making people terrified in advance of the virus gaining traction in the US. It is inevitable that the virus will spread to and through the US. However, before that happens the media will have Americans so terrified that they will seek out and pay for any ineffective treatment or prophylaxis available on the market, no matter the cost.
Look at who advertises on corporate television. Drug companies are one of the media’s biggest money machines. So are insurance companies. Of course the media is going to take marching orders regarding their “news” coverage from their most profitable clients.
Right now the fear being imposed upon the public is that the Corona virus is extremely deadly. That’s not exactly true.
Run the numbers. The highest concentration of people infected is still in Wuhan, China, a region of over 11 million people. The last number I heard of the number infected was around 80,000. Far less than 1% of the population. Yet the reality is even further removed than that from the fear-inducing media. Because the number infected being quoted is global. So this means we are not only talking about less than 1% of 11 million, we are talking about a much wider region and much larger population.
However, for simplicity we will say that the virus has infected 1% of the population. Then we will say the mortality rate for those infected is 2.3%, which is what is being quoted.
That means 2.3% OF 1% of the population may die from the virus.
Still not the full picture. Because allegedly 90% of those that have died from the virus are males, over 70 years old with a multiple decade history of smoking.
Higher impact in US. Now, that said, when (not if) the virus makes it’s way to the US general population, the mortality rate would likely increase dramatically. China has imposed a quarantine in 19 major cities. Not only would Americans object to such a quarantine but in a capitalist society a quarantine would result in millions becoming destitute. People cannot afford to stop working, so they would go to work even knowing they were sick and infectious. You can’t really hold it against them because they would see no other choice. The same would hold true for students. Most schools focus more on whether students are present more than whether they learn anything while they are present. That’s because schools gain more funding from filled seats than high grades. So we would have sick waiters/waitresses, food service workers, cashiers, teachers, drivers, nurses, etc all working and in direct contact with other human beings while sick and infectious.
Quarantine or no quarantine in the US, there is one massive difference between the US and China. In China, once the quarantine is lifted, their economy will pick back up where it left off within weeks. In the US, the financial/economic repercussions would take years to recover from. China has a Socialized medical system. In the US, medical care, hospital stays, including ICU care and loss of wages would put millions of Americans deep in debt, many into bankruptcy, some into losing their homes.
Like it or not, the Corona virus and the fear tactics being used by the media right this minute during an election year could be exactly the impetus needed to pass universal healthcare NOW, not later. This should be used by Progressives to our own advantage. Don’t even try and stop the media from fear mongering. Encourage it. Amplify it. When we combine the effects of the flu season and the coming Corona virus epidemic/pandemic, it is easy to foresee major economic implications which can devastate the economy. So use this as an argument to keep the pressure on for universal healthcare. Turn the tables on the media and the drug companies. Use their own weapons against them.