Monday, July 13, 2020
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The Right Wing’s War on Science


There’s no doubt what we’re currently experiencing will make its way into the history books. The effects of the coronavirus have been felt across the world. And while the full story has yet to be lived/determined, governments (and the various parties within) are clearly fighting to control the narrative; along with the way in which this issue is politicized.

The response and handling of the coronavirus continues to be an embarrassment throughout various states within this country. From the lack of preemptive action by the federal government, to the continued questioning of the legitimacy of the pandemic itself, there is a whole lot thats to be unpacked when attempting to discuss this issue.

A common theme were seeing amongst congressional republicans, as well as right-wing news sources, is the outright dismissal of facts being presented to them by both medical professionals and experts in their respective fields. And its because of this destructive ignorance that a large number of American lives are now at risk.

When states such as New York, Washington, and California were taking precautions to combat the spread of COVID-19, many other state governments downplayed the issue; refusing to take any preemptive action being recommended to them by both experts and health organizations. These states even refused to cancel spring break events; resulting in thousands of people (travelers too nonetheless) packing themselves onto beaches, bars, and restaurants. All in what undoubtedly contributed to the spread of the virus.

This rejection of science isn’t doesn’t only continue to come from officials though, but also from many of their supporters. Since the beginning of this pandemic, social media has been flooded with individuals declaring their intent to not comply with what is being recommended of them; whether that be stay at home orders, social distancing, or whatever other responsibility thats become expected.

One arguments that often being spewed by these individuals seems to be that since the virus does not have a high death rate then there is no reason we should be shutting businesses and other sections of the economy down. The understanding these people lack is the fact that the virus is only treatable because of the resources hospitals currently have access to; resources which are limited and should we ever get to the point where even just a tenth of our population is infected, hospitals would be so overwhelmed people would start dying at a much larger rate than they currently are now. Then you’ve got the people who just parrot the word hoax; completely and utterly rejecting any facts and information given should it come from a source they themself have deemed fake.

Fox News of course has played their role in attempting to cause harm as well. In recent days a number of anchors and opinion hosts pushed hard against health experts, urging Trump to abandon social distancing policies and reopen the economy. Their reasoning for this course of action? Because the virus is “everywhere already”. Additionally, there were individuals who were arguing against the deaths of American lives were worth the risk if that meant the economy would survive; blatantly displaying their concern for profit over people.

The constant contradiction between heath professionals and individuals nowhere near qualified to offer their opinion concerning the direct action needed to handle this pandemic seems to be only increasing. And until a counter emerges, their voice will only get louder.

Alex Took
Alex is a staff writer for Financial News where he focuses primarily on politics, business, and government.

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