DEBUNKING the Media’s Biased Reporting on COVID-19

DEBUNKING the Media's Biased Reporting on COVID-19
Image credit to US Army. Image modified from original.

In today’s world, the entire world is going through a lot of stress and economic slowdown because of the COVID 19 pandemic. It hasn’t spared anyone, as thousands of people have lost their lives in the last few months. Everybody is trying to get used to the “new normal” by going on with their normal work after taking the necessary precautions.

Yes, there is a continuous fear of the coronavirus in everyone’s minds. However, the fake media statistics published on websites and TV channels are scarier than the actual virus itself, according to most of the Americans. The US media, in particular, has been quite biased when it comes to reporting the numbers on the COVID positive cases and death tolls in different states in the countries.

It has been quite obvious that states with Republican Governors are being targeted by the news channels more, as this gives them a reason to play the blame-game and criticize the Trump Government. In the recent past, Trump has come in for a lot of criticism for his leadership skills and his inability to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

He also came under a lot of criticism for reopening most of the states quite early when the entire world was under lockdown. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that America was the first country to reopen its states for business and show the world how to lead a “new normal” lifestyle.

Most of the media channels have been telling that the death tolls in certain states are on the rise continuously because they reopened quite early. However, the bias is clearly visible there as the sample is not studied well by these channels. Some other states that also reopened early but have been managing the spread of the virus quite well are not being highlighted, because they are under the control of Republican Senators.

Is there a political motive behind the bias shown by the US media while talking about the spikes in cases in certain states and ignoring those states that have shown a positive trend? Was reopening early the only reason for the spike in the cases in those specific states? Read on to know more about the answers to these questions and more.

Recently, a huge spike in corona cases was reported in states like Texas, California, Georgia, Arizona and Florida. The “statistics experts” were quick to report that there has been a massive spike in the cases in some of these states; however, they didn’t think it was important to check how long after the reopening were these spikes noticed.

An important point to be noted was that most of the spikes were reported at least 8 to 10 weeks after the reopening. This clearly explains the fact that the spikes weren’t actually because of the reopening, but because many people spent a lot of time in indoor, air-conditioned environments at work or home, and breathed the same air as a large group.

To prove this significant factor, a comparison was made between two states – Colorado and Georgia, which reopened for business in the same week. The media was very biased towards Georgia because it had a Republican Senator; all the news about spikes and deaths were reported as “massive” in Georgia, whereas nothing was said about Colorado.

In Georgia, media channels went on to report that there was at least a 245% spike in cases since the lockdown. However, most of these cases were the ones that were admitted to the hospitals. The daily death tally in Georgia was just about 30 as in the first week of July.

On the contrary, Colorado reported a 41% decrease in the average daily cases of corona-positive patients since the reopening. So, reopening early wasn’t the reason for this. It could only be due to the difference in climates of the 2 states.

 In Colorado, the summers are pleasant, and people love to hang out with their friends outdoors by the beach. In Georgia, summers can be very humid; therefore, people preferred to spend a lot of time in air-conditioned environments, indoors. Thus, it would be worth trying to make people spend less time indoors as a large group to control the spread of the virus.

Well, until a vaccine is found out for COVID-19, it is our responsibility to take the necessary precautions and stay safe. Hence, it is quite disheartening to note that the media, instead of getting their facts right, are interested in playing the blame-game when it comes to reporting about the virus.