Master debunker Michael Fumento casts shade on the virulence of the Coronavirus
Mike Konrad wrote an informative article saying that even if the Coronavirus is as serious as the media say, we Americans have good medical care, including antibiotics for secondary infections and steroids to control some of the worst symptoms. Now Michael Fumento, debunker extraordinaire, says that, on the available evidence, the newest virus is (a) just another virus and (b) not likely to ravage American shores.
The media are flogging the Coronavirus as if it were the new Ebola. That’s fertile soil, because we have locked in our memories horrific images out of Africa, showing people lying dead in the streets and, in one particularly disturbing scene on some news show, a three-year-old boy shunned by everyone in his village, including his parents, until he lay down and died, alone, in the dirt.
But this isn’t Ebola. China isn’t Africa. And we, thank goodness, are neither China nor Africa. One of the blessings of life in 21st -entury America is that we have ways of dealing with diseases that were once deadly.
Michael Fumento blames the media for the hype and proceeds to debunk the scare on the facts. After describing a masked CNN reporter standing in total isolation, something that makes the mask pointless, Fumento explains why someone would do something so silly:
It’s called “drama,” which is badly needed, because there appears to be nothing very special about this outbreak of the 2019-nCoV or Wuhan virus. It should actually be called the DvV, or Déjà vu Virus, because we have been through these hysterias before. Over and over. Heterosexual AIDS, Ebola repeatedly, the H1N1 swine flu that was actually vastly milder than the regular flu and, especially, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
Wuhan is repeatedly labeled “deadly” — but so is every other virus most people know about.
China, he concedes, may have a problem. While the medical situation there is not as bad as it was in Africa during the peak of the Ebola crisis, China still does not have first-world medical care for most of its citizens:
It appears that, like flu, Wuhan usually kills through often treatable secondary infections. Well, treatable in the West. You’d be surprised at how many potentially deadly diseases (malaria, TB) Americans get that wreak havoc in much of the world but kill essentially none of us.
It also appears those most likely to die of Wuhan virus fit the same profile as flu fatalities: people over 65, those with compromised immune systems and those with serious pre-existing conditions. Two of the 17 Wuhan dead were 89-year-olds with pre-existing conditions; the youngest was 48 and suffering from diabetes and a stroke.
Another problem is that the risk of contagion is going to be greater in China. If you’ve traveled there, the sheer number of people means multiple disease vectors no matter where one looks. In addition, as Michael Yon wrote, not all Chinese are sensitive to germ transmission. In a word, their concept of germs is premodern:
There always are cultural aspects, too, such as the habit of mainlander Chinese sneezing everywhere with no attempt cover their faces. They will sneeze in elevators — yes, they do — restaurants, airplanes, more. They ain’t Japanese who will self-quarantine.
To be clear, I am not talking about “Chinese” (difficult to define), but some cultures in Mainland China. Many in Taiwan or Hong Kong and other places are super-civilized, but many of the mainlanders are like something from another time and planet.
The Thai and China governments jointly published a book years ago showing traveling mainlanders how to behave civilized, such as not spitting on restaurant floors, or defecating in department store changing rooms. This drives Thais crazy. Not to mention everyone else.
Meanwhile, in America, we sneeze nicely into our elbows, wash our hands, and use the little disinfectant cloths that stores provide every time we grab a shopping cart.
With another flu out there, be careful. Cases of flu are nasty, and for those who are vulnerable – the very old, the very young, and the very immune-compromised — they can be fatal. This one will be no better and no worse. Or, as Fumento says:
But while they want you to remember SARS as akin to the Black Death with cries of “Bring out your dead!,” fact is, there was a grand total of only 8,098 cases, of whom 774 died. Then the disease simply disappeared. More than 7,000 of those cases and about 650 of the deaths occurred just in mainland China and Hong Kong. The United States had just 75 cases and zero deaths.
By contrast, the CDC estimates about 80,000 Americans died of flu two seasons ago.