Joe Biden is poised to have one of the breeziest Presidential terms in history. The man has not even been sworn in and the press has been flush with beatific coverage of the man, from his socks to his food preferences and we have been given all assurances his administration will be most successful in everything from economics to global harmony.
It has been a running gag that the media is poised for a 4-year vacation, but the humor is muted somewhat by the very reality it appears true. They seem to be pre-writing stories for the coming years. One other example is that the tone of coverage on various issues is already shifting not only before our eyes but before Biden has even taken the office. Case in point — there is suddenly positive news to report surrounding the pandemic!
The New York Times has come out with the details, in a piece entitled ‘’Underselling the Vaccine..why the vaccine news is better than you think’’. Allow me to fill in the blank for The Times – It is better than some think because the vaccine news was actually better than reported. Just think back to the reaction we experienced one month ago. It was around this time that we were being delivered the news that something we were promised was an impossibility was going to play out – a Covid-19 vaccine was coming to market. The media reaction to this can be charitably described as ‘’subdued’’.
There is a reason for this. In the year 2020, the press was on a mission to dedicate itself to only report on negative aspects of a pandemic. Yes, pandemics by definition are not normally imbued with frivolity and rosy reactions, but at the same time in the addressing of problems and the steps taken to battle the scourge, there were advancements made of a positive nature. You just would not see this appearing anywhere in the press.
When President Trump made his declaration that he wanted to see a vaccine arrive by year’s end the media went out of its way to quote every possible expert to explain how unlikely it would be. Many described the result as being ‘’a miracle’’, were it to happen. Well, in one fashion they might claim to be correct. Trump did not see a vaccine arrive by December 31 — there were two brought to market.
When these vaccines were becoming available, recall the reactions last month. The efficacy was questioned, the number of doses available was deemed too low, the prioritizing of recipients was politicized, and the distribution was only described as problematic. Two details were never addressed; how these managed to arrive in the time frame promised, Trump was rarely attached for credit of this happening.
Now, suddenly, The New York Times and others are beginning to see positive aspects of our actions towards the pandemic. Interviewing some doctors about the vaccines delivers encouraging returns. ‘’We’re underselling the vaccine,’’ says one. The use of ‘’we’’ has to be describing the press from the past few months. ‘’It’s ridiculously encouraging,’’ said another, detailing a near 100% effectiveness. Well, this sure differs from most of the coverage we have been given — you know, back in the days when all the connections had to be made to President Trump.
The Times gives us more gleeful details. These are called among the most successful vaccines ever created! Well now, this sure differs from the initial coverage that only detailed the risks and likely flaws and dangers to be found in a medication fast-tracked in this fashion. The touted success rate is actually understated we learn, as out of more than 30,000 who received the experimental trial the total who contracted a serious case of Covid was exactly One.
Then, to just place the proper amount of positivity on what this arrival of a cure means one other doctor lent this perspective.
Offit told me we should be greeting them with the same enthusiasm that greeted the polio vaccine: “It should be this rallying cry.”
This is the kind of effusive language reserved for slam-dunk instances of success, but not both the tempered excitement we had been delivered and the extremely convenient timing of this adulation we are receiving today – just as a new administration is getting their keys cut ahead of the move-in date. You would think that Trump delivering a vaccine in less than a year that is being compared to that historical cure developed for polio would warrant some level of praise.
In the entire segment in The Times concerning the vaccine and all of the wondrous details, Donald Trump was mentioned exactly — ZERO times.
We are left to assume, it seems, that this arrival in a previously unforeseen record time happened without any assistance or motivation from the administration, whatsoever. That would indicate the press was partially correct. That would entail a miracle happening.