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Douglas Andrews / Jun. 11, 2021

The Media’s Trump Hatred Was Deadly Serious

The Leftmedia allowed its loathing for Donald Trump to shape the news — and not without human consequence.

Picture all the COVID-19 lab-escape deniers on an ice flow that’s growing ever smaller. Most of them have by now taken the plunge and started to stroke for shore, but more than a few dead-enders are still hanging on, cursing their Gaia and muttering to themselves, unwilling to concede that the Orange Guy was right all along.

It doesn’t get much more depressing — or more delicious, depending on which side you’re on.

Still, there’s a deadly serious side to what became of the media during the past year, and Washington Post columnist Matt Bai is only beginning to come to grips with it. “Pretty much the entire public health establishment and the intellectual left treated the [lab-leak theory] as a kind of kooky and sinister conspiracy theory — right up until this week… Because Donald Trump insisted it was true.”

Think about the implications of what Bai’s acknowledging here. These people, these leftists, were essentially reduced to Flat Earthers by their white-hot hatred of a sitting U.S. president, by their acute cases of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

But did you catch what was missing from Bai’s admission? Answer: The media. He’s got no problem throwing public health professionals and the Beltway elites under the bus, but what about the culpability of his own profession?

Scribbler, heal thyself.

“Trump’s vile repetition of [accurate and clever] phrases such as ‘China virus’ and ‘Kung flu,’” Bai continues, “fit nicely into the nativist narrative of his presidency. … And for that reason alone, those who disdained Trump’s politics immediately rejected the possibility of his being right, even by accident. They withdrew into an ideological corner. … If Trump peddled a theory, then it couldn’t be true.”

So there you have it: The orange devil made them do it. He made them lie — or, at the very least, made them shield themselves and those within their spheres of influence from the truth.

And it strains credulity to believe that this behavior applied only to the Wuhan lab-leak theory. It didn’t. Hatred can’t be compartmentalized like that. So what applied to one of Trump’s claims no doubt applied to others. The three-year Russia collusion hoax, for example, was certainly driven by the media’s Trump derangement. So was his stance on immigration; and on China’s trade malfeasance; and on the Iran nuke deal; and on Middle East peace, and on energy independence; and on domestic law and order; and on the Biden family’s Ukrainian corruption and its foreign influence peddling.

Think about it: Trump endured a reflexively hostile press (and therefore an ill-informed American citizenry) on each of these issues, and yet he was right on all of them.

But back to COVID-19. There, the derangement and denial were no doubt hurtful, harmful, and even fatal. Trump was right about the economic damage of lockdowns, both macro and micro; one need only compare Florida to New York, or Texas to California to see how ruinous the lockdowns were. He was also right about school closures, and his call to open them back up. And he was right about hydroxychloroquine, whose effectiveness he championed in the face of endless derision from the Left. This last example was no doubt deadly.

How so?

“A new study shows that the controversial drug … increased the survival rate of severely ill coronavirus patients,” the Washington Examiner reported just Wednesday. The observational study, published by medRxiv, found that antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, along with zinc, could increase the coronavirus survival rate by as much as nearly 200% if distributed at higher doses to ventilated patients with a severe version of the illness.“

This study and this study also confirmed the benefits of hydroxychloroquine.

But because Trump endorsed it, the Left denounced it. Truth be damned.

We may never know how many COVID-19 patients were denied this time-tested and supremely safe anti-malarial drug because governors wouldn’t allow it, or doctors wouldn’t prescribe it, or pharmacies wouldn’t carry it, or hospitals wouldn’t administer it. One infectious disease specialist, Dr. Stephen Smith, estimates that perhaps 100,000 lives were lost as a result.

As the great Victor Davis Hanson put it, "Irrationally hating everything Donald Trump touched was not just pathological, it often became downright scary — and deadly — for Americans.”

Even long-in-the-tooth leftist comedian Bill Maher has seen and heard enough. In fact, he was ahead of the curve by a few weeks. On his April 16 monologue, he asked, “Shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for, ‘How did your audience wind up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?’”

They should, Bill, but they won’t. They never do.

Back in 2017, Donald Trump called the fake news media “the enemy of the people.” Here again, he was denounced and derided by the indignant Left. And here again, he was spot-on.

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