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Covid-19 Is Two Pandemics – Part 2

Covid-19 Is Two Pandemics – Part 2

In a recent commentary, I analyzed Covid-19 as two pandemics.  Pandemic-One is a severe virus making people seriously ill and killing many.  It impacted two percent of the public.

Pandemic-Two is a flu-like disease that resulted in either mild symptoms – or none at all.  About 8 percent of the population was afflicted with this form.  Of course, 90 percent of all Americans never caught the virus … period.  They (we) avoided both Pandemic-One and Pandemic-Two.

How one responded to all the dire warnings and calls for extreme protective measures depended on which of the two pandemics you were experiencing.  The media, the television doctors and the politicians responded as if Pandemic-One was an overall reality.  With 98 percent of the people never getting the virus — or only having mild “flu-like” symptoms – most Americans did not recognize the hyperbolic reporting.  They saw it as fearmongering.

The New York Times online newsletter, “The Morning” by David Leonhardt, recently offered some reinforcement of my two-pandemic analysis.

But he put it in stark partisan political terms under the headline “Republicans tend to underestimate Covid risks — and Democrats tend to exaggerate them.”

There were two things noteworthy about Leonhardt’s opinion piece.  Unlike the tradition of the modern New York Times, the article was reasonably balanced in its criticisms of the Republican and Democrat responses – a plague on both houses, if you will.

I say “reasonably balanced” because there was still an undertone of criticism of conservatives and Republicans.  If the latter were underestimating the severity of Covid-19, it was because they were either being misinformed by reckless statements and behaviors from Republican leaders – OR we conservatives are merely science deniers on a wide range of subjects.

“To many liberals,” writes Leonhardt, “Covid has become another example of the modern Republican Party’s hostility to facts and evidence.” 

And then he endorses that claim with his own baseless and biased zinger,  “And that charge certainly has some truth to it.”

Leonhardt cites a Gallup Covid-19 pandemic poll that concludes that “Republicans consistently underestimate risks, while Democrats consistently overestimate them.” 

He uses this graphic to establish his point.

With the actual hospitalization rate at one percent – not even the 1 to 5% seen in the graphic – Democrats were the most wrong.  Conversely, Democrats were the most wrong at the other end of he scale.  Some 69 percent of Democrats put the hospitalization rate at more than 20 percent – and 41 percent put it above 50 percent.

But they were not alone in grossly overestimating the hospitalization rate.  Thirty-five percent of independents also believed the hospitalization rate was above 50 percent.  And 28 percent of Republicans thought the same.  More than half of all three categories believed the hospitalization rate was over 20 percent.

The second noteworthy conclusion from Leonhardt’s article is what it unintentionally reveals. 

The chart clearly shows that the vast majority of ALL Americans have been grossly misinformed on the FACTS.  And who has been disseminating the misinformation – and the fearmongering?  The elitist media – as part of their sycophantic support of the left-wing Democrat agenda and narratives.

Having such a large percentage of the American public so badly misinformed on the most basic facts is a prima facie indictment of the Fourth Estate.  They have been spinning, sensationalizing and politicizing the Pandemic since the get-go.  Gallup’s poll and Leonhardt’s column prove it.

And make no mistake about it.   This look at hospitalization rates is not the only area in which the media has failed to fully and faithfully inform the American people.  No no no.  It is across the broad range of Covid-19 pandemic statistics – the number of actual ACTIVE cases, the death rates (and who is dying), the risk of contracting the virus, the inoculation rates, etc., etc., etc.  These are all issues which the media failed to present the actual statistical facts or actually gave statistically inaccurate information.  They misinformed – and in some cases, with malice aforethought.

It will likely take the hindsight of history to finally determine the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Carmen

    Larry, you sound very smart to people who haven’t gone to college and to people who don’t read the real news. You spin very well but on the subject of the pandemic your “spinning” is dangerous. Stop and think about what you are doing. You probably love the sound of your own horn but you are feeding your readers with crazy ideas.

    • Larry P Horist

      Carmen … you sound like a person who simply embraces television news narratives without doing any critical thinking or research. You characterize both me and my writing in a way that proves you know nothing about either. I would have been more impressed if you had provided an intelligent rebuttal of the points I made — or show where my statistics are wrong. In the absence of that, you are just another fist pounder. Now that I have taken your advice and thought about what I am doing, I am very happy to have provided a well-grounded perspective to the discussion.

  2. Ben

    “Covid has become another example of the modern Republican Party’s hostility to facts and evidence.”

    Larry, you can argue a lot of things regarding the Corona virus, but this isn’t one of them..

    • Larry P Horist

      Ben … You are so typical of left-wing responses to my commentaries. You mount your criticism on generic statements but totally fail to cite your specific examples where you believe my analysis is wrong. I use the same numbers the press uses, but I also explain official numbers they ignore. You say we Republicans are hostile to facts and evidence (a rather exaggerated claim) while I present lots of facts (official statistics) and evidence to support my thesis — and you (and Carmen) resort to name calling. I have previously challenged left-wing critics to bring forth their fact-based rebuttal — and so far, no takers.

  3. Karma Singh

    I could reply to Carmen and Ben I think it better as a direct comment.
    An opinion poll is NOT a scientific fact – it’s just a measure of belief. Beliefs rarely have anything to do with reality.
    Facts, however, are real. Withholding of facts by bureaucratic fiat or for purposes of political propaganda can, under certain circumstance (which also obtain here) be a criminal act.

    Although Republicans tends to prefer their facts straight and Demon c rats want them heavily spiced together with half a bottle of whisky so as to avoid mental clarity, neither the one nor the other can claim a monopoly on reality and it is up to each adult citizen to inform themselves properly.

    Blessed be
    Karma Singh

    • Larry P Horist

      Well said. For me, the facts in this commentary are the official statistics. The exist in real time. That does not mean that even the statistics are above challenge. There us a philosophic contention that there is no reality — just perception. It can be individual or shared. Witness testimony tends to prove that we all see reality through our own screen of perception. Lincoln understood this when he said that “beliefs whether well or ill-founded have the impact of fact.” Ben gives us a great example when he says Republicans are hostile to fact and evidence. That may be his belief (and I hope he is not that ignorant) or his rhetorical strategy, but it is by far not a fact. Logic and example easily disproves his partisan contention. That is why it is better to base ones beliefs on core principles — such personal freedom as opposed to oppressive central government authority — the essential and existential difference between conservatives and progressives.

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