Salon asks ‘How many people died because Trump mocked mask-wearing?’, ignores that answer is ‘none’

June 9, 2022

By Tim Worstall

Salon asks a possibly important question: “How many people died because Trump mocked mask-wearing? We’ll never know.”

The correct answer is probably none. We are, after all, at the tail end of the coronavirus problem and the information is coming in about how different places handled it and the outcomes of those different policies.

The winner seems to be Sweden, which had mild limitations on what people could do, didn’t close down the economy, and managed to have a lower death rate and lower economic cost. But that doesn’t seem to excite.

Instead, we have this insistence that Trump was responsible for the American outcome.  The particular insistence here is that masks work, Trump didn’t think much about masks and therefore. Except this is contradicted within the article itself: “Nearly all the higher death rates result from people who choose not to be vaccinated.” Oh, you mean it wasn’t masks then, and so Trump’s view on masks made no difference then? It’s fun when an article argues with its own premise.

Despite the one single most deadly act of the pandemic being New York State insisting that Covid patients released from hospitals be sent back into nursing homes with no testing, and making testing them illegal in some interpretations. But that was done by a Democrat.

But the part that we find most interesting in this?

“Journalism, in less rigorous fashion, follows something closely akin to the scientific method. Journalists (real ones) look for the best facts on the ground, editors review the work and its factual claims, and the ‘findings’ are always subject to revision, given new facts. Like science, good journalism is self-correcting.”

This is Salon talking here. Salon. Let that sink in.

“That’s one reason why an insecure know-nothing like Trump…”

Yes, that science-based and self-correcting Salon.

Salon currently ranks in the top 50 media outlets concentrating on law and government. It gains some 9 million visits a month from that position. It’s significantly influential in progressive circles.

Salon dislikes Trump, Salon skews stories to blame Trump for all sorts of things. Political partisanship is, of course, political partisanship. What it isn’t is that self-correcting examination of the facts that makes journalism – good journalism – akin to science.


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