As the country entered its third week of widespread mass protests for the death of George Floyd, the liberal media were trying to gaslight the American people on what was to blame for spikes in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Tuesday saw ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News insist that states reopening their economies were to blame, and not the protests attracting thousands upon thousands of people.
“Troubling new signs tonight about coronavirus in some areas that reopened early. Hospitalizations are way up. A more serious indicator than the number of cases,” declared NBC anchor Lester Holt. He was echoed by correspondent Gadi Schwartz at the top of the report. “Tonight, a dramatic rise in coronavirus hospitalizations in some states among the first to reopen,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz went on to huff that “Texas [was] seeing a record-breaking number of hospitalizations, even as the governor moves to open bars, restaurants, and amusement parks to 50 percent capacity.” He then admitted that Georgia, the first state to reopen was not seeing any spike.
His intellectually dishonest suggestion came after Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb had pointed out the double standard of who was having social distancing regulations forced upon them. “For two weeks, protesters have hit the streets to fight for racial equality. But at the same time, some businesses, beaches, and churches have remained closed,” she said as an on-screen headline read: “Protesters Flood Streets as Businesses Remain Shut Down.”
But that didn’t stop Schwartz from dubiously asserting: “But none of those latest numbers take into consideration what effect large crowds and protests around the country are going to have on the spread of the virus.”
What made his statement dubious was the fact that we knew coronavirus patients started showing symptoms as early as a few days after transmission, with nearly all showing symptoms in 10 days. The George Floyd protests were into their third week.
Over on ABC, Matt Gutman reported that “21 states” were “registering a rise in COVID...And 14 states, including Arizona, have seen their highest seven-day average growth since the pandemic began.” He blamed it on “The governor here lifting that stay at home order on May 15th. People gathering in large groups again at bars and restaurants.”
This was a continuation of Gutman’s line of complaint from Tuesday’s Good Morning America, where he chided President Trump for planning to hold a rally. After the network heaped praise on the protests for a large portion of the show, Gutman told chief anchor George Stephanopoulos: “And the cases are spiking because of a near-complete reopening.”
Both Gutman and Schwartz included soundbites of indignant doctors decrying efforts to return people to normal lives. “We probably knew what would happen by reopening too early on May 15 … This may not be a spike; this may be a new normal until we get a vaccine,” one doctor told Schwartz.
And yet, many health care professionals were cheering on the protests, and claiming the benefit outweighed the risk. Apparently, families making enough to feed their kids wasn’t a significant enough benefit to re-open.
The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:
ABC’s World News Tonight
June 9, 2020
6:45:13 p.m. Eastern
DAVID MUIR: We're going to turn next to real concern in this country tonight, with what authorities are now seeing involving the coronavirus. 21 states with cases on the rise today, and Arizona tonight, for example, health department officials there are now telling hospitals to activate their emergency plans.
And tonight here, an important clarification after the World Health Organization confused so many all over the world. So, can you spread the virus if you're asymptomatic? Here's Matt Gutman on that tonight.
[Cuts to video]
MATT GUTMAN: Tonight, Arizona's health department urging hospitals to activate their emergency plans. More than 5,000 new cases since June 1st. And now hospitals saying they're maxing out on ICU beds.
DR. SAM DURRANI: We need to really be socially responsible when we go outside, socially distance. You know, I think there's evidence that we're not doing that.
GUTMAN: 21 states and Puerto Rico registering a rise in COVID. And 14 states, including Arizona, have seen their highest seven-day average growth since the pandemic began. The governor here lifting that stay at home order on May 15th. People gathering in large groups again at bars and restaurants.
DURRANI: You know, right now we're fine. But if we continue at a rate like this, we're facing a significant chance that we're going to have to shut down the state again.
GUTMAN: FEMA saying community transmission is the highest driver of growth in nearly two-thirds of the hot spots in 31 states. Scott Felix is a 25-year-old who says he got sick after camping during Memorial Day. He spiked a 104 fever and tested positive for COVID.
SCOTT FELIX: A lot of people that I’ve talked to and said that they felt like they may have already had the coronavirus. [Transition] It would be safe to go outside. I would say don't assume that.
[Cuts back to live]
GUTMAN: And David, the World Health Organization is now walking back that surprising claim, saying that asymptomatic people can and do spread the virus, but they admit they don't know exactly how that happens. David?
MUIR: Very important, again, asymptomatic people can still spread the virus. And Matt, we thank you for that
NBC Nightly News
June 9, 2020
7:16:53 p.m. Eastern
LESTER HOLT: Troubling new signs tonight about coronavirus in some areas that reopened early. Hospitalizations are way up. A more serious indicator than the number of cases. And today, Dr. Anthony Fauci called COVID-19 his worst nightmare saying it's not over yet. We get more from NBC's Gadi Schwartz.
[Cuts to video]
GADI SCHWARTZ: Tonight, a dramatic rise in coronavirus hospitalizations in some states among the first to reopen. In Arizona, the state urging hospitals to keep emergency plans activated, after seeing COVID-19 cases more than double. Health officials now saying eight out of ten hospital beds are being used and warping they could hit full hospital capacity in a matter of weeks.
DR. MATTHEW HEINZ: We probably knew what would happen by reopening too early on May 15. [inaudible] … and here we are. This may not be a spike; this may be a new normal until we get a vaccine.
SCHWARTZ: Texas seeing a record-breaking number of hospitalizations, even as the governor moves to open bars, restaurants, and amusement parks to 50 percent capacity. While in Georgia, the first state to reopen in April, is seeing cases, hospitalizations, and the number of deaths from COVID-19 on the decline.
But none of those latest numbers take into consideration what effect large crowds and protests around the country are going to have on the spread of the virus.
Today, at the World Health Organization, a top health official walking back a statement made yesterday that it's very rare for people without symptoms to spread the disease.
MARIA VAN KERKHOVE: I think that's misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare.
SCHWARTZ: While the data varies, one study estimates as much as 44 percent of new cases were transmitted by people not yet showing symptoms.
DR. ASHISH JHA: This message from WHO, I think, was just a bit of a disaster, because it caused so much confusion. The bottom line is this -- there are lots of people with infections who have no symptoms who are spreading the virus and getting other people infected.
SCHWARTZ: Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci telling a panel the pandemic that's devastated the world in four months is only just beginning. Gadi Schwartz, NBC News.