Rampant COVID-19 disinformation | The Jackal

19 Apr 2020

Rampant COVID-19 disinformation

The deadly virus COVID-19 and resulting response to it around the world has shown that many politicians simply aren’t up to the task of representing their constituents. Instead of ensuring the public’s safety, many so-called leaders have instead shown their true colours by promoting the idea that the economy should take precedence over peoples lives.

However it’s not just certain reprehensible politicians and "the virus is a hoax" conspiracy theorists who've been found completely lacking in moral integrity during the pandemic. Much of the mainstream media has also shown that they will go against official advice to promote misleading ideas, presumably at the behest of their corrupt employers.

On Friday, much of New Zealand’s mainstream media was telling the public that we were no longer in level 4 lockdown, which was simply untrue. This misinformation just so happens to coincide with an increased number of lockdown breaches having to be attended to by Police.

The rich one-percenters and their propagandists clearly have vested interests that don’t include the safety and survival of people with underlying health conditions, who they likely view as collateral damage in a war to safeguard their squandered wealth.

The worst example of this despicable mindset came from the United States’ President, Donald Trump, when he encouraged his gun totting supporters to breach quarantine and “liberate” three states led by his political opponents who were trying to maintain the publics' safety through lockdown.

Yesterday, Aljazeera reported:

Trump accused of 'fomenting rebellion' after 'LIBERATE' tweets 

Washington's governor accuses Trump of encouraging 'dangerous acts' after he urged supporters to 'LIBERATE' some states. 
Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday accused Donald Trump of "fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies" after the United States president urged supporters to "LIBERATE" three states led by Democratic governors. 
"The president's statements this morning encourage illegal and dangerous acts. He is putting millions of people in danger of contracting COVID-19," Inslee said in a series of tweets on Friday afternoon.

If the US President inciting anarchy against duly elected officials in a time of plague isn’t a clear sign of his cognitive dissonance and unworthiness to govern, then I don’t know what is.

However this type of dangerous propaganda isn’t limited to people who believe they’re all powerful. Closer to home the National Party have been desperately trying to undermine the Government and Level 4 lockdown.

Yesterday, 1 News reported:

National MP under fire for saying NZ will move to Level 3 on Thursday, despite no Govt decision  
The Government is due to update New Zealand on Monday as to whether we will stay or leave Alert Level 4 next week. Until then, the country remains in Level 4 lockdown.  
During a live Q&A yesterday, Nelson MP Nick Smith said it was "six days to go before we start to get some degree of freedom back".  
The video was aimed at informing the people of Nelson on lockdown guidelines and what life would be like for the community in Level 3.  
Mr Smith also said that "with the Level 3 next Thursday hair dressers will still not be able to give us a trim", and "it's only six days to go until we step down the lockdown and get more freedoms". 
The National Party, however, appears to be standing behind Mr Smith's statements. A spokesperson declined to comment today, saying the MP's "comments are consistent with the public's expectation".

You've got to wonder if Nick Smith is taking his cues from the orange buffoon himself?

A few days ago another National Party disseminator of falsehoods, Steven Joyce, was also actively trying to undermine the Government's testing regime, even though it's been comprehensibly increasing while cases decline. Joyce also believes that eliminating COVID-19 in New Zealand is impossible, despite there being very little community spread and all random testing coming back negative.

On Thursday, the NZ Herald reported:

Covid 19 coronavirus: Eliminating virus in NZ is 'pie in the sky' fantasy, former finance minister 

Anybody who thought the virus could be eliminated was "too ambitious", he said. 
"Therefore, if you say to yourself it is not going to be possible to completely eliminate it or that it is unlikely to be possible to completely eliminate it in New Zealand, then what should you do instead? 
"Because the economic impact of what we are doing currently is massive, and people only later on will get to understand just how massive it is and how much hurt that is going to cause."

Apparently we should just throw the infirm under the bus in order to safeguard the economy. None of these idiots have actually calculated the true economic cost if a large percentage of elderly, i.e. those who have expendable income and substantial investments, contract COVID-19 and pass away.

In fact it’s difficult to know exactly what the opposition in New Zealand has been arguing for in recent weeks. They’ve been entirely inconsistent in their criticism of the Government’s response to what is an unprecedented crisis, both arguing for and against various measures. Clearly their careers and bank accounts are at the forefront of their selfish little minds when what we need is a unified approach similar to what occurs during wartime.

Instead we have National Party MPs and their echo chamber acolytes disseminating blatant disinformation and trying to score cheap political points against a Prime Minister who is managing the situation appropriately.

It’s concerning that the proponents of capitalism are still ardently undermining the Government while promoting their defunct ideas when they’ve been found completely lacking in the fight against COVID-19. Convincing evidence that countries with functioning social security and health systems are managing the crisis far better than those who don’t comes in the form of the US death toll and rate of infections. Those on the front lines deserve better.

The reason the United States is getting hammered isn't just about the President downplaying the crisis and misleading the public into disorder...it also has a lot to do with the underfunding of their public hospitals and a health insurance system that isn’t fit for purpose. At time of writing 37,000 fatalities have been recorded, but will this underreported loss of life be enough of a wake up call to ensure a change of political direction that is required to make America truely great again? We can only hope.

What is certain is that many politicians and journalists cannot be trusted even when reliable information is the difference between life and death for many thousands of people.