May 7, 2020

"Folks delaying seeking care or, taking the most extreme case, somebody drinking bleach as a result of structural factors just underlines the fact that we have not protected the public from disinformation."

A sentence fragment from a doctor quoted in the NBC News article "'What are we doing this for?': Doctors are fed up with conspiracies ravaging ERs/'I left work and I felt so deflated,' one doctor said about an effort to counter misinformation he saw on Facebook. 'I let it get to me.'"

What did he mean by "structural factors" — in "drinking bleach as a result of structural factors"? NBC attempts to inject coherence into the doctor's statement:
The structural factors in this case include Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, which have struggled to contain the spread of misinformation, some of it coming from positions of authority.
I found this article frustrating, because it's written in this impressionistic style that begins in the middle of things with a fed-up doctor expressing his frustration as he encounters one guy on Facebook ("a man insisting to him that 'no one's dying' and that the coronavirus is 'fake news' drummed up by the news media").

Yes, bad info on Facebook and the blowhards who pass it on are a problem, but when I turn to mainstream media for the news, I want factual information, clearly stated. So if NBC wants to do an article about coronavirus conspiracy theories in social media, I expect it to be easy for me to look at the article and see what the conspiracy theories are and how prevalent they are in social media. Not just what one guy said that annoyed another guy!

Look at that headline. It says we're going to get you anxious and excited about people you're expected to care about who've got their emotions stirred up. Yes, that did get me emotional. The emotion was annoyance that the professional news media does not give me a straight factual story!

It's like they want to get in on the conspiracy theory action by puffing up theories about theories.

79 comments:

rhhardin said...

Conspiring is breathing the same air so can't happen at a distance.

Big Mike said...

Does anybody actually drink bleach? Or is that another modern urban legend pushed by leftist news media to cover for that woman who poisoned her husband with fish tank cleaner?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

misinformation as defined by the ministry of truth.

Mike Sylwester said...

The argument against translating the Bible from Latin into English was that misinformation about the Bible might be spread.

When the Bible was available only in Latin, then only well educated people could read and explain it.

If the Bible became translated into English, then common people also could read and explain it, and so misinformation about the Bible would be spread.

The solution was to burn Bible-translators at the stake.

Whiskeybum said...

The Media of today is basically indistinguishable from Facebook/Twitter

Jim Gust said...

"but when I turn to mainstream media for the news, I want factual information, clearly stated."

You grew up in the last century. That is not how the mainstream media has ever worked in the 21st century.

That's one reason for the popularity of your blog. The MSM is less than worthless.

wendybar said...

The media and Nancy Pelosi have made the drinking bleach remarks, and keep on making them. Trump NEVER said it. The bias is strong in this one.

wendybar said...

THIS is why that is out there....put the blame where it belongs....."“I have ice cream in my freezer. I guess it's better than having Lysol in somebody’s lungs, as he’s suggesting.”@SpeakerPelosi defends her ice cream freezer while hitting @realDonaldTrump on talk of "disinfectant" to fight virus."

robother said...

"...we have not protected the public from disinformation." Random ranting from some individual on the internet = disinformation. Imperial College model (2 million people in the US are gonna die if we don't shut down the economy) = not disinformation.

Sydney said...

When I saw the "Folks delaying seeking care..." I thought it would be about the heart attacks and non-COVID infections that are going without treatment too long because people are avoiding the healthcare system. Would really like to see some statistics on that, as well as some reporting. All of my info on that is anecdotal, but it is widespread enough to make me think that it is more of a problem for most of the country than COVID-19 conspiracy theories and bleach drinking.

Here is a story from our local paper that highlights one case. The man died at home without ever receiving a diagnosis. In this case, he didn't avoid the health system, but the health system avoided him because he wasn't "sick enough" to be in the hospital taking up potentially needed beds, which in our area haven't been needed.

I am not saying that the initial shut down response and ramp up was wrong, but at some point you have to reassess the harm vs. benefit and we are well past that point.



Mark said...

Says the lady whose blog is full of conspiracy theorists.

wendybar said...

PELOSI: "The president is asking people to inject Lysol into their wounds, and Mitch [McConnell] is saying that states should go bankrupt. It's a clear, visible [sign] -- within 24 hours -- of how the Republicans reject science and reject governance."

AZ Bob said...

Drinking bleach is spin. Drinking fish cleaner is murder.

Bob Smith said...

The ABCBSNBCNN goal is political not medical. Trump let them reveal how foolish and incompetent they are election night 2016. They’re still trying to get even.

Crimso said...

I guess Chris Cuomo needs to tell his drooling moron wife to stifle. SCIENCE!

rehajm said...

If those conspiracy theories include Trump told people to drink aquarium cleaner you betcha NBC 'News' wants to help promote conspiracy theories.

John henry said...

Have there been ANY instances of people drinking bleach?

To combat kung flu, I mean. There are cases of accidental and suicidal bleach drinking every year. I assume those have not stopped.

John Henry

John henry said...

I've also been bathing in and drinking bleach daily all my life.

Nothing but good healthy effects.

John Henry

narciso said...

you sow panic saying there is no viable treatment, you pad the numbers due to incentives in the stimulus bill, you terrify people not to go to the hospital,

John henry said...

As for harm from bleach, I wonder how many people have been harmed by Fredo Cuomo's recommendation to bathe in a relatively strong bleach solution?

"if Fredo says a half cup is good to adjust my radiation, a couple gallons will be better. It's Science!"

But we would never hear of this.

John Henry

Lurker21 said...

Coronavirus is getting a "phony war" feeling to it, like everyone is mobilized and in the trenches and nothing is happening. Of course we aren't in the trenches and for those who are - nurses, EMTs, doctors - plenty is happening and it's not good. But the conflict between those who want continued shutdown and those who want to get back to work often ignores the fact that most people have mixed feelings and very good reasons for those mixed feelings.

Mary Beth said...

There were people pushing bleach as a cure for autism. Compared to them, drinking it to kill germs is a step in the right direction.

I can understand why some people are beginning to doubt the reality of COVID-19. I don't know anyone personally who has had it. (I still believe it's a thing and I'm thankful that no one close to me has been ill.) If you are outside of the hotspots, the government restrictions have probably affected your life a lot more than the virus itself has.

Two-eyed Jack said...

From the article: "Dr. Duncan Maru, a physician and epidemiologist in Queens, New York, said he had heard from colleagues that a young patient had come into the emergency room last week with damage to his intestinal tract after having ingested bleach."

Wow. What are the chances that is true vs. the chances that it is something the "colleagues" picked up from Facebook?

The description of the patient as "young" really nails that one down.

elkh1 said...

Questions: Where did the fed-up-doctor get the time to read Facebook "disinformation"?

Did someone drink bleach which sounded very much like someone drank fish tank cleaner? Either someone really did not possess a brain and was up for the Darwin Award or the incident was the fed-up-doctor's "disinformation".

Was it NBC or CBS that conscripted medical staff to create a long line to show the virus testing service in Mass was overwhelmed, and a hospital administrator complained a lack of PPE?

We have not protected the public from disinformation from the fake news media.

Darkisland said...

And a health update:

Yesterday I mentioned that visiting a manufacturing plant they took my temperature at two stations using 2 thermometers. One was about 95 degrees, the other about 84. I wondered if I might be dead.

I am happy to report that today, at the station that got 84 yesterday, they found I had a 106 degree fever and would not let me in. I got them to try a couple more times and they finally got a reading of 98 or so.

I guess low temp zombies are ok but not hot seniors.

This is a highly sophisticated medical device plant. You would think they would use decent thermometers.

John Henry

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Then Facebook needs to ban Chrissy Coumo’s wife for spreading the most disinformation.

RichAndSceptical said...

Hydroxychloroquine

Leland said...

As noted in yesterday's White House press conference, there was a time when the national news media was suggesting that Coronavirus was fake news drummed up to deflect other bad news about the impeached Trump.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Mrs. Cuomo urged people to BATHE IN CLOROX. Later she clarified that she only added half a cup to a full tub. But she was stupid to urge ANYTHING like that. Trump asking questions is not the same as idiots making dangerous SUGGESTIONS.

Kai Akker said...

"It's like they want to get in on the conspiracy theory action by puffing up theories about theories." --AA

Exactly right. I think Inga quoted from this same story overnight in the cafe post. It's more people trying to make speech (in this case) illegal and the MSM source from which you got it is on the same idea. Stop those who question anything; it's an emergency, dagnabit! Silence them now!

Later, if history is any guide, it becomes silence them for a long time. Then, forever.

Gusty Winds said...

Maybe people are delaying seeking medical care because it isn’t available.

Emergency rooms are not swamped with Bleach Drinkers. What a farce.

wendybar said...

A reporter from CNN asked: "You made a comment, I believe on Fox, in which you said President Trump will not allow the coronavirus to come to this country. Given what has happened since then, obviously, would you like to take that back?"
"First let me note," McEnany replied, "I was asked a question on Fox Business about the President's travel restrictions. I noted what was the intent behind those travel restrictions, which is we will not see the coronavirus come here, we will not see terrorism come here, referring to an earlier set of travel restrictions.
"I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask a similar questions. Does Vox want to take back that they proclaimed that the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic? Does the Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to 'get a grip, the flu is bigger than the coronavirus?' Does the Washington Post likewise want to take back that 'our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus?'
"Does The New York Times want to take back that 'fear of the virus may be spreading faster than the virus itself? Does NPR want to take back that 'flu was a much bigger threat than the coronavirus?' And finally once again the Washington Post, would they like to take back that 'the government should not respond aggressively to the coronavirus'? I'll leave you with those questions, and maybe you'll have some answers in a few days."

wendybar said...

Kayleigh McEnany put the media in their places yesterday....It was EPIC!!!

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I’m warming to ms mcenany now!

narciso said...

well that's what zombies would want us to think right?

narciso said...

hospitals have been shutting down as well as doctors dismissed,

Big Mike said...

My wife’s follow-up visit with her cardiologist was done remotely, over the phone (not even FaceTime or Skype). She’s probably okay (I hope!), but given that he didn’t put a stethoscope on her, much less run a routine EKG, “probably” is about all we can hope for. And summed across all the cardiology patients in the US there are going to be people whose issues would be caught in an office visit but won’t be caught due to coronavirus restrictions, and now they’ll die. And, based on the statistics I have read deaths from cardiac events are rising.

People are also dying at a greater rate from cancer right now. Is that because they were forced to postpone seeing their dermatologist and what was once an easily removed precancerous growth is now a case of metastasized melanoma? And what about patients who postpone a “non-essential” office visit to their PCP because of ordinary achy joints from overdoing exercise but it’s actually bone cancer and when it’s found it’s stage 4? That just claimed a friend of mine. His politics (which could be summarized as “all Republicans are racist Nazis”) and mine were quite different, but for all of that he was a mensch and the world is a lesser place for his departure from it. I couldn’t even attend his funeral. If there really is a Hell I hope Ralph Northam spends eternity in its deepest pit.

Ray - SoCal said...

I wonder what the death rate is by state by Hospitalization for CoronaVirus?

This site has some statistics: https://covidusa.net/
Michigan Mortality Rate 9.4%
South Dakota 1%

Reports are South Dakota uses hydroxychloroquine

Perhaps others states are not using it due to disinformation? Or making it hard to use. It needs to be used early, or it's not effective.

Pseudo-Science behind the Assault on Hydroxychloroquine

Or some states are doing these recommendations?
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium urges immediate adoption of early intervention protocol to prevent mortality and reduce the need for ventilators from COVID-19 disease

I Callahan said...

Folks delaying care are doing it because of what the media did, NOT because of Facebook and Twitter conspiracies. The article as a whole is untrue from beginning to end.

I Callahan said...

Same with the "drinking bleach" thing. The media reported that Trump said to inject disinfectants into yourselves (he didn't), and so some dumba$$ drinks poison, and it's Trump's fault?

The media are corrupt to the core. They're the reason for the Karens snitching everyone out. They're the reason for people getting dirty looks for not wearing a mask in the middle of a park with no one nearby. It's not because of conspiracy theories in social media.

It's because of the mainstream media.

Bay Area Guy said...

Is gargling with Hydrogen Peroxide the same as "drinking a disinfectant?"

My dentist swears it's a good thing.........

traditionalguy said...

Trying to analyse Information Warfare as if it is legitimate thought will get you nowhere except so confused you refuse to play. That is why Trump's surprise victory in 2016 came when 10,000,000 deplorables that had long ago given upon voting at all suddenly found their way into polling places. Either that or it was the Russians.

Bob Boyd said...

In the same breath they lie to us and tell us we need to empower them to vet what we can see, hear and read.

Temujin said...

"It's like they want to get in on the conspiracy theory action by puffing up theories about theories."

They spent the last 3.5 years puffing up fictional Russia collusion charges, Michael Flynn charges, Impeachment charges, and on and on in their breathless task to hasten the coup.

To find them puffing up theories about theories is seeing them completely in character. It's what they do. Journalism!

MeatPopscicle1234 said...

Here Ann, let me translate it for you... these stories all boil down to the same underlying theme.... ORANGE MAN BAD!!!

MeatPopscicle1234 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

cba was caught misrepresenting Italian footage in Michigan, putting forth that social influencer nurse as gospel, and making a testing line longer for dramatic purposes,

MeatPopscicle1234 said...

Also, the reason why people are "delaying seeking care" because the media has been screaming at us for the last 2 months that, unless we're on deaths door, DON'T GO TO THE DOCTOR!! and pretty much all other conditions have been labeled of secondary importance...

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

I can’t even buy bleach to drink, or Lysol to inject, or inhale. They flew off store shelves after Trump revealed the miracle cures.

bgates said...

when I turn to mainstream media for the news, I want factual information, clearly stated

When I go to strip clubs for dates, I want emotionally healthy young women, who are well adjusted.

Ray - SoCal said...

What is the chance of 1 person out of 329 Million (US Population) drinking bleach as described in the article?

Sebastian said...

"Folks delaying seeking care or, taking the most extreme case, somebody drinking bleach as a result of structural factors just underlines the fact that we have not protected the public from disinformation."

Which itself is disinformation.

1. The structural factor is just a nameless way to blame Trump: media coverage" structurally" allows him to put out fatal ideas, don't you know.
2. "Somebody drinking bleach" cuz someone heard colleagues talk about some young person: urban myths propagated by some "experts" with MSM collusion.
3. Delaying care: people delay care alright, due to the WuFlu-is-the-plague alarmist propaganda.

narciso said...

it's the steele dossier method, writ large, unverified rumor fed by dnc proxies, made holy writ

LA_Bob said...

"...I found this article frustrating, because it's written in this impressionistic style that begins in the middle of things with a fed-up doctor expressing his frustration..."

Impressionistic, huh? The fed up doctor should take a look at some of your impressionistic sunrise photos over the last couple of days. At a minimum he might feel better.

LA_Bob said...

Big Mike said, "Does anybody actually drink bleach?"

Yes.

Ray - SoCal said...

And Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter are censoring information about using Hydroxychloroquine. To me their censoring is actual disinformation.

n.n said...

Rumor, innuendo, unnamed sources, and JournoLists spinning balls of yarns and spreading social contagion for-profit with a bullhorn through a billion dollar industrial structure.

n.n said...

New insights on the antiviral effects of chloroquine against coronavirus: what to expect for COVID-19?

The multiple molecular mechanisms by which chloroquine can achieve such results remain to be further explored. ... preliminary data indicate that chloroquine interferes with SARS-CoV-2 attempts to acidify the lysosomes and presumably inhibits cathepsins, which require a low pH for optimal cleavage of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein

Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture

HCQ+AZ is a viral disinfectant.

Kevin said...

Doctors are fed up with conspiracies ravaging ERs

Precision of language.

Gospace said...

I'm getting far more factual information from "internet" sources than I am from the mainstream media.

The key is- being able to sift through the information to decide what's real and what's nonsense. And knowing basic things- like- Don't Drink Bleach! Don't consume fish tank cleaner! Basic commons sense, which seems to be sorely lacking in many.

Things I know from browsing the internet-
1. Adequate Vitamin D blood level is essential to staying out of the ICU if you contract this virus. Has you doctor, anyone in the medical establishment, or the mainstream media told you this?
2. Anti-malarial medicines, plus azithromycin, plus zinc, taken early, keep you out of the ICU. But Cuomo and other Democrat Governors say they cannot be given early, or at all in AZ, but must be reserved and given after patients are already in distress. When it's too late.
3. The virus isn't nearly as contagious as advertised.
4. The virus isn't as deadly as advertised.

3 and 4 definitely aren't being touted by the media. It's not the local newspapers where I read that Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take in covid19 positive patients. That information is only available through internet sources. If I relied on the media, I wold think that Democrats were urging President Trump to stop travel from overseas instead of condemning him as a racist for stopping flights from China.

n.n said...

The irony of social distancing from social media to mitigate progress of disinformation. That said, the traditional, the scientific method to improve communication is to increase signal diversity.

Birkel said...

One very predictable thing (Even I saw it coming!) is actually happening. Less health care is available because of government action than should be available. People are dead, dying, and will die, therefore.

For the crime of foreseeing this, I was called names on these boards.

The drinking bleach idea is garbage. Poison control has not seen an upsurge in calls. Gaslighting by the media.

narciso said...

the new York post is a local paper, but even the local tv stations don't focus on this issue, in fact they push the panic button to eleventy,

I'm Not Sure said...

"She’s probably okay (I hope!), but given that he didn’t put a stethoscope on her, much less run a routine EKG, “probably” is about all we can hope for."

I had surgery to replace a heart valve last year after a routine physical where the doctor heard a murmur with his stethoscope. A total surprise to me, as I had no symptoms that would indicate a problem. Fortunately, there has been no damage to my heart but there would have been risk of it had I not had surgery soon after finding what turned out to be a birth defect in the valve. At the time, I couldn't have imagined I'd ever feel as grateful as I do today for the opportunity to have open heart surgery, knowing that had I waited a year to shedule that physical and have it turn into a video exam, the compromised heart valve would not have been found.

I have heard the phrase "the plural of anecdote is not data." Personally, I think that's debatable.

Darrell said...

In conclusion, the Media are a bunch of lying cocksuckers in service to the Democrat/Socialist agenda.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

I find it amazing that a Dr, supposedly well-educated, thinks it is someone's job to "protect" Americans from disinformation. Disinformation is not some toxic substance in which we have warning labels and protective eyewear and clothing and gloves to keep us from accidentally hurting ourselves while using it.

Disinformation is like snow, it piles high and deep and blows around and is countered by behaviors known to be effective in managing snow, a little help from other resources clearing it away, and personal effort and the right tools to do the clearing ourselves. And it eventually goes away. And then it comes back again.

Disinformation is a situation to be managed, not a problem to be solved. The good doctor, by dint of his profession, should be able to tell the difference.

Tomcc said...

I may not have much standing to comment on this since I've never had a Facebook account; but, after a long day in the ER, I can't imagine turning to FB to unwind.
I dislike crackpots as much as the next guy, but I try to read a variety of opinions and apply judgement based on my own observations and experience. The idea that we should only give voice to the "experts" is fundamentally wrong.

Gospace said...

And mainstream media continues to push the idea that everyone wearing masks will help prevent the spread of the virus.

Something I already knew was nonsense.

Kevin said...

I have heard the phrase "the plural of anecdote is not data." Personally, I think that's debatable.

The original quote was "The plural of anecdote IS data."

stlcdr said...

These leftist want twitter, Facebook, etc. to be taken seriously: and are surprised when idiots - individuals - do (single data point). Their answer is to censor and control their form of propaganda.

This is also why nurses and doctors are terrible sources of any kind of information, including, and specifically, medical events or incidents.

stlcdr said...

These leftist want twitter, Facebook, etc. to be taken seriously: and are surprised when idiots - individuals - do (single data point). Their answer is to censor and control their form of propaganda.

This is also why nurses and doctors are terrible sources of any kind of information, including, and specifically, medical events or incidents.

tim in vermont said...

but when I turn to mainstream media for the news, I want factual information, clearly stated.

They have long since sold out their credibility for political influence and left the space of the pull it out of my ass blowhards to fill. When every news piece circumabulates the story until it can find any plausible anti-Trump angle, you turn off the news. This is a hell of time for the needs of the owners of the media companies for getting their cronies into power to override the needs of the public, but here we are.

buwaya said...

Traditionalguy is correct.

This is information warfare, propaganda.

There is no reason to credit anything we are being fed from these sources other than as information as to the intentions, strategies, tactics, and capabilities of these entities.

Get your actual content-information elsewhere, from sources without common interests with your MSM.

And conspiracy theorizing, as a general conceptual frame, is the only realistic approach to these things. You cannot know all that our masters are doing, are deciding, nor are we party to their deliberations, nor do we usually have sufficient information to make useful assumptions about any of these things. We simply aren't in the loop.

I have waited for anyone to try to refute that conceptual frame of conspiracy but no one has yet made an attempt.

I'm Not Sure said...

"The original quote was "The plural of anecdote IS data.""

Cool. I didn't know that- thanks.

Lurker21 said...

The Media of today is basically indistinguishable from Facebook/Twitter

True. You get a very good picture of what the media thinks and wants you to think from their tweets. The actual facts and "news" don't matter anymore and have become beside the point. When you click on a tweet you get a lot of other tweets with the same point of view. It's like an echo chamber. A lot of websites and forums are like that, but was it too much to hope that the people who actually write the news are able to get outside the bubble sometimes?

Rick said...

I want factual information, clearly stated.

Sucker.

It's almost like they don't care what your agenda is, they are serving theirs.

KellyM said...

I was originally scheduled for hip replacement surgery on April 14. Now, with the SIP rules being extended, and guidelines on how many surgeries will be rescheduled once this whole thing is lifted, who knows when it will happen. That means all the pre-op tests have to be done all over again because the results only have a 30 day shelf life. At this point if it happens by Christmas I'll be happy.

I personally know of no one, even tangentially, who has come down with this. Between the overreaction of "experts" like Neil Ferguson and Anthony Fauci, you'll forgive me for looking at this whole thing with a jaundiced eye and suspecting there's another motive.

Big Mike said...

@KellyM, I feel for you. I postponed my knee surgery back in the day to get a key assignment done at work, and wound up much regretting it when it started to feel as though there was a pebble under my kneecap every step I took.

BTW, there are only 13 people hospitalized in my entire county, but the death toll has risen -- all the way up to 1.

ken in tx said...

My most recent medical check-up was done by phone. It's now being done because of the lockdown. I did it in order to renew my standing blood pressure prescriptions. My doctor does it because medicare allows him bill for it. Neither one of those reasons addresses my current physical condition. He takes my word for it that I am OK. But it's true, I am not going to expose myself to any medical facility unless I am already near death.