July 31, 2021

"The White House is frustrated with what it views as alarmist, and in some instances flat-out misleading, news coverage about the Delta variant...."

"In some instances, poorly framed headlines and cable news chyrons wrongly suggested that vaccinated Americans are just as likely to spread the disease as unvaccinated Americans. But that isn't quite the case. Vaccinated Americans still have a far lower chance of becoming infected with the coronavirus and, thus, they are responsible for far less spread of the disease. 'The media's coverage doesn't match the moment,' one of the Biden officials told me. 'It has been hyperbolic and frankly irresponsible in a way that hardens vaccine hesitancy. The biggest problem we have is unvaccinated people getting and spreading the virus.'"

From "White House blasts Covid coverage" by Oliver Darcy (CNN).

The Biden Administration gets such sympathetic coverage, but they're still unhappy with the news media. That's how bad the new media are. The coverage of the new CDC data really is awful. 


Ann Althouse said...

Alex writes:

"The media coverage of the CDC and COVID is awful, but it's only compounding the awfulness of the CDC, Fauci, and this White House in their handling of the COVID crisis. Between flip-flops on masking, never-ending "two-week" lockdowns, and the treatment of the vaccine ("We don't trust Trump's vaccine!"/"Everyone needs to get the vaccine!") this administration has come across as arrogant, unprepared, opportunistic, and incompetent. Attacking the media is the administration's way of lashing out because they are unable to gain control of the situation. It turns out that people aren't lining up to get the shot because their bureaucratic overlords instruct them to do so. Teachers unions continue to play games with school reopenings. And now we are learning that COVID-infected illegals are being shipped secretly around the country.

"And we're only six months in."

Ann Althouse said...

Joseph writes:

""That's how bad the new media are. The coverage of the new CDC data really is awful."

"This is the opposite of the defense it may sound like: I really don't think they mean to be this bad. The scarier thought to me is that they are actually trying to cover this story well, and believe they are succeeding.

"I was thinking of indulging in some Ben Rhodes snark about how much reporters know, and adding that the NYT fired their last English major who's actually very good at thinking critically about scientific data and saying "Hey, wait a minute" to experts. But that's unfair to to Apoorva Mandavilli, who I assume did not come up with this summary of her article for NYT Twitter:

""Breaking News: The Delta variant [...] may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated." [The unvaccinated may be spread? Out, damn pedant!]

"If I click to the article, this sub-headline catches my eye:

""Infections in vaccinated Americans are rare, compared with those in unvaccinated people, the document said. But when they occur, vaccinated people may spread the virus just as easily."

"Now that's precisely worded, and as far as I know correct. It's also a very different statement than the tweet, or than the likeliest reading of the tweet."

Ann Althouse said...

Amadeus 48 writes:

"While I agree that the press coverage of the CDC recommendations and the data behind them is terrible, we do have a significant element of the old adage, “You can’t buff a turd.” The CDC appears to have panicked.

"The CDC has reacted principally to a hotspot breakout of Covid in Provincetown, MA among a hard-partying group of vacationers who were driven indoors by bad weather during Independence Day week. Although there were many fully vaccinated people who tested positive, a total of five were hospitalized and no one died. Andrew Sullivan has the details on what it was like in Provincetown that week. In fact, the whole picture shows how robust the vaccines are at preventing serious disease and easing stress on the hospital system.

"Apparently there is also data from Dane County, WI, that shows that if you get Covid symptoms after you have been vaccinated, you have a lot of virus, which I would think should be no surprise. The question should be, how likely are you to have a lot of virus after you have been vaccinated.

"It is hard to see any of this as evidence that 2 year-olds should mask up in public."

Ann Althouse said...

Mike of Snoqualmie writes:

""Oh, the irony! The Biden White House learns that the Lie-Stream Media is full of self-absorbed prima donnas who don’t care about accuracy in reporting. All they care about is ratings and scaring the hell out of their viewers. The Lie-Stream Media are truly the enemy of the people. They’ve been peddling misinformation and fear since the start of the pandemic. It’s never been “We look forward to reporting on developments as they become available.” It’s been “Trump is lying. He’ll kill us all. These treatments are deadly and they don’t work.” Now, Team Biden is getting the same treatment!"

Ann Althouse said...

Barbara B. writes:

Trying to glean scientifically-based information has been nearly impossible since day one. Social engineering appears to have been--and is--the higher purpose no matter which president we're talking about.

It was a long time ago, but through the fog of time, I remember the AIDS era as a time of thoughtful information provided by the scientific community, usually not as quickly as we would have liked, but without spin.

Okay, okay. It's not the same. I was much younger then and not a member of the communities that were primarily affected. (Though a woman died who delivered her baby within two weeks of me at the same hospital. Only she needed a transfusion and I didn't.)

We could talk about AIDS all day. Or polio.

Just don't treat me like an idiot.