Today the New York Times published the results (and interpretation) of its latest COVID poll. While the interpretation is full of the typical unsubstantiated false claims supporting the approved narrative, which we have come to expect from corporate media, the poll itself is well worth examining.
Examples illustrating my point regarding the approved narrative include the following gems, beginning with the now obligatory blaming of President Trump and unnamed “Republicans” for the mass formation hypnosis which a large fraction of the country has been suffering. In short, this argument seems to be “the other side made us go crazy”. Trump Derangement Syndrome is to blame for the Mass Formation that has occurred, particularly among what the NYT characterizes as “very liberal adults” (hypnosis, psychosis, or choose your favorite term).
Forty-seven percent of very liberal adults said that they believed Covid presented a “great risk” to their own personal health and well-being. That was a significantly larger share than among conservatives, moderates or even liberals who stopped short of calling themselves very liberal. Particularly striking was the level of concern among liberals under age 45, even though the virus’s worst effects have been concentrated among older people.
I understand why attitudes about the virus vary so sharply by ideology. Our country is polarized on most high-profile issues today. In the case of Covid, Donald Trump and some other Republicans exacerbated the divide by making a series of false statements that downplayed the threat or misrepresented the vaccines.”
My interpretation? Reality testing skills are objectively more intact in the groups which the NYT characterizes as “conservatives, moderates or even liberals who stopped short of calling themselves very liberal”. Any statements ascribing causation to this observation are purely unsubstantiated political spin. Let’s stick to the facts for now, OK? You can turn to the NYT if you wish to watch as they carry on with their well entrenched current practices of “advocacy journalism” involving the active blending of fact-based reporting and political opinion. Which some would call propaganda. At least the NYT demonstrates some self awareness with the following cited quote:
As one progressive activist tweeted last year, “The inconvenience of having to wear a mask is more than worth it to have people not think I’m a conservative.”
Aha! I suggest that comment would be accurately described as an example of tribalism. And provides a prime example of “virtue signaling”.
But getting back to the data-
The NYT describes the study as follows:
Based on surveys of 2,210 U.S. adults in March 2022 and 2,212 adults in August 2022.
Source: Morning Consult
This morning, we’re releasing the results of our latest Covid poll (which, like the earlier ones, was conducted by Morning Consult). This time, one of the central findings is how much attitudes have changed since the spring. Americans are less worried about the virus today — and driving that decline is the receding level of anxiety among the very liberal, including many younger adults.
The share of the very liberal who say the virus presents a great risk to their own personal health has fallen to 34 percent. The 13-point drop since March was larger than the drop among any of the six other ideological self-identifications in the poll:
My interpretation is that those who self identify as “Very Liberal” are now finally becoming more aligned with the true reality of COVID-19 disease risk.
The NYT interpretation is as follows:
A growing number of very liberal Americans have decided that it’s time to treat Covid as an unpleasant but manageable part of life, much as many other Americans — as well as people in other countries — decided months ago.
In other words, the rest of the world figured this out months ago. “Very Liberal” Americans are just a bit slow in this regard. I will leave that to you to draw your own conclusions in light of all that you have learned regarding the psychological, propaganda, information control and political forces at work here.
The NYT goes on to present these unsubstantiated doozies, which made me throw up in my mouth just a little bit. Notice the sleight of hand regarding the protection afforded by the genetic inoculations?
What explains the change? In part, it’s probably a reflection of changing reality. Drugs like Paxlovid and Evusheld are now widely available, reducing the risks for vulnerable people.
But psychology seems to play a role too. After all, many aspects of the pandemic have not changed in the past six months. Both then and now, vaccines provided excellent protection against severe illness; the risks of hospitalization for children and most adults under 50 were minuscule; and the vaccines reduced the chances of long Covid.
The highlighted statements are clearly inconsistent with current data.
An alternative hypothesis is that “Very Liberal” respondents are finally confronting the reality that the highly inoculated (I refuse to call these “vaccines” at this point) are clearly not being protected from infection, replication and spread, and may be starting to recognize that data from all over the world (and in our own hospitals) demonstrate that it is the highly inoculated who make up the majority of the hospitalized COVID cases, as well as the vast majority of the deaths attributed to the disease over the last six months. Details, details.
And then there is school policy.
According to the NYT:
One example of changing liberal attitudes is related to in-person school. When asked about the best policy for K-12 education, a growing number of liberals support in-person school only, rather than hybrid or remote learning. The partisan gap on this question has narrowed since early this year:
Once again, I think that the most straightforward explanation of these data are that those who self-identify as “conservative” appear to have had much better reality testing, and their opinions concerning in-school education for K-12 have remained relatively consistent. Those self-identifying as “moderate” appear to be reverting to the position which “conservative” responders have held for more than a year.
Moving on to other issues.
Conservatives are much less likely to be vaccinated or boosted, which means that many are voluntarily exposing themselves to Covid risk. And very liberal Americans remain more worried about the virus than almost any other demographic group, including the elderly.
Oh please. Relieve my gastro-esophageal reflux pain. Put me out of my misery. I need more TUMS. Virtually the entire country has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 at this point. Apparently the NYT missed the CDC memo about no difference between vaccinated and naturally immune.
That pattern does not seem consistent with scientific reality, given that the very liberal are younger than any other ideological group and that Covid’s effects are far worse for older people. But the pattern may help explain why young people in our poll reported wearing masks slightly more often than older people — and why the few schools and workplaces that still have mask mandates tend to be in liberal enclaves.
In other words, liberal enclaves are still suffering from impaired reality testing. Which I speculate is probably due to having been hypnotized by reading the NYT and watching the CNN fearporn channel.
So, 28% of Americans are either virtue signaling, demonstrating their tribal affiliation, or have not been exposed by their favorite media channels to the clear truth that the common masks do not protect against a very small respiratory virus which infects via nose, mouth and eyes?
Actually, when you look deeper at these data, they are outdated. The data are a combination of data from different NYT polling performed during March 2022 and August 2022. I travel a lot, and the only place I have seen about 1/4 of the population wearing masks has been in San Francisco/San Jose and La Guardia Airport in NYC, where masks are currently “required” (although the vast majority completely disregard the “requirement”).
I think that the objective response to and interpretation of these data is to recognize what a horrible job the NYT and other “very liberal” corporate media have done to educate their readership on the scientifically proven realities of the effect of mask usage.
I ask that we all strive to forgive the “moderate to very liberal” public, for they know not how badly they have been mislead. So long as they stop trying to force their misinterpretation of reality on the rest of us.
Furthermore, I strongly suggest that these data bins, “Very Liberal” through “Very Conservative” are outdated anachronisms, belonging to the 20th century. The current political axis runs more from “collectivist/globalist” to “individualist/nationalist”. The NYT needs to get with the program or be left hopelessly behind.
But let’s also please stop blaming Trump, “conservatives”, or “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. The NYT needs only to look into the mirror to understand what is really going on here.
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These liberals are a paradox. They think they're smarter than everybody else, b/c they read high-brow publications like NYT and WaPo. The reality is, they're dumber than everybody else, b/c they read high-brow publications like NYT and WaPo, and little else.
They really need to get out more.
This is a fabulous article that should be distributed widely. Well done Dr Malone. I suggest most people share this as much as possible.