About an hour after President Donald Trump told reporters they are working on an economic package to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and Fox Business’ Trish Regan offered two different takes on the threat of the outbreak on a day that the stock market crashed.
Next to a graphic that read “coronavirus impeachment scam,” Regan accused Democrats of “blaming him and only him for a virus that originated halfway around the world.”
“This is yet another attempt to impeach the president, and sadly it seems like they care very little for any of the destruction they are leaving in their wake,” she said on her 8 p.m. ET show. “Losses in the stock market, all of this unfortunately just part of the political casualties for them.”
She then accused the “liberal media” of over-hyping the outbreak compared to previous cases. She showed figures on the seasonal flu and the estimate that it will affect 34 million people and caused 20,000 deaths in the United States this season. She then turned to the swine flu, and showed a figure that saw 60.8 million U.S. cases and caused 12,469 deaths in 2009-10, according to the Centers for Disease Control. That is compared to 550 current coronavirus cases so far and 26 deaths.
She accused the “liberal media” of downplaying the swine flu outbreak “because the media didn’t want to insult their precious president, Obama, I suppose.”
“The media’s reaction, with the global town halls, and the media treating this like it is some kind of missing plane story, what is that? Did they do this during Ebola? No. We didn’t see this kind of insanity during SARS. And SARS and Ebola, those viruses were far more deadly. So why the melodrama on such an agitated scale. Why are the markets reacting? I’ll give you two words: Donald Trump.”
Tucker Carlson had a different take — that the threat of the virus was “real” and that the number of cases in the U.S. would be “far higher” than that which is currently reported.
He was critical of the left for saying it was “racist to blame the most racist nation in the world for the spread of this virus,” meaning China, but he added that “the other side has not been especially helpful either” in trying to minimize the threat.
“People you trust, people you probably voted for, have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem.” Carlson said on his 8 p.m. ET show. “‘It’s just partisan politics,’ they say. ‘Calm down. In the end this was just like the flu and people die from that every year. Coronavirus will pass. And when it does, we will feel foolish for worrying about it.’ That’s their position. … They may not know any better. Maybe they’re just not paying attention, or maybe they believe they’re serving some higher cause by shading reality. No one wants to be manipulated by a corrupt media establishment. And it is corrupt. And there’s an election coming up. Best not to say anything that might help the other side. We get it. But they’re wrong. The Chinese coronavirus is a major event. It will affect your life. And by the way, it’s definitely not just the flu.”
He also cited statistics, noting that the flu has a mortality rate of about 1 in 1,000 in a typical year.
“The overall death rate for this virus, by contrast, is as high as 3.4%. That is 34 times deadlier.”