Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce wrote Monday that he can’t help but notice Republicans making “mistakes” that seem to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus.
He cited a KOMO-TV report about the town of Wallula, Washington, where there is a Tyson meatpacking plant, and three employees have died so far from “complications related to the virus.”
“All three men worked at Tyson for years. The coronavirus outbreak closed the plant for about two weeks while the Walla Walla County Department of Public Health conducted mass testing of the facility’s 1,400 employees. The plant was allowed to reopen on May 5,” KOMO reported.
The report explained that there hasn’t been enough work done by the company to protect workers during the outbreak. While the town seems to have isolated cases to the meatpacking plant, other towns aren’t so lucky.
Pierce cited another report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that pours cold water on the claim that Georgia has flattened their curve.
“Where does Sunday take place twice a week? And May 2 come before April 26? The state of Georgia, as it provides up-to-date data on the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the report. “In the latest bungling of tracking data for the novel coronavirus, a recently posted bar chart on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website appeared to show good news: new confirmed cases in the counties with the most infections had dropped every single day for the past two weeks. In fact, there was no clear downward trend. The data is still preliminary, and cases have held steady or dropped slightly in the past two weeks. Experts agree that cases in those five counties were flat when Georgia began to reopen late last month.”
It’s the kind of error that seems to be happening as Republicans use the inaccurate data to justify further reopening. Sloppy death counts, COVID-19 contractions and other measures to track the pandemic are being used by citizens to make decisions for themselves and their families.
“It’s just cuckoo,” the AJC quoted state Rep. Scott Holcomb. It was only after he sent a letter questioning the numbers listed and controversy erupted that the state edited their numbers. “I don’t know how anyone can defend this graph as not being misleading. I really don’t.”
“It’s more than a little curious that so many Republican executives seem to be making “mistakes,” all of which tend to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic. This, of course, comes from the top—where, apparently, it is believed that, if you don’t test for something, it doesn’t exist,” Pierce closed.