Soon, the idea was everywhere on the conservative side of the internet. The CDC was openly admitting that the number of dead from coronavirus was FAR less than the 67,000+ deaths commonly being reported by the media.
For many conservatives, the story was too good to resist, since it combined their belief that the government had overreacted to the threat posed by the coronavirus with their distaste for and distrust of the media.
“Provisional death counts are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics as of May 4, 2020. Death counts are delayed and may differ from other published sources (see Technical Notes). Counts will be updated periodically.”
So, the numbers that Young and others were peddling as evidence of some sort of revelation about the “real” death count were, in fact, numbers that the CDC acknowledges are weeks behind the actual mortality number.
Jonathan Swift may have died in 1745, but his quote that “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes” rings truer today — thanks to the internet’s power to multiply falsehoods in seconds — than it ever did back in the 18th century.
The Point: Coronavirus has laid plain just how big a mis- and dis-information problem we have in the United States. The stripping of context from facts in order to weaponize them to score partisan points is a war in its own right, and all of us are potential victims.