On a day of dramatic developments in the growing coronavirus outbreak, with total cases in the United States topping 16,000 and deaths well over 200, popular Fox News host Laura Ingraham demanded that Americans be given a “certain” date when the deadly pandemic will end.
In her Twitter post, Ingraham did not specify how experts, or anyone, would ascertain a date for the end of the crisis.
Some scientists say that pandemics and epidemics do not end until there are too few people remaining to be infected by the virus, according to Live Science. That eventuality could come about through mass deaths of victims, leaving the virus without anywhere left to spread. Alternatively, populations could develop immunity to the virus, either naturally or through the development and widespread use of a vaccine.
According to the Live Science account, the 1918 influenza pandemic finally subsided because “those who survived it had immunity” and the virus could no easily longer find hosts to infect.
In other cases, such as the SARS pandemic in 2002 and 2003, the virus will mutate to the point where it becomes more difficult to transmit to humans, according to Live Science. Environmental conditions, such as warm weather, can sometimes also cause a viral pandemic to subside. But according to Nancy Messonnier of the Centers For Disease Control, “it’s premature to assume that” about the novel coronavirus.
Ingraham calling for a specific date for an end to the pandemic appears consistent with the Fox News coverage of the crisis, at least as outlined by media analyst Eric Alterman. Alterman spoke on the subject when writing for The Nation on Friday.
“Fox’s misinformation is in our face” as concerns its coronavirus reporting, Alterman wrote.
The Nation columnist also claimed that because the median age of Fox News viewers is 67, misinformation about coronavirus — which has proved far deadlier for patients over 60 years old than for younger victims — can actually prove fatal to the network’s own viewers.
Alterman wrote that Fox News hosts, including Ingraham and Sean Hannity, have reported to their viewers that non-Fox media were simply “panic pushers,” and any report that COVID-19 is deadlier than the flu “doesn’t reflect reality.”
Alterman further wrote that Hannity predicted that the pandemic would end in “four to six weeks,” and that Americans could then “get back to life as normal.”
Though Alterman’s column appeared in a liberal publication, longtime conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin earlier said — that thanks to Fox News — there will be “less Democrat deaths” than deaths among Republicans throughout the coronavirus pandemic.