The average American citizen is confounded with various and wide discrepancies in coronavirus reporting and regs. The White House and its advisors say one thing one day and another the next. Now granted, data changes. But not to this degree and not with this frequency. The media and Congress are worse, lauding any person or theory that will fit their “Trump screwed up” narrative.
The states and the county health departments aren’t much better. With reports of numerous false positives out of several state testing sites and with states such as South Dakota passing low key virus regs and not showing massive public heath issues, it is no wonder most in the public are tired of the noise and suspicious of official numbers. While, of course, the gullible and the easily led swallow every federal and state reg or Chicken Little forecast, no matter how absurdly apocalyptic. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to the process. But there is, and it comes down to the primary thing that matters to the public health bureaucrats, and other bureaucrats, who are running this show. And that is funding.
Funding is what everything in government is about. If you think the divide is primarily ideological, think again. Most people in DC use ideology to a convenient end. If AOC or Nancy Pelosi had grown up in a GOP area and saw that party as a means to power they would make Ted Cruz look like a flaming socialist. And what does funding have to do with power? Without it, you can’t do jack. As NASA used to say, “No bucks. No Buck Rogers.”
Now what if the CDC, or the White House, or your state and county health departments admitted that they have no idea what the real numbers are and, if you factor out the coasts, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions (i.e.- most of America), that both the virus infection and mortality numbers were significantly lower; What do you think would be the reaction?
Well, the White House would lose the reelection campaign and the Trump team would have their hands taken off the federal ATM machine. But the agencies and the departments at every level of government who executed this dog’s breakfast of an operation would be restaffed, if not completely gutted, and they’d lose so much funding in the next fiscal year as to be considered irrelevant.
Sure, they’d survive. But big funding, and thus congressional cachet, is the DC lifeblood. It’s what separates the wonk from the Establishment honcho, the Nats season ticket holder from the Kennedy Center patron, the seat at a bar on U Street from a reserved seat at Charlie Palmer’s. And very few people in DC, or at most levels of government, are going to give up their stone cold lifer perks to fix the data so it makes sense. After all, who is going to hold them accountable?
The press? Uh, no. The public? Frustrated but, as designed, too confused to point fingers towards the proper targets. Thus we will muddle on with no idea how we got here and little idea where we are going. Fun, huh?