Australia made it to the New York Times: Did the Coronavirus Kill Ideology in Australia?. The sub-head: “How a government both sectarian and divisive learned (briefly) to become inclusive”. It’s by Richard Flanagan, about how the federal government melded with the state governments to find a unified approach, which is their version of saying what I think, that by doing everything sought by Daniel Andrews, we ended up with a single agreed approach. I’ll just highlight this:
Could it be that Australia’s record somehow embarrasses commentators of both the left and the right? The left, because the Australian government is in every other respect Trumpian in its male-led, climate-denying, nationalist tub-thumping and authoritarian sentiments; the right because a conservative government has succeeded only by very publicly abandoning ideology. And if ideology, and the culture wars, are nothing when everything is at stake, the inevitable question arises: Did they ever mean anything at all?
Which is followed by this:
Now, with the beginning of a return to normalcy, the strange miracle of this Australian consensus already is starting to vanish, with old habits renascent.
That is, as the pressure to end the lockdown grows, Daniel Andrews and others of his kind, are resisting all efforts to return to a market-based economic structure, rather than the public-sector driven quasi-command-economy of the moment. And this is even more revealing of the mentality of the author as well as the NYT:
Presented with growing doubts about democracy’s ability to deal with the pandemic on the one hand, and the seeming ability of a totalitarian China to address the crisis on the other, Australia unexpectedly, if only briefly, returned to its best traditions of communality and fairness.
So there we are, a paragon of pandemic virtue at the NYT. And then there was also this I found mentioned, which perhaps everyone already knows: Trump says he takes hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection even though it’s an unproven treatment.
“I happen to be taking it,” Trump said during a roundtable event at the White House. “A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers. Before you catch it. The front-line workers, many, many are taking it.”
He added: “I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine. Right now, yeah. Couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Cause I think it’s good, I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”
Naturally the entire story is about how reckless the President has been because of its side-effects and because it has not been approved by any medical experts. Contrast their attitude with this: Hydroxychloroquine.
If you’ve watched the news lately, you might be under the impression that a medicine President Trump touted as a possible game changer against coronavirus — has been debunked and discredited. Two divergent views of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, have emerged: the negative one widely reported in the press and another side you’ve probably heard less about. Never has a discussion about choices of medicine been so laced with political overtones. Today, how politics, money and medicine intersect with coronavirus.
Here’s some of the positive story.
Dr. O’Neill is now leading a study to find out if hydroxychloroquine can serve a critical role as a medicine to prevent coronavirus. But he says the bad press is making it difficult.
Dr. O’Neill: Now people are scared to use the drug without any scientifically valid concern. We’ve talked with our colleagues at the University of Minnesota who are doing a similar study, and at the University of Washington. We’ve treated 400 patients and haven’t seen a single adverse event. And what’s happening is because of this fake news and fake science, the true scientific efforts are being harmed because people now are so worried that they don’t want to enroll in the trials.
The one certainty in the media is that if Donald Trump is for it, they are against it, truth and evidence be damned.