Two weeks after an event that was ignored by the paper when it happened, today’s Wheeling Intelligencer editorial praises local representative David McKinley for his actions.
On Tuesday, June 23, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified before Congress. In that hearing, local congressman David McKinley, tried to blame Dr. Fauci for why masks were not recommended earlier. Fauci explained that there was a shortage and they didn’t want health workers to be deprived of these essential protections. (Despite its absence from local media, the exchange was covered nationwide. I wrote about it here.)
McKinley, has not mentioned the event, and neither have our local “newspapers” until today when the Wheeling Intelligencer’s lead editorial, “McKinley Query Is Illuminating,” praised him for the exchange. Here are the critical paragraphs:
In February, Fauci was among officials who told the public there was no evidence use of face masks helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Now, he is an outspoken proponent of mask use.
McKinley asked the obvious question: Why the change? In reply, Fauci “claimed the initial guidance was motivated by concerns about medical supply shortages — not doubts about mask effectiveness,” the WSJ commentary reported.
In other words, Fauci was speaking in February as a politician, not a scientist. One wonders why Americans should accept other pronouncements from him as being based on science, not politics.
No. Fauci was not speaking as a politician but rather as a concerned medical professional who knew the extent to which the shortage of masks for medical workers was worsening the crisis. What the country did not need at that point was for consumers to be gobbling-up the last of the available masks. Fauci said as much in his reply but this editorial is not about the coronavirus crisis – it’s about defending and praising McKinley.
You can’t handle the truth, Intelligencer
It is too bad that Fauci didn’t explain why there was a mask shortage in his exchange with McKinley – that the Trump administration had done nothing to prepare for a pandemic and then largely downplayed it until March (not that they’ve done a great job since then). Here’s the Washington Post in May on the shortage of supplies for health-care workers:
The dire shortage of personal protective equipment for health-care workers emerged in March as one of the earliest signals of the country’s lack of preparation for the coronavirus pandemic. Nurses and others have said they were forced to put their own health at risk caring for highly infectious patients because they lacked adequate supplies, in particular N95 masks, which filter out 95 percent of airborne particles.
And the mask shortage was just one of the Trump administration’s coronavirus failures, yet our local papers not only refuse to criticize the Trump administration, they now praise its enablers. Here is the editorial’s conclusion:
In terms of having good representation in Washington, McKinley has been all anyone could ask for — certainly an effective advocate for our state.
Clearly, with politics so often masquerading as science, we need all the McKinley-style leadership we can get.
What a leader!
Fauci wasn’t playing politics; he was trying to ensure that there would be enough masks for coronavirus workers. On the other hand, McKinley was clearly playing politics – trying to score points with Trump and his followers. That the Intelligencer supports McKinley over Fauci tells us a lot about this paper and their priorities.
Do you think we will see anything in our local papers about McKinley voting for and then receiving government aid for his own business? (See previous post.) Do you think we will read anything in an Ogden paper that would discourage an area voter from believing that McKinley is running unopposed in the upcoming congressional elections? (Democrat Natalie Cline’s only mentions so far have been that she won the primary.)
Additionally, we are due for another one of those Ogden editorials that tell us how “fair and balanced” they are. (We always get one in August.) Here’s one from last year:
We do not slant our reports to favor anyone. We let the chips fall where they may.
Our responsibility is to our communities and states, to what is good for them. We are obliged to no individual, organization, political party or ideology.