This morning's Wheeling Intelligencer editorial praises the Ohio governor’s efforts and his hope to begin opening Ohio by early May. However, there is nothing in the editorial, or for that matter, the paper’s news section about DeWine efforts to increase testing*. Here is one of yesterday’s AP reports that the Intelligencer could have used:
“Ohio Gov. DeWine calls for federal help with testing materials”
Additionally, DeWine appeared on “Meet the Press.” As NBC reported:
But governors have said they are short of the necessary equipment to conduct widespread testing. Speaking on "Meet the Press," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he "could probably double, maybe even triple testing in Ohio virtually overnight if the FDA would prioritize companies that are putting a slightly different formula together for the extraction reagent kit."
"If anyone at the FDA is watching, this would really take our capacity up literally overnight, and that's what we need to get moving in Ohio," he added.
(This is consistent on DeWine’s part -- last week he said of testing that “there is nothing more important.”)
DeWine, like other governors, frequently calls for more testing and yet nowhere in today’s long editorial is that word mentioned. That’s consistent: since the outbreak, the Intelligencer has completely ignored testing's role in dealing with the virus. For instance, back on April 11, editor Mike Myer told us what was needed to beat the Covid-19 virus: vaccines and treatments. Testing was not mentioned anywhere in his column.
Why would our local papers ignore the testing issue? Maybe there is another reason but my hunch is that widespread testing would probably reveal that the actual number of those who are infected is much larger than our present count. Such figures would not help Trump’s re-election bid and Ogden Newspapers, at least the local variety, is clearly committed to Trump. (Readers, what do you think? Drop me a line or make a comment by clicking on the Disqus box at the bottom.)
This morning’s editorial page carried yet another Town Hall syndicated columnist singing the praises of Sweden's “business as usual” approach to dealing with the coronavirus. Like both of last week’s column that cited the same study by Yitzhak Ben Israel (I wrote about them here and here), Town Hall columnist, Terry Paulson argues we don't need to shelter in place -- Sweden's lax policies graph the same way as more restrictive countries. As I argued last week, the numbers and graphs do not support his thesis. Yesterday, I found this headline at Fox News:
Sweden sees jump in coronavirus deaths with less restrictive guidelines under scrutiny
Sweden is seeing an unsettling rise in coronavirus deaths, as comparatively lax restrictions across the country are coming under scrutiny. . . . Sweden’s figures are considerably more than in the rest of Scandinavia. While its population of over 10 million nearly doubles those of Denmark, Norway and Finland individually, its COVID-19 death toll was up to 17 times higher than those countries, according to reports.
(Interesting coincidence: As I finish writing this post, I can hear Rachael Maddow in the next room discussing conservatives,Sweden and the coronavirus.)
*The Atlantic magazine is doing an excellent job of covering the need for coronavirus testing.
Here's an excellent recent article on the need for testing:
Without More Tests, America Can’t Reopen
4/21 Update -- The Intelligencer now supports testing
It was a surprising morning. From this morning's Wheeling Intelligencer editorial, "Ramp Up Testing In Buckeye State":
But if the nation is to be “reopened,” providing adequate testing materials and facilities will have to be a priority for states such as Ohio.
Yes, it was good to see the Intelligencer support testing, but it was not my only surprise: the editorial page also featured a syndicated columnist who was not arguing for the U.S. to adopt Sweden's relaxed position on the pandemic. In this case, it was Rich Lowry arguing the opposite side:
Without a 'Shut Down,' Many More Would Have Died
Finally, at the top of today's front page is this story:
City of Wheeling Responds to ACLU Concerns Over Homeless Camps
I will know that I have entered some kind of alternate reality if this weekend brings a column by our local editor and self-proclaimed civil libertarian, Mike Myer, in support of the campers and the ACLU position.