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On this Thanksgiving Day I’m thankful to awaken to news that the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, has at least temporarily prohibited New York State from imposing, in the name of combatting Covid-19, certain restrictions on religious services.

“Why Is All COVID-19 News Bad News?” Bruce Sacerdote, Ranjan Sehgal & Molly Cook document the enormous negative bias, in the U.S., of Covid coverage. (I applaud my colleague Tyler Cowen for sharing a link to this paper on his and Alex Tabarrok’s blog, which is where I discovered it.) Here’s the paper’s abstract:

We analyze the tone of COVID-19 related English-language news articles written since January 1, 2020. Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals. The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials. Media negativity is unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience. U.S. major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general. Stories of increasing COVID-19 cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases by a factor of 5.5 even during periods when new cases are declining. Among U.S. major media outlets, stories discussing President Donald Trump and hydroxychloroquine are more numerous than all stories combined that cover companies and individual researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines.

Another victim of Covid Derangement Syndrome is Santa – and, of course, countless children.

Christian Britschgi reports on yet another politician-tyrant-hypocrite, this time Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. A slice:

Hancock’s travels put him in the company of other politicians who’ve skirted the very pandemic precautions they have urged, and often required, ordinary people and businesses to comply with.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser traveled to Delaware to attend a celebration of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, despite issuing health orders requiring D.C. residents to travel only for essential business, and to quarantine for 14 days when returning from high-risk states (which would include Delaware.)

Bowser has defended her Delaware trip by arguing that it involved government business and therefore counted as essential travel.

Perhaps the worst COVID-19 hypocrite is California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who attended a birthday party at a swanky Napa Valley restaurant in violation of his own COVID-19 limits on gatherings. Rising case numbers in California are prompting the closure of indoor dining in most of the state under the four-tiered reopening schedule crafted by Newsom and state public health officials.

This kind of hypocrisy on the part of politicians isn’t just infuriating. It also does damage to public health, as Reason‘s Jacob Sullum argued last week.

“Arbitrary, ill-conceived COVID-19 restrictions are bound to provoke resistance and resentment, compounding the fatigue that undermines compliance with more sensible safeguards,” wrote Sullum in a column about Newsom’s night out. “That problem can only be magnified when the people telling us what to do follow a different set of rules.”

I’m always honored to be a guest on Dan Proft’s show. The discussion, unsurprisingly, was about Covid and the deranged response to it.