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Hmmm…. I Wonder Why People Are Losing Confidence in the Media

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:


If you’re looking for reasons why so many people today distrust the legacy media, look no further than yesterday’s report, by Dan Diamond, headlined “Covid is still a leading cause of death as the virus recedes.”

Here, apparently, is important news that’s both surprising and sobering.

Yet when one clicks on the link to the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker site that Mr. Diamond uses to justify his report that covid remains a leading cause of death, one discovers that the data stop on October 31st, 2022. That’s nearly six months ago – a long stretch in covid-time.

Even more damningly, the same Health System Tracker page features this tidbit:

So far in 2022 in the U.S., COVID-19 is the number 3 cause of death (through September). However, about half of COVID-19 deaths in 2022 thus far occurred in January and February of the year.

So not only do the data used by Mr. Diamond as his basis for reporting that covid remains in April 2023 a leading cause of death end in October 2022, the very site that he relies upon for these data explicitly notes that a disproportionately large number of 2022’s covid deaths occurred in January and February of that year – evidence that throughout 2022 covid’s lethality waned. This trend surely continued into 2023.

In short, Mr. Diamond’s very own data source supports neither his insistence that covid remains a leading cause of death, nor his suggestion that Americans today are foolish to have stopped cowering in fear of the virus.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030