April 22, 2020

No, Wendy Bell Is NOT An Epidemiologist (But Yet, She Offers Us Her "Expertise')

Continuing my deep dive into last Thursday's monologue. The first part can be found here.

It's difficult to follow her argument in this second section. What I do see, however, are some troublesome manipulations of numbers. Believing these manipulations to be could lead to any number of her listeners becoming very, very sick. Or worse.

Let's go to the money shot. Cut to the chase. Get to the brass tacks. About 16 minutes in, Wendy Bell says (as she's pointing to the number of seasonal flu deaths and projected Covid-19 deaths) this:
This political virus which looks a lot like seasonal flu, when you look at the data.
I should say upfront that her use of the term "virus" at the beginning of the sentence is a metaphor. That she's also using the same word ("virus") to talk about a real, non-metaphorical virus is but her smallest sin here. Her point is that governmental reaction to Covid-19 is a sort of "political virus" that is in her words "more infectious than the coronavirus. Period."

(And yes, she did include the word "period" at the end of that sentence.)

The full passage (this is about 10 minutes in):
Because this is a pandemic, ladies and gentlemen, and to your safety is all that matters - or that's the line that's being spread, OK? That's the "rhetoric" that's the "logic" and that, on the left, is more infectious than the Coronavirus. Period.
A few things before we proceed. You might not be able to tell by the above text but Wendy Bell is mocking the idea that there's a pandemic in the first place. She even uses ironic "air quotes" while saying the words  "rhetoric" and "logic." That there's a pandemic is a rhetorical line that's being spread, she says, for political gain.

This is her "political virus" ladies and gentlemen. The political reaction to the Coronavirus is an over-reaction that's being used to spread a liberal political agenda. That's her story. Period.

Oh, and this overreaction is being used to dismantle Trump's many successes. It's a lefty-plot! It's Rahm Emanuel's dictum of "never letting a crisis go to waste"! It's coming, like they tried with the failed impeachment, to dismantle our great president!!!

How does she presenting this to us? She tries to make the case that while yes, the Coronavirus is bad, but so is the seasonal flu. "And boy-oh-boy are they similar," she says.

In a discussion of the similarities between the seasonal flu and the Coronavirus, she talks symptoms:
Very similar. Fever, coughs, fatigue, maybe pneumonia. Trouble breathing.
And then treatment:
No treatment, right? All we can do is try to address your fever, try to help you with your cough and aches, but you gotta ride this out.

This is where it gets tricky. People with certain underlying issues fare poorly with the flu and Coronavirus.
See? Look how similar it is to the seasonal flu! You just gotta ride it out, Wendy Bell says.

Then she lists some differences. Vaccine for some strains of the flu. None for Covid-19. Some treatments for the seasonal flu. None for Covid-19 (apart from "riding it out," I suppose.).

Then she gets to the numbers. 2 million Coronavirus sufferers. 1 billion ("billion with a 'b'," she reminds.) flu sufferers.

This is where we get to the danger in what Wendy Bell poses. The seasonal flu kills upwards of 61,000 per year, she says. Covid-19 is projected to kill about the same.

So similar. And yet, that's not the case at all, Wendy. Either you know that and you're not telling the truth or you think you are.

Which is worse? Your ignorance or your dishonesty?

With 44,000 Americans dead, the stakes could not be higher.

Too bad the otherwise conservative Wendy Bell didn't bother to read this piece in The National Review.

First sentence:
Although there is still much we don’t know about the coronavirus, we know enough to say that it is far more dangerous and deadly than the flu.
A paragraph or so further down:
Not only does the new coronavirus have the potential to infect many more people than the seasonal flu does, it appears to kill a greater percentage of those infected. You don’t need to rely on various statistical models to come to that conclusion. You just have to look at the reality of what has already happened around the world and in our own country.
Again, this is The National Review.

Then there's the artwork. The National Review article references another piece in The New Atlantis.

The New Atlantis includes this chart. Wendy, please take a look at that nearly vertical red line just to the left of center:

THAT'S COVID-19, Wendy.

The problem with Wendy, as I've said before, is that there are people in her audience that will believe the crap she's spewing.

Imagine someone listening to her program who doesn't have the time to research the virus. That person might think that what Bell is saying is solid, right?

The left is using the coronavirus to undermine Donald Trump. Wendy said so!
The coronavirus, while bad, is very similar to the seasonal flu. Wendy said so!!
The left is using the crisis to take change the dynamic of America! WENDY SAID SO!

Now imagine how often that takes place in Wendy Bell's audience. How many of them will get sick because she's convinced them that those three things are true?

How many will die?

Shame on KDKA Radio for giving her that platform.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

"How many will die?"
"I have unlimited love for humanity and I believe together we can end death for good."

How many people have to die from Wuhanflu before you give up your rights?
All of them.

Priceless prediction from Dayvoe
"Applications for FISA warrants, [FBI Director James] Comey said, are often thicker than his wrists, and that thickness represents all the work Justice Department attorneys and FBI agents have to do to convince a judge that such surveillance is appropriate in an investigation. I hardly think a "politically motivated" and "unjustified" FISA warrant application from the Obama DOJ is going to make it past all those levels of guv'ment bureaucracy - especially not all those FISA judges appointed by the conservative Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts."

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

[FBI Director James] Comey
"He was right, I was wrong,"..."I was overconfident, as director, in our procedures. And it's important that a leader be accountable and transparent. If I were still director, I'd be saying the same thing that [FBI Director Christopher Wray] is saying, which is that we are going to get to the bottom of this, because the most important question is, is it systemic? Are there problems in other cases?"

Ol' Froth said...

Its very fitting that you use a gumby as your avatar. You're a loony.

Zeus0209 said...

"Hush you doctors, hush reporters, hush you science nerds. Look my ratings are through the roof when I just say happy words!" - The liar tweets tonight.

Search it for your listening pleasure - funny and apropos.

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

"The liar tweets tonight."
Z, What are the worst Trump lies that will convince most people to vote for the Democrats for the upcoming elections?

Democrats want to repeal the 2nd amendment and take your guns?

Zeus0209 said...

Thanks for helping me see the light. Maybe one day you'll see the wool that's been pulled over your own eyes.

I've heard of a book on conspiracy theories. It has two pages. Page 1 reads "You're a fu<#1n@ idiot." Page 2 "The end."