POLITICIZING CORONA VIRUS
Photo: Toni Ervianto (Writer)
By : Toni Ervianto
The latest information related to spreading Coronavirus or known as Covid 19 today from open sources is more than 272,000 people have contracted the virus and at least 11,310 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Italy ordered its military to enforce lockdowns as 627 people died in 24 hours. There are 18,170 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, and 241 deaths, according to CNN Health’s tally.
More than 4,000 people have died from the disease in Italy, the country’s civil protection agency said Friday — more than any other nation — and nearly 6,000 new infections were confirmed in the past day, bringing the total to more than 47,000 cases.
Meantime, the worst impacts of Covid 19 has taken by the government and business center around the world. For example, in Bridgewater’s model, companies will have a shortfall of $2 trillion “concentrated in energy and travel and leisure, and about equally divided between large and small companies.” The firm projects a 6% decline in US GDP for 2020, with the biggest hit during the second quarter. The firm also estimates a decline of $12 trillion for global businesses in 2020.
Several business sectors such as traveling, hotel, restaurant, tourism, “midnight entertainment”, airport, seaport, mall, modern and traditional market, retail industry, bank and others are reported hit by Covid19 around the world.
Specifically, the relationship among the US and Chinese are worsing during Covid19 spreading. Indeed previously, The US President, Donald Trump has said Coronavirus or Covid 19 called as “Chinese’s viruses”.
The relationship between the United States and China continues to deteriorate as fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19) fundamentally alters geopolitics, economics, and society writ large.
Chinese diplomats have been spreading conspiracy theories, false rumors, and deliberate disinformation that the United States was somehow responsible for the initial spread of the virus.
China’s propaganda machine has been working tirelessly to gain control of the narrative, deflecting any blame for the virus while attempting to portray the country as heroic in its quest to assist other struggling nations.
China is attempting to frame its response to COVID-19 as a triumph for its authoritarian model of governance, in contrast to Western democracies’ failures to stem the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile in the US political situations, politicizing related to Covid19 has always done simultaneously. It is indicated from two polls released this week show the troubling effects that weeks of dismissive and conspiratorial coverage of the novel coronavirus from Fox News and other right-wing media outlets and personalities had on the American public.
Since President Donald Trump adopted a more somber approach toward combatting the virus, addressing the nation from the Oval Office and declaring a national emergency, top hosts on Fox News and in conservative media have taken the pandemic significantly more seriously.
But prior to that, right-wing media spent weeks downplaying concerns about the virus.
These right-wing personalities — such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and talk radio host Rush Limbaugh — told their audiences that news coverage of the virus was hysterical and aimed at hurting Trump politically.
Polls from both Gallup and Pew Research revealed that Republicans — who are largely distrustful of mainstream news organizations and primarily turn to Fox News and other right-wing sources for information on current events — were much less likely to take the risks of the coronavirus as seriously as their Democratic counterparts.
Gallup’s poll, conducted between March 3 and 13, found that only 42% of Republicans were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the virus. In comparison, 73% of Democrats expressed that level of concern.
Pew Research, which conducted its survey from March 10 to 16, found that 83% of Republicans who consumed only a diet of outlets with right-leaning audiences believed the news media had exaggerated the risks of the virus. That number was 30% higher than Democrats who consumed only outlets with left-leaning audiences.
More specifically, Pew Research found that 79% of people who said they turned to Fox News for their news believed the media had exaggerated the risks of the virus.
In general, 59% of Republicans surveyed by Pew Research believed the media had covered the outbreak either “very well” or “somewhat well.” That was 21% lower than those on the other side of the political spectrum, with 80% of Democrats believing the media had covered the virus well.
Sixty three percent of Fox News viewers surveyed by Pew Research also said they believed the virus posed a minor threat to the health of the country, compared with 31% of MSNBC viewers and 37% of CNN viewers. Republicans were more likely to believe conspiracy theories related to the virus. According to Pew Research, 37% of Republicans or those who leaned toward the GOP responded that they believed the virus was created in a lab, compared to 21% of Democrats or those who leaned Democratic.
Several political analys and pundits have predicted that regarding the next President election in the US which is slated on November 4th this year, every domestic and international “deadly cases” will be politicized even by Trump and his contender. Actually, this conditions is making the steps of Coronavirus overcome will disturb and until now we can not predict when these “global terror” will end.
We must appreciate for whoever which is seriously struggling to tacke those viruses. Both government sector and private sectors around the world must make collaboration, coordination and beneficial synergic steps to end these pandemic. We can follow how which had done by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems. They are collaborating to produce respiratory care products, including ventilators, to fight Covid-19.
In Indonesia, whatever government had taken, all of national dan local stakeholders must be followed and obeyed, because the government effort and policies to tackle these pandemic viruses is aimed to protect human security in Indonesia. Because of that, we must appreciate when several labour organisations in Indonesia have been cancelled their strikes plan against Omnibus law. The law enforcement apparatus in Indonesia must strichtly do all of government regulation which is not give permission for whoever who will make rallies or crowd activities. Hopefully.
*) The writer had earned his master at the University of Indonesia (UI)
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