Adam Creighton, the supposed economics editor of Murdoch’s The Australian, pontificated about the coronavirus pandemic, in a tweet, in which he said:
“This deliberate economic and social catastrophe is unnecessary. It will tear us apart for a generation. 18 dead. Why not quarantine the elderly, stop travel, keep people in work and avoid economic collapse?”
Like so many other right-wing nut jobs (RWNJs), he seems to think that the only qualification needed to pontificate on the pandemic is his ignorance of it. I am not an epidemiologist and am therefore ignorant too, but at least I read some of the scientific literature on any topic I write about, including COVID-19, to try to obtain at least some familiarity with it. It seems that reading the scientific literature is completely beyond all RWNJs, as they have clearly demonstrated by their idiotic utterances on the current coronavirus pandemic2,3, climate change4,5,6,7,8, or even the weather9. The incapability seems endemic to them. Why that is, I don’t know, but I suspect it has several causes: they do not understand science; they are narcissistic and cannot believe that others’ knowledge is more important than their ignorance; they need to feel they have some sort of control over their worldview, and will brook no upset to it. RWNJs also look upon modern science as a threat to the vested interests who want to continue damaging the environment or people’s health to make money. They are also anti-science in general because an informed populace is a threat to political and economic conservatives who rely on people voting against their own interests10.
Creighton seems unable to understand the concept of a pandemic, nor does he understand that this disease does not just kill old people. While the death rate in people over 80 is about 15%, the death rate of people between the ages of 10 and 39 is 0.2%11, and given that there are now over 37,000 deaths reported world-wide12, then about 74 deaths are of people under 39. That may not sound like many when spread across the world, but we are only in the beginning of this pandemic. In addition, this is not the only problem people of this age may have to cope with. In up to 25% of people hospitalised who do recover, there is significant lung damage, with a 20-30% decrease in lung function13. This applies to people who have no underlying risk factors (advanced age, chronic illnesses, etc.)14, and it may be irreversible (i.e. permanent)15.
People like Creighton, Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Rowan Dean and associated RWNJs all have one thing in common. They work for Rupert Murdoch. They perhaps should be careful, as Murdoch’s Faux News in the US is getting nervous because of its misleading treatment of the coronavirus story. They initially went with a story that it was all a Democrat hoax to hurt the Mango Mussolini, and now they are concerned that this lie has left them open to a class action by people who have suffered from the virus themselves or from those who have lost loved ones16,17.
These ignorant RWNJs should stick to what they know, which is very little. Opinions without knowledge are worthless, but when they contradict the knowledge we have, they are dangerous, or criminal.