A focus on evolving COVID-19 guidelines, confusion about hospitalization data and feelings of "COVID fatigue" are themes across the spectrum as the U.S. approaches its third year with the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took heat from all sides over new isolation guidance for COVID-positive people, and important nuance about official counts of COVID-19 hospitalizations also sparked debate and criticism. Hospitalizations are rising, but in many cases may include people who are asymptomatic or were hospitalized for non-COVID reasons. The CDC's director said recently that at some hospitals, up to 40% of "COVID-19 patients" weren't hospitalized because of the virus, but rather tested positive when hospitalized for separate reasons.
It's not just the general public that's confused or misinformed. In Supreme Court hearings about vaccine mandates, Justice Sonia Sotomayor drastically overstated the number of kids hospitalized due to COVID-19. On CNN (Left bias) host Jake Tapper criticized the CDC's "misleading" hospitalization data.
Recent public opinion polls suggest Americans are worn out by the pandemic and care far more about inflation than COVID-19, regardless of political ideology. Across the spectrum, sources are reporting on how people are exhausted by pandemic protocols and how many vaccinated people consider the health emergency to be over. And now, many prominent Democratic leaders are joining Republicans in opposing more public health lockdowns. New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have recently broken records, but some experts predict that the surge will end soon.
Some left-rated outlets continue to focus more on unvaccinated people and concerns that vague federal guidance will prolong the pandemic and harm public safety. Right-rated sources concentrate more on media bias, how hospitalizations are being overcounted, and how COVID-positive people who die with other underlying health conditions may still be counted as a COVID-caused death regardless.
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Snippets from the Left
"Across the United States, at least one in five eligible Americans -- roughly 65 million people-- are not vaccinated against Covid-19. More than 62% of the country has been fully vaccinated, but only 23% are fully vaccinated and boosted."
"Covid itself hasn’t changed that much for those who are unvaccinated. If they get infected, there’s no reason to believe they shouldn’t still follow the original guidelines and isolate for 10 days. This is a very infectious disease, and they are at risk not only to themselves but also to those around them. Hospitals are still full of unvaccinated people, and nothing had led us to believe that the danger is gone for them."
Snippets from the Center
"Months of convoluted guidance hit a breaking point over the winter holiday, when the CDC became a viral internet meme amongst frustrated Americans who could no longer take the agency's guidance seriously. The CDC's new guidance on how long COVID patients should remain in isolation was mocked by thousands of internet meme-makers. The CDC responded by saying the changing guidelines are motivated by 'fast-moving science.'"
"The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is on track to infect more than half of Europeans, but it should not yet be seen as a flu-like endemic illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday. Europe saw more than 7 million newly-reported cases in the first week of 2022, more than doubling over a two-week period."
Snippets from the Right
"In an article titled, 'Omicron wave prompts media to rethink which data to report,' the AP cited COVID case counts and hospitalizations as 'barometers of the pandemic’s march across the world' but that the latest surge 'is making a mess of the usual statistics, forcing news organizations to rethink the way they report such figures.'"
The story about child COVID-19 hospitalizations is more complicated than the scary headlines suggest
Washington Examiner (analysis)
"Once the tots are in the hospital, they get tested for COVID-19. Multiply the non-COVID-19 reasons for being in the hospital times non-symptomatic COVID-19 cases, and you get 'record numbers of pediatric COVID hospitalizations.'...So, it is possible that COVID-19 is driving record numbers of very young children to the hospital, but this has not been established by any of the data in these stories with the scary headlines."