Kaufman: Unrelentingly pessimistic news undermines miraculous vaccine progress

Vaccines on the cusp of approval is nothing short of a medical miracle. And yet, our ruling class — after counting deaths for at least 10 months — does not care?

Why are the preponderance of COVID-19 stories negative? I don’t mean the deaths, but the aftermath, and our brave daily fight against this evil virus. Is the pessimism caused by an inability to understand human innovation?

People of goodwill are optimistic, because most Americans plan ahead and see a way out of tough situations. Media types are not, because they are privileged and prefer a constant state of panic.

It is ideological too, of course, and part of a broader pattern of characterizing everything as bad news.

Vaccines on the cusp of approval is nothing short of a medical miracle. And yet, our ruling class — after counting deaths for at least 10 months — does not care?

November study analyzed the tone of COVID-19-related news articles written since January. They found 91 percent of stories by major American media outlets are negative in tone versus 54 percent for non-U.S. major sources and 65 percent for scientific journals.

“The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials,” the researchers report. “Media negativity is unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience. U.S. major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general.”

Stories of increasing coronavirus cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases six-fold, especially if involving Republican politicians. Among U.S. major media outlets, stories discussing President Donald Trump and hydroxychloroquine were more numerous than all stories combined covering companies and individual researchers working on vaccines.

Kamala Harris, a vacuous charlatan appointed to the second-highest office in America solely due to her gender, cares more about partisan politics than saving lives. She’s repeatedly taken potshots at the Trump administration’s efforts and questioned whether it’s safe to take coronavirus vaccines developed under her political opponents.

The Californian first refused to say she would take a vaccine, because “there’s very little we can trust that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.”

Then the Queen, who hasn’t given a solo press conference in over 14 weeks, questioned whether we could trust public health experts because “they will be muzzled, suppressed, sidelined, because he’s (Trump) grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he has been a leader on this issue, when he has not.”

That’s dangerous lunacy.

Washington Post Columnist Marc Thiessen crushed her conspiratorial performance, writing in part:

“For Harris to undermine public confidence in a vaccine for political gain is shameful. To question their safety, without a shred of evidence, puts lives at risk. We should all want Operation Warp Speed to succeed as soon as possible — because when it does, it will mean the days of social distancing will soon be behind us. We will finally be able to hug our grandparents, send kids to school, return to work and live our lives again without fear. It will mean that the national nightmare is finally coming to an end.”

Let’s hope the petty first-term senator and her boss don’t undermine the incredible, life-saving progress they’re inheriting.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who said this week he’s “incredibly optimistic,” also noted “safety and efficacy have not been compromised.” He says upcoming vaccines will have more people — up to 60,000, as opposed to 5,000 — tested than any vaccine in history at point of authorization.

AstraZeneca recently announced data from late-stage clinical trials found their COVID-19 vaccine to be between 62 and 90 percent effective depending on the dosage. The vaccine candidate joins two others (Pfizer and Moderna) reporting even higher efficacy figures. Pfizer already has applied for emergency use authorization.

Operation Warp Speed adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui said Monday that up to 20 million people — mostly health care workers and at-risk seniors — could be vaccinated before the year is over, and by spring we could reach herd immunity. He explained that normally to develop, manufacture, test and launch a vaccine takes four years minimum. Thanks to the Trump administration, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical corporations and more, it’s being done in a remarkable 10 months. A smooth distribution is expected.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel. We should be thankful for that. It’d be nice if the narcissistic media put political narratives aside and noticed.