by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The disappointment was palpable in every syllable of the headline: “Everything Is Awful. So Why Is the Stock Market Booming?” The author of this New York Times “analysis,” Neil Irwin, was clearly confused by the refusal of investors to head for the life boats: “Death and despair are all around,” he wrote, “Yet at Thursday’s close, the S&P 500 was up 25 percent from its recent low on March 23.” Last week’s rally should not, however, have come as a surprise to a professional market watcher. It was obviously the result of good news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and a commitment by the Federal Reserve to keep the economy afloat.
There really is good news concerning COVID-19, and it isn’t limited to the dramatic downward revision in the fatality projections produced by the University of Washington’s vaunted IHME model or even that the daily death rate will peak far earlier than previously projected. While the Fourth Estate indulges its ghoulish fixation on “death and despair,” the most reliable indicator of the pandemic’s future trajectory — daily hospital utilization — suggests that the states hardest hit by the virus may well be on the road to recovery. In New York, COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions have plummeted. …
… The U.S. had the best overall score of 195 countries. We ranked first in prevention, early detection, rapid response, robust health system, national capacity, and financing.
President Trump mentioned this during a recent Coronavirus Task Force briefing, but the few media outlets that reported our score attempted to spin it as bad news. Newsweek, for example, disparaged it in an article titled, “2019 Study Touted by Trump Showed Global Lack of Pandemic Readiness.”
Not every media outlet is engaging in dubious journalism. Follow Carolina Journal Online’s continuing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.