Analysis

Shh — The Media Doesn’t Seem To Want You To Know COVID-19 Cases Are Plummeting Nationally

(Photo by Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Exactly four weeks ago, CDC director Rochelle Walensky and President Joe Biden said they felt a sense of “impending doom” about a forthcoming wave of COVID-19 cases.

When Walensky made that statement on March 29, the national 7-day average in new COVID-19 cases was 62,515 and modestly rising. Today, it’s 54,405 and falling. Biden and his CDC director feared the worst and appear to be incorrect about a second wave.

Case numbers trended upward in late March and early April, but the 7-day average has now declined for 12 of the last 13 days and is back to mid-March levels. Deaths have mostly flattened, rather than increased, when cases saw a brief bump, and Sunday the CDC reported 294 new deaths. That’s the lowest single-day number since Sept. 7.

Despite the overwhelming abundance of good news to share about the coronavirus pandemic in the United States — cases and deaths are falling, vaccines seem to be working exceptionally well and new variants aren’t causing the hiccups some feared — positive coverage of the pandemic is hard to find in American media. (RELATED: The CDC Proves Incapable Of Putting Together A Coherent Message On COVID-19 Guidelines)

There are no stories about the steady downturn in cases and deaths from COVID-19 on the front page of the websites for The Washington Post, The New York Times or CNN as of Monday evening. The Times and The Post do have the case data displayed for readers to interpret on their own, and CNN has one story about America’s successful vaccination effort, but there are no stories sharing the good news that America is finally beating back COVID-19.

Instead, The Post has two vaccine-skeptical stories on its front page. One highlights the rare cases where vaccinated individuals have still been infected with the virus, and the other stresses the importance of continuing to wear a mask after being vaccinated, despite all scientific evidence suggesting there is an infinitesimal chance of contracting and then spreading the virus to others after being inoculated.

Axios ran a story on Thursday which asserted that coronavirus cases “aren’t budging” despite widespread vaccination in the U.S. A senior editor for the site tweeted that the race between vaccines and variants is tied, which is not a statement supported by any available data.

Since mid-January, when America’s vaccination campaign began to kick into high gear and cases and deaths from the winter wave peaked, every negative metric by which to measure the pandemic has cratered. Deaths are down more than 80% from that peak. Cases are down more than 78%. Hospitalizations are down more than 70%, according to CDC data.

The Washington Post’s vaccine tracker shows that nearly 60% of American adults have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which provides substantial protection against the virus. Almost 40% of American adults are fully vaccinated. (RELATED: CDC Declares Racism A ‘Serious Public Health Threat’)

There are, of course, exceptions to the nationwide trend. Most notably as of now, Michigan is experiencing a surge in cases that state health officials are struggling to deal with. Michigan is a rare case though, and not indicative of the overall positive direction of the entire country.

Data does not appear to indicate that anyone should have a sense of “impending doom” and Biden and CDC director Walensky have previously suggested.