Monday, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson opened his program by offering his thoughts on why the media and President Donald Trump’s political opponents seemed angered by Trump’s departure from Walter Reed Medical Center after a two-day stint to help overcome his COVID-19 diagnosis.
Carlson speculated that Trump’s recovery and remarks downplaying the fear of the virus undermine what the media have been telling the public for months.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: Well, you don’t need to be a Trump partisan to feel good about the President’s recovery. You just need to be a decent person.
The moment you find yourself rooting for another man’s illness or death is the moment you need to stop immediately in your tracks, pause and take stock of your soul. You’re the one who is sick and badly in need of help. You’re rotting from within.
But the media are not stopping. They are not even pausing. They’re too angry.
Donald Trump is alive. They were hoping that wouldn’t happen.
Worse, Trump walked out of the hospital under his own steam after just three days. Seventy-four years old and the virus didn’t really slow him down. In fact, he looks fine.
These are dangerous facts. If you’re allowed to think about them too much, you might draw the wrong conclusions. You might conclude the coronavirus isn’t quite as scary as they are telling you it is. You might regret giving up your constitutional rights in a panic last spring or letting them destroy the American economy in response.
You might find yourself enraged that they are keeping your kids from getting an education and have for six months.
And above all, you might stop believing the news media. Why are we watching this crap? It’s not news. It’s propaganda. They’re lying to us. We just caught them again.
All weekend, they told us Donald Trump was going to die. He had a preexisting condition called obesity. Trump wasn’t merely overweight. He was quote, “clinically obese,” grotesquely overweight, sideshow fat. His silhouette blocks the sun. Thanks to decades of cheeseburgers and three Musketeers bars, Donald Trump would never make it home alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: But there are of course, these concerns. He has these comorbidities. He is 74 years old. He is clinically obese.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has all of the risk factors that are suggestive of severe morbidity and mortality.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: President Trump is a man in his 70s who is obese. He also had a trip to Walter Reed. We don’t know what that was about.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: Clinical obesity and high cholesterol put him in a high-risk category for a more severe response and reaction to the disease.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The President is 74 years old, which makes him five times more likely to be hospitalized. He obviously is 90 times more likely to die than a young person.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President of the United States is in the hospital, diagnosed with a potentially deadly virus, for which there is no cure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Clinical obesity, clinical obesity, clinical obesity. That is the single worst insult your average news anchor can imagine and that’s exactly how they meant it by the way, as an insult.
As a medical matter being overweight is in fact a significant risk factor for dying from the coronavirus. That is a problem. There are a lot of overweight people in America. Since they made us all quit smoking, it’s become a pretty fat country.
But notice how none of the TV health experts ever mentioned that, except in the specific case of Donald Trump. If you really cared, if you really wanted to save the population from dying of COVID, you would encourage people to slim down. You do everything you could, for example, to keep the gyms open.
But our leadership class has done the opposite of that. They’ve literally arrested gym owners for trying to help Americans lose weight. So that’s how sincere they are about saving our lives.
Donald Trump’s life they told us was beyond saving. They made that very clear.
According to one anchor at CNN, the President was quote, “90 times more likely to die than a young person” — 90 times. Well, that sounds very scary, but only if you’re not familiar with the numbers.
According to the CDC, 99.98 percent of coronavirus patients under the age of 49 survive. Even old people get over the virus, almost all of them. According to the CDC, the survival rate for people over 70 years old, is 94.6 percent, that’s all people over 70 including people 103. Together, it’s 95 percent.
Ordinary shingles may be more deadly. It turns out, quote, “90 times more likely to die” isn’t actually a death sentence. But things got so overheated on CNN on Friday, that even the channels in-house doctor felt obliged to add some perspective to the fearmongering.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT Obviously, given the President’s age and his preexisting illnesses, he is going to be at increased risk from this disease.
But I want to preface by saying, still the odds are very much in his favor. I don’t want to unsettle people too much with this, you know, greater than 90 percent, 95 percent chance that he will get through this still.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: “The odds are very much in his favor.” Well, that’s an understatement. The median age of death for coronavirus in this country is 78 years old. As it happens, 78 is also the life expectancy for all people in this country.
In other words, it’s dangerous to be an old person who has the coronavirus. It’s also dangerous to be an old person. Period.
At some point, we’re all going to die. Dying is the central fact of life. Unfortunately, a secular society has no answer for that, no explanation and no comfort to give us in the face of it. So no wonder we’re so terrified.
But what if we were less afraid? What if the news media weren’t frothy in a partisan frenzy a month before an election? What if we could think clearly? What kind of conversation would we be having then?
We might have some very tough questions for our public health authorities. Donald Trump lives in one of the safest, most controlled environments on Planet Earth. If you’re looking to stay free from disease, you would try to move to the White House. Everyone around the President is tested regularly. There are doctors everywhere.
Donald Trump got the virus anyway.
So they’re telling us that Trump got infected because he ignored coronavirus protocol. That’s a lie. Lots of people follow the rules and get the virus anyway.
It may have happened to you. You probably know someone it happened to.
Our rules don’t work very well. That’s the real lesson here. Our rules don’t work very well.
So we’re destroying our society and we’re still getting sick. There has to be a better way to do this. And in fact, there is a better way.
Sweden is a rational country, unlike us. The Swedish government never forced the entire population to wear masks. Sweden didn’t shut down its entire economy. So what happened to Sweden in the end?
Well, Sweden has a population of more than 10 million people and yet the country averages barely more than 200 new coronavirus cases a day. That’s been true for the past several weeks, all through the month of September. That’s far better than say Spain, which has around 10,000 new cases a day or France which is reporting about 12,000 new cases a day.
Last month, only a little over one percent of the coronavirus tests administered in Sweden came back positive. Compare that to seven percent in the northwest part of England.
Sweden’s per capita rate of new cases is lower than neighboring Denmark or The Netherlands.
Here’s what Sweden looks like now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): It looks like the world we lost, cafes and restaurants full, people relaxed, no facemasks, no panic.
Sweden kept most of its schools and businesses open. It asked people to socially distance. Half of Swedes live alone anyway.
It banned large gatherings, but imposed a few other ones rules.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (on camera): As for Sweden’s buses and trains, well, take a look at this —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Not a facemask in sight.
Sweden’s biggest hospital, the intensive care unit, overwhelmed in the spring is deserted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: “It looks like the world we lost.” Ah, what a poignant observation that is, poignant because it’s true. The Swedes, unlike our health authorities followed the science and it worked.
Meanwhile, and CNN will tell you this at least once an hour, we’ve had more than seven million positive results on coronavirus tests in this country. We’ve had 209,000 deaths. Those are the numbers you’ll see on the screen.
But even now, we still don’t know what they mean. Because there’s so little transparency. For example, what exactly counts as an official coronavirus death? We wish we could tell you. We know from CDC data that as of last month, the total of almost 6,500 coronavirus deaths list quote, “intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events as comorbidities.”
So if people are poisoning themselves or falling off of ladders or dying in car accidents, why are we counting these deaths as coronavirus deaths? That’s unclear. We should know, but we don’t.
We do know that some physicians have said they felt pressure to classify deaths as COVID-related even though they clearly weren’t.
In Bakersfield, California this summer, two physicians, Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi said that exact thing in a YouTube video. They are clinical physicians. They treat the coronavirus, and they told us their experiences doing that. But YouTube scrubbed the tape.
Suddenly, we’re not into details in this country. The big picture is good enough for us. Because the big picture supports the strategy our leaders support, they think it is working.
In New York City, Bill de Blasio announced today, he is closing schools and businesses in 20 neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. “This is absolutely necessary,” Bill de Blasio says even though, of course, it greatly pains him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: It’s time for us to rewind, to take some of the steps we took before that worked. And it’s — I don’t say it with anything but pain for folks in the community, you know, small business owners, folks who really want to get their lives more back to normal. But this is to make sure that this virus does not spread more deeply in those communities and threaten lives, and that does not spread to the rest of the cities.
So it’s a measure I think we have to take to contain the situation before it gets any worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You know, it’s painful. We’re all suffering. But the good news is we’re all suffering together. And we’re doing it for good reason.
You know, most Americans could digest that and accept it. Most Americans want to do the right thing by their neighbors and by their country. But it’s hard to feel good about this if you can’t trust the people making the decisions. And we can’t, they don’t mean it. They don’t really care about slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
It’s hard to believe that no one wants to think it, but we learned it for certain in June.
Back in June when 1,200 public health experts signed a letter stating that quote, “White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19,” end quote. How does it contribute to COVID-19? It’s insane. They never explained it. They just kept lecturing.
According to the letter, quote, “Protests and rioting” are quote, ” … vital to the National Public Health into the threatened health specifically of black people.” The experts noted that they don’t approve of quote, “all gatherings.” No, not all gatherings, quote, “particularly protests against stay-at-home orders.” End quote.
So some protests were medically acceptable, others were a threat to public health. It really depended on party affiliation there. They said it out loud.
A Johns Hopkins epidemiologist called Jennifer Nuzzo tweeted this quote, “In this moment, the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.” What a moron. She kept her job and by the way, never explained how that works scientifically.
We all just sat back and watched, mouth agape obeying. But inside, we knew. We know they didn’t mean it. They don’t care about public health at all. They care about partisan outcomes.
Mark Levine, who runs New York City’s Health Council added this quote, “Let’s be clear about something, if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protesters blame racism.” End quote. Oh, right. Yes, racism, did it.
No one is saying racism infected Donald Trump. What is this? Who are these people? This is the most irrational thing that’s ever happened in this country ever. And remarkably, the adults in the room signed on to it.
Barack Obama’s C.D.C. Director Tom Frieden said this, quote, “The threat to COVID control from protesting outside is tiny compared to the threat to COVID control created when governments act in ways that lose community trust,” end quote.
It’s amusing, in a bitter way, if you think about it for a second. Losing community trust. Yes. That happened the day they claimed their protests were safe and ours weren’t.
We knew for a fact they were lying for partisan reasons, and these people should never be in charge of anything ever again. But they stayed in charge.
Now, they’re telling us we can’t have confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett on October 12th because it’s just too dangerous. You know, coronavirus, clinical obesity, 209,000 deaths, whatever.
As a matter of science, of public health, Donald Trump is not allowed to appoint anyone to the Supreme Court. Period.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): There is no reason on God’s Green Earth why this shouldn’t be delayed other than an effort to rush a witness through in an inadequate hearing where people can’t even see the witness face-to-face.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): I don’t know why you would ram through this Supreme Court hearing, put people in danger because it would be within that two-week period. Meanwhile, you have shut down the whole Senate. I just think it’s wrong. So we are suggesting that we wait.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Sadly, three of my colleagues have been diagnosed as having the virus. Now if this were a baseball team, or a football team and three of the players came down with COVID-19, we would have canceled the game and postponed it to a future date.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, if this were a game, we would have postponed it. And Dick Durbin is onto something there, actually, sports leagues probably would cancel a game if some of their players got infected. That’s happened, by the way, a bunch, all to protect 25-year-old athletes in perfect physical condition. As a scientific matter, that is absurd? It was always absurd?
When Donald Trump walked out of Walter Reed today, people may have started to realize how absurd it is, and that’s why the media are so angry.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor