- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Alarmed Americans are overdosing on ramped-up news coverage about the evolving coronavirus issue. The press is heavy on cliffhangers and speculative “what-if” stories. It also has politicized the situation, aiming all it’s got against President Trump and his administration.

“American journalists, so desperate to blame President Trump for the COVID-19 coronavirus, are now trying to cover for communist China’s government by insisting any mention of its origin be left out of the discussion. Left-wing journalists took to Twitter to bash Republicans as ‘racist’ for calling the virus the ‘Wuhan’ or ‘Chinese’ virus, even though there is a laundry list of other viral outbreaks being named after where they originated from,” writes Kristine Marsh, a Newsbusters.org analyst who has tracked the trend on MSNBC, CNN, Vox, The Daily Beast and The Nation, among others.

A brief Inside the Beltway review of a few scant headlines from the last 24 hours also says much:

“The coronavirus is Trump’s Chernobyl” (The Washington Post); “Why Trump is congratulating himself on the US coronavirus response” (CNN); “For Trump, Coronavirus proves to be an enemy he can’t tweet away” (The New York Times).

The general public, meanwhile, has become so alarmed so that therapists around the nation are now issuing advice on how to cope with virus anxiety. And yes, the press contributes to that anxiety.



“Limit media exposure and stick with reliable sources. It’s tempting to check for updates, but checking several times a day can keep us in an escalated state of anxiety,” advises University of California San Francisco psychologist Elissa Epel.

“We then easily transmit that type of exaggerated anxiety to our children and those around us,” she says, adding that focusing on catastrophic thoughts and predictions, especially those found on social media, can fuel panicky feelings.

CURTIS THROWS HIS BERET IN THE RING

One Big Apple election just got more interesting. Curtis Sliwa vows to run for mayor of New York City, challenging Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Mr. Sliwa, a Brooklyn-born Republican known for his trademark red beret, founded the Guardian Angeles crime-fighting league over four decades ago and is currently a spirited talk-radio host on WABC.

“I am the only candidate with the onions to take back the city, have the street cred. I have bled in the streets. I’ve given seven lives. I have two left. I’ll use them for the city of New York,” Mr. Sliwa, 65, tells Carl Campanile, a political analyst for The New York Post.

“It took us a long time to crawl out of the belly of the beast of the 1970s through 1990s. Bill de Blasio and the Democrats are bringing us back in,” says Mr. Sliwa.

He now frets that the bad old days are returning to the city because of “soft-on-crime Democratic policies,” particularly the state’s new bail law.

“Sliwa’s platform includes ditching the mayor’s security detail and put more cops in uniform to fight crime. He’d also restore ‘pro-active’ foot patrols and encourage more voluntary patrols like the Guardian Angels to work with the NYPD. He also wants to keep open and refurbish Rikers Island and thwart plans to open jails in the boroughs, as well as opening more psychiatric facilities to aid mentally ill homeless people — calling it an ‘absolute sin’ to leave them in the streets,” writes Mr. Campanile.

MEANWHILE IN THE ARCTIC

Now underway in the Arctic Ocean: Ice Exercise 2020 — ICEX2020 — a three-week exercise in operational readiness in the strategic polar region. The big dogs in the exercise include Seawolf-class attack submarine USS Connecticut from Bremerton, Washington, and the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Toledo from Groton, Connecticut.

Yes, these fine vessels have surfaced through the ice at the North Pole and will conduct multiple Arctic transits and training “evolutions” during their time in the region.

“The Arctic is a potential strategic corridor — between Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the U.S. homeland — for expanded competition. The Submarine Force must maintain readiness by exercising in Arctic conditions to ensure they can protect national security interests and maintain favorable balances of power in the Indo-Pacific and Europe if called upon,” says Vice Adm. Daryl Caudle, the commander of Submarine Forces.

Also up and running: Ice Camp Seadragon, a temporary military outpost built on an ice floe. It includes housing for 45 personnel and a command center and was named for the Skate-class USS Seadragon, first sub to make a run under an iceberg in 1960. It also transited the Northwest Passage through “myriad underwater channels,” according to Navy historical records.

Oh yes, the crew also conducted the first baseball game on the polar ice pack at the North Pole.

HOW THE HARVARD PROFESSORS VOTE

When it comes to Harvard University professors, Harvard University is very precise. A new poll of 263 faculty members on the campus conducted Feb. 20-27 by The Crimson — the school’s newspaper — reveals the following:

Among the faculty members, 41.3 % are liberal, 38.4% are very liberal, 18.9% are moderate and 1.46% are conservative or very conservative. Needless to say, the survey found that only three of the respondents said they supported President Trump in the 2020 race. A big share — 44% — supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor, while 20% backed Sen. Bernard Sanders.

POLL DU JOUR

70% of Democrats say Sen. Bernard Sanders is liberal; 31% say the same of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

6% say Mr. Sanders is moderate; 31% say Mr. Biden is moderate.

8% say Mr. Sanders is conservative; 20% say Mr. Biden is conservative.

14% are not sure about the political views of Mr. Sanders; 16% are unsure about Mr. Biden’s views.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 5,771 U.S. adults who self-identify as Democrats, which was conducted from Feb. 18 to March 2.

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