Mike Whitney interviews Ron Unz, who is one of the more logical and well-informed of what can be called the mainstream on Covid, the view you don’t see that often on SLL. Whitney is in the corner you do see most often on SLL. From Whitney and Unz at unz.com:
Ron Unz– I’d also put Gilad Atzmon in your group, as well as a few additional contributors.
I think the biggest area of early disagreement was regarding whether the Covid virus was about as dangerous as the mainstream media was making it out to be. I thought it probably was, while an overwhelming majority of the anti-establishment writers and commenters on this webzine and elsewhere disagreed, in some cases possibly fueled by the early public statements of President Trump and Fox News people taking that same position.
Although I can’t be sure, here’s my suspicion about why some of this misinformation took such strong hold. Soon after the Covid outbreak in Wuhan was first revealed to the world, various anti-China groups and websites began producing and promoting propaganda-videos claiming that Chinese society was collapsing from this deadly disease. Some of these hugely popular videos showed Chinese people supposedly dropping dead while walking in the streets, and sometimes suggested that Covid was a deadly Chinese bioweapon that had somehow escaped from one of their weapons labs and would wipe out much of China’s population. Also Covid was closely related to SARS, which had had a 10% to 15% fatality rate. So early on I think there were reasonably widespread rumors going around on social media that Covid had a very high fatality rate, perhaps in the 5% or 10% range, and that it might devastate the human race, naturally leading to a great deal of fear-mongering and panic.
Obviously, those numbers turned out to be completely wrong, and as a consequence many of the people who had been bombarded with such extreme nonsense reacted against it, arguing that Covid wasn’t really so very dangerous at all, which is entirely true, at least relative to those early, inflated figures. But perhaps understandably, they then went overboard in the other direction, starting to argue that the disease wasn’t dangerous at all, possibly as a form of wishful thinking.