Republicans and conservatives appear to be the least worried of all about the coronavirus, even as alarming news coverage amplifies public uncertainty about treatments, cures, risks and preventative behaviors.
Yes, there’s a panic poll.
Here are the simple stats from a new Economist/YouGov survey: 67% of Republicans are either “not too worried” or “not worried at all” about the risk of contracting the illness, or the actual “seriousness of it.”
The survey found that 59% of independents and 38% of Democrats agreed with that. Among conservatives, 68% said they were not worried, making that group and Republicans the most carefree of the 30 demographics surveyed in the poll, which was conducted March 1-3. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
Meanwhile, yet another survey reveals a strong sentiment among Republicans toward President Trump. A new Rasmussen Reports survey released Thursday found that 60% of Republican voters “see the coronavirus as a scare tool to get Trump.” Over one-third of all voters — 35% — agree with that. And Democrats? Two-thirds disagree, and instead insist that the coronavirus is a major threat to the nation. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted March 3-4.
THAT LUXURIOUS TOUCH
While the rest of us clear grocery store shelves of hand sanitizer to foil coronavirus, the well-heeled folks are going for luxury.
“The rich are preparing for coronavirus differently: concierge doctors, yachts, chartered planes and germ-free hideaways. The rich are sparing no expense,” advises Jonah Bromwich, a features reporter for The New York Times.
Among their favorites of the moment: Pear and bergamot-scented “rinse-free hand wash” from Byredo at $35 for a single ounce. The company is completely sold out of it. Then there’s a high-end air purifier by Molecule Air for $799 — or a private jet flight from Florida to New York for $20,000. “V.I.P. emergency rooms” are also in fashion — defined as well-stocked, members-only hospital facilities. Custom fitted facial masks are popular, writes Mr. Bromwich — who adds that the “germ-free panic room” is also a must-have.
“For those who really want to bunker down as global infections mount, a well-stocked home bunker represents the ultimate luxury,” he noted. “It is equipped with a negative pressure system to restrict the circulation of pathogens, and is basically an isolated guest wing consisting of a bedroom and kitchen stocked with IV hydration, medicines, lab supplies, gloves, gowns, masks, oxygen and food, as well as a set of dishes and linens.”
And forget the villa in Rome. Mr. Bromwich also says the rich are chartering yachts to spend germ-free, pleasant moments on the sea.
“It totally makes sense. You’re keeping your family contained in a very small, should-be-clean environment. And going from your car to your F.B.O.” — meaning fixed base operator, or private jet terminal — “to your private jet right onto the tarmac. And from there, right onto your yacht, and not having to deal with the public,” Jennifer Saia — the president of B&B Yacht Charter in Newport, Rhode Island — told the reporter.
WALLOWING IN ADJECTIVES
When in doubt, roll out the adjectives.
After President Trump was acquitted Feb. 5 in the impeachment proceedings against him, his foes in the news media immediately search for a new narrative. Portraying the president as some kind of swashbuckler appears to have fit the bill.
“Since the liberal attempt to remove the president ended in failure, the media talking heads are fretting about how Trump’s acquittal has created an ’emboldened’ chief executive who threatens the rule of law ‘like never before’,” writes Bill D’Agostino, an analyst for the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog.
Journalists often find a convenient word they like — then everyone uses it.
During the month of February, Mr. D’Agostino and his team found 239 instances in which TV journalists alleged Mr. Trump was “emboldened” — cataloging the occurrences on MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC. Fox News played a minor role in the effort, using the E-word only five times.
“Many of these claims about an ’emboldened’ Trump featured the kind of overblown language one might expect from an action movie trailer,” Mr. D’Agostino says.
And while “emboldened” is the word of choice for the time being, the study also found that the following descriptors for Mr. Trump were also used in the coverage: Wild, unbound, dangerous, angry, unleashed, unchained and furious.
NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT
Yes, lots of pundits and strategists still claim President Trump and “the Russians” somehow stole the 2016 election.
But that might not be logical.
“If Mike Bloomberg couldn’t buy 2020, how could Russia buy 2016?” asks Mollie Hemingway, senior editor for The Federalist.
“We had years where people were saying a couple hundred thousand dollars in barely literate Facebook ads from Russians caused Donald Trump to win. Here you had a guy spend nearly $1 billion and he went nowhere,” she tells Fox News.
POLL DU JOUR
• 84% of U.S. adults are not wearing a medical face mask in public out of concern for coronavirus; 90% of Republicans, 81% of independents and 85% of Democrats agree.
• 14% are “very worried” about the coronavirus; 6% of Republicans, 12% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.
• 33% are “somewhat worried” about the virus; 27% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 42% of Democrats agree.
• 35% are “not too worried”; 40% of Republicans, 37% of independents and 30% of Democrats agree.
• 18% are “not worried at all”; 27% of Republicans, 22% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted March 1-3.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
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