In a series of tweets Friday, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro highlighted the noticeable shift in Democrats’ and the mainstream media’s narratives on COVID-19.
According to Shapiro, even President Joe Biden is now willing to admit that when it comes to the coronavirus, Americans and government leaders should be focusing more on the number of hospitalizations and deaths than on the number of positive tests for the disease.
COVID case rates
“[O]nce it became clear that COVID was not in fact a pagan god visiting vengeance on the unwashed Trump voters alone,” Shapiro wrote, “the media and Democrats are now willing to admit” a number of alleged truths about the pandemic.
Among them, Shapiro said, was an assertion that high case numbers indicated the U.S. was worse off. But as Shapiro notes, what’s more concerning is high rates of hospitalization and death from the disease.
“We should focus on hospitalizations and deaths, not case rate,” he said, apparently citing Biden.
“Omicron changes that”
It’s a sentiment that was recently echoed by Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, in an interview with ABC News.
“Look, for two years infections always preceded hospitalizations, which preceded deaths. So you could look at infections and know what was coming. Even through the delta wave, that was true, because it was largely unvaccinated people getting infected,” Jha told ABC’s This Week. “Omicron changes that.”
Jha added: “This is the shift we’ve been waiting for in many ways, where we’re moving to a phase where if you’re vaccinated, and particularly if you’re boosted […] you might get an infection. It might be a couple of days of not feeling so great, but you’re going to bounce back. That’s very different than what we have seen in the past.”
The “demonization narrative”
Even MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has jumped on the bandwagon.
.@chrislhayes on the weird reality for vaccinated folks amid omicron wave:
The risk went from something we hadn’t really dealt with before in our lifetimes, to something that looks more like the flu. The flu can still be dangerous—but we do not reorient our lives around the flu. pic.twitter.com/4K5qNOplpW
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) December 30, 2021
But while many in the media insist something has changed, conservative pundits like Shapiro aren’t so sure.
“Those of us in reality have been saying all this for months and most of it since May 2020,” he wrote in his Friday series of tweets. “But your political priors were more important than the data. You had to have your demonization narrative.”