Accuracy in Media

Now that COVID-19 has run its course in the news, Esquire magazine has pivoted to educate its readership in an article about a new “proven killer” – bird flu, or H5N1.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H5N1 has been experiencing outbreaks since the early 2000s, mainly among poultry. The article cites a World Health Organization statistic that says, “There have only been two recorded cases of the new H5N1 strain in humans, but 456 people have died since 2003 after catching previous strains of the virus.”

Despite this seemingly non-alarming number, Esquire has chosen to use this “new” disease as an excuse to complain about right-wing politics.

Esquire continues, “The previous administration*, of course, [formatting theirs] pulled the U.S. out of the World Health Organization because the previous administration* was staffed by meatheads who begat other meatheads at the behest of the meathead-in-chief…It’s going to take decades to undo the damage he did to public health, damage that is still ongoing. Meanwhile, the birds keep getting sick and dying.”

Rather than focusing on what Esquire claims is “impending doom” that will supposedly cost human lives, the magazine takes cheap political digs. It makes one ask if they really believe in the “killer” that they seek to inform the public about.

The CDC indicates that bird flu “rarely infects people” and “Even when people have been infected with bird flu viruses there has very rarely been onward spread from one infected person to another person.”

Despite the evidence presented, Esquire, with a notable readership, continues to fearmonger about animal-borne illnesses with rare effects on human beings in order to score political points.

 




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