The title stems from an argument I see on FB a lot: cigarettes and cars (and other things) kill way more people than the Trump Virus so fussing about the virus is just a way to smear Glorious Supreme Leader Trump. Celebrity pseudo-intellectual Dr. Phil made the same comparison on a recent TV appearance. As Philip Bump points out at the link, this ignores that government and NGOs have worked for years to reduce car deaths, tobacco deaths, etc. We require seat belts and airbags in cars; we radically restrict where people can smoke. Both have cut the death tolls immensely.
As Bump points out in another article, this argument also ignores a)we don’t know the total death toll from the pandemic yet; b)the difference between a pandemic and an auto accident is the ability to transmit the disease to other people. It’s as if cars with failing brakes could weaken the brakes on other vehicles around them — and if they could, it’s a safe bet that we’d see a whole bunch of new restrictions.
In other COVID-19 science and society-related links:
Kentucky and Rhode Island have performed the same number of tests, but their situations are different.
If we follow what seems the obvious approach — channel our limited pandemic resources where they’ll do the most good — we’ll wind up favoring whites over blacks.
How satire tackled the 19th century Russian flu.
The Notre Dame Cathedral reconstruction has stopped dead during the pandemic. Will the cathedral deteriorate further before work resumes?
Stay-in-place orders are not at all unprecedented in times of plague.
Will blooming California wildflowers lure people to congregate in parks?
What if your appliance breaks down while you’re still in quarantine?
The drug Trump touted as a potential cure for the Trump Virus? No benefit, more deaths. And the vaccine expert in charge of COVID-19 vaccine research has been fired for pushing back against using the drug.