Mask thefts and the anti-laser-pointer effect

When you play around with a laser pointer, cats (and dogs) will chase after the red dot. President Trump’s remarks that people may be stealing surgical masks from hospitals caused the opposite effect among the media — people immediately run as far away from the idea as possible. So after reporting on the possibility, they fling themselves into denying it as soon as the red dot appears on the story.

There are tons of reports about people stealing medical masks, but the media only turned it into something controversial after President Trump brought it up.

During his Sunday night press briefing, Trump remarked on the incredible news that at some hospitals, orders for masks have jumped from 10,000 and 20,000 to 300,000.

“How do you go from 10 to 20 to 300,000? 10 to 20,000 masks to 300,000 — even though this is different. Something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going?” he wondered. “So somebody should probably look into that.”

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If these numbers are correct, and during the briefing, a mask manufacturer backed them up, something is obviously amiss. But because the national political media are unserious and pretty much useless, instead of looking into what could be a growing black market at the expense of human lives, they decided to freak out like the babies they are.

The far-left Washington Post shrieked (without evidence): “No, Mr. President, healthcare workers aren’t stealing masks. You failed them.”

The far-left MSN harrumphed: “President Trump … insinuated that staff may be stealing face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

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So how far out of line is he? Turns out, it’s not that far.

To begin with, and without the media freaking out even a little bit, New York’s very own governor, one Andrew Cuomo, said the exact same thing more than three weeks ago:

“As fear over the new coronavirus in New York spreads faster than the outbreak, people have started to steal masks and other medical equipment from local hospitals,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Friday.

“Not just people taking a couple or three, I mean just actual thefts of those products,” Cuomo said at a press conference from the state capital in Albany. “I’ve asked the state police to do an investigation, look at places that are selling masks, medical equipment, protective wear, feeding the anxiety.”

News & Observer, March 19: “Hospitals across the Triangle say thieves are stealing masks, gloves and hand sanitizer by the box due to anxiety over the nationwide shortage of medical supplies.”

Business Insider, March 7: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that his administration had directed state police to investigate cases of the theft of masks and other equipment from hospitals and medical facilities, putting healthcare workers at risk.”

New York Times, March 19: ““We’ve experienced outright theft, with the general public walking into our building and walking right out,” said Bruno Petinaux, the hospital’s chief medical officer.”

And on and on and on, and not just in America…

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