Lengel: The Detroit News Saying So in An Editorial Doesn't Make It So. Truth Matters.

February 08, 2024, 8:13 PM by  Allan Lengel

First off, could there be anything more meaningless than the Detroit News editorial page endorsing a Democratic candidate in the upcoming Feb. 27 presidential primary in Michigan?

Endorsing Democratic U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips over President Joe Biden has as much meaning these days as landing free Detroit Pistons tickets.  

That being said, there's no need to use hyperbole, or worse yet, false information to bolster your case for Phillips and against Biden.

In a less than a ringing endorsement of Phillips ("We don't pretend Phillips, a center-left Minnesota congressman, is the ideal presidential standard-bearer. He's obscure and lightly experienced") the editorial found it necessary to write this erroneous statement:

"Thanks to the vaccine and herd immunity, the COVID virus was already on the wane when Biden took office in January of 2021."

The statement is simply false. First off, Covid shots were just trickling into facilities in January 2021. It took several months before many of those who wanted the shot got it.

Rep. Phillips and President Biden

Then there's this: There were 352,000 Covid deaths in 2020 when Trump was in office, compared to an increase to 353,000 deaths in 2021 in Biden's first year in office, according to Johns Hopkins University. In 2022, the number finally fell to 244,000 deaths, according to the CDC. 

Yes, things eventually improved, but it took quite a while. In one of Trump's last weeks in office, there were 24,481,156 cases of Covid in the U.S. That compared to  68,421,970 in a week's stretch, about one year after Biden took office.

Already on the wane? Hardly.

Meanwhile, Michigan set new Covid records in December 2021, recording 25,858 new cases in a two-day stretch, along with 338 deaths. In January 2022, the state broke new records again.

The bottom line: criticize what you like about any candidates on policy or age or character, but stick to the facts.

The only thing on the wane, at least in this editorial, is the truth.  

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