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Looking Back and Looking Ahead

A man wears a mask to prevent exposure to the coronavirus while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, March 17, 2020. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
National Review has always kept you informed, and with your help, we will continue to do so.

We ask you, our readers, to consider our appeal for help as National Review seeks support at a time when it is hard to come by. But perhaps we might first briefly engage in a little retrospection.

The emergence of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, should have sounded alarms globally. Public-health experts have spent decades preparing for a pandemic, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was an ideal candidate: easily transmissible, severe enough to overwhelm hospitals, and lethal enough to kill en masse while continuing to spread.

Yet our colleagues in the mainstream media insisted that coronavirus was no more dangerous than the flu. Would it spark a global pandemic? No! insisted writers across the media. Xenophobia and closed borders were the real threat, we were told, not the virus. After coronavirus arrived on our shores, proving polite society’s prognosis wrong, they turned on a dime and started blaming the president, with a New York Times columnist insisting we call it “Trump virus.”

“I happen to prefer champagne to ditchwater, but there is no reason to suppose that the cosmos does,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes, whom William F. Buckley Jr. affectionately termed the “benign old wrecker of the ordered society.” We at National Review happen to prefer life to death, and in our presumptuousness we suppose that the cosmos does too. We care more about the health and prosperity of the American people than about charges of bigotry. Our independence — from political parties, intellectual cliques, and foreign interests — enabled us to cover the COVID-19 outbreak accurately and incisively from the outset.

On January 31, when the commentariat was still focused on impeachment, our Michael Brendan Dougherty warned that “the World Health Organization was dragging its feet because it didn’t want to embarrass China or imply that such a large and important country was responding poorly.” Michael took coronavirus seriously before anyone else was able or willing to.

Likewise, Jim Geraghty has meticulously documented the Chinese Communist Party’s lies and coverups of the crisis, at a time when no one is inclined to do so. And while the mainstream media continue to report credulously that China has defeated coronavirus, we published an op-ed by two Chinese dissidents explaining that the regime deliberately falsifies case numbers as part of its grand strategy of “global leadership and domination.”

It is bracing to know that, as a writer — admittedly young and relatively new to this game, and to National Review — I see my work printed alongside that of Michael, Jim, and so many other brilliant minds. I’ve been tasked with relaying and analyzing critical data about this crisis to our readers, day in and out. I wouldn’t be able to do it without my editors and colleagues, whose generous and selfless support, like yours, sustains National Review. Why do they do it? I’d like to think it’s because at critical hours such as this one, they are confident that NR will provide that truth — in data, in analysis — that others are determined to ignore, to hide, to doctor, to malign.

We plan to continue telling the truth, but we can’t do it without your help. Your generous donations — asked for, admittedly, in the face of serious economic challenges for so many people — sustain our coverage, creating an oasis of sanity in a tribal, sensationalistic media environment.

Please consider contributing to our efforts — you can do that here — to combat the scourge of COVID-19 and the innumerable other viruses threatening to plague our nation.


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