Last week, a fake statistic spread as fast as coronavirus around Hazleton. And since then, the city and some surrounding communities enacted curfews to keep people locked in their homes at night.
The fake statistic: Only 18% of Hazleton city residents are practicing social distancing.
Who made it up? Apparently, either State Sen. John Yudichak or the Mayor of Hazleton, Jeff Cusat. There’s confusion on who posted it first to social media on April 2:
According to some site called Hazleton News 1, apparently Yudichak referenced a similar stat around the same time as the mayor. They reported on April 2 that the State Senator said 18% of Hazleton is practicing social distancing.
The number was then echoed by the President of Lehigh Valley Health Network-Hazleton John Fletcher. He said it in this video posted by Yudichak to Facebook:
So, a fake stat is made up out of thin air. And then it spread quicker than coronavirus.
Coronavirus Alarmists Believe Anything Scary
Enough people swallowed this load of crap on social media, rarely questioning it. So, that empowered Cusat to take it a step further.
On April 4, the City of Hazleton and some surrounding communities enacted a 5-day curfew. No one can be outside, unless they’re essential personnel, after 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day.
The curfew, Cusat says, can legally only last for 5 days but at the end of the 5 days (the 5th day is Wednesday), the city council will vote on whether or not to extend it. Of course, they’ll do this under a cloak since you can’t attend public meetings right now.
But Cusat takes that fake stat and doubles down on it. He says the city will not “plateau” on the amount of cases it’s seeing until 70% of the residents practice social distancing.
“We need to do a better job at social distancing. We will not plateau until 70% of the people are in compliance,” Cusat writes on Facebook.
Wait … we thought everyone was supposed to practice social distancing. Now, it’s 70%? What 30% doesn’t have to follow these guidelines?
At no time does the mayor provide a source for either statistic. But people — terrified to death — accept it as fact.
Further, people on Facebook are clamoring for even stricter discipline. Apparently, some people, including a city councilman, want the National Guard brought in to patrol the streets to enforce social distance guidelines.
Fake Coronavirus Statistics, Fake Hazleton Statistics
Now, this entire time, the Mayor and State Senator and the media and hospital administrator who obediently echo this statistic fail to take a step back. Think about it.
How did we arrive at this 82% number? Who’s counting? And 82%?
If you want to make up a stat that people are more willing to believe, get specific. The number 82 sounds a lot more scientific than 80, right?
It’s practically impossible to count this number. And if they truly did sit there and somehow count people not social distancing … is that the best use of anyone’s time?
Here’s another one: while people are, for some reason, begging to know the exact location of COVID-19 positive individuals to no avail, Hazleton seems to know exactly how many of Luzerne County’s total coronavirus-positive people live in Hazleton.
They were able to spread it via the complicit media outlet referenced earlier, Hazleton News 1. They cite “officials” who say 310 of the then 384 cases in Luzerne County lived in Hazleton.
How do they know? Well, officials say so. But no other community across Pennsylvania has gotten this specific information that we know.
And this ignores the fact that from when numbers first started coming out of Luzerne County, testing has obviously increased in that time. More tests conducted will obviously lead to more positive results. It doesn’t necessarily mean the virus is spreading. The only thing it confirms is that those many people tested positive.
Hazleton residents fell for this and now they’re paying the price of their civil liberties.
If you’re willing to believe without question the most alarming statistic you’ve heard to date about coronavirus, your community will be next …
… Like McAdoo
On Monday, McAdoo Mayor Dane Watro ordered a curfew in place starting that night for his borough, too.
It’s a case of monkey see-monkey do. Or maybe monkey see-McAdoo?
McAdoo is a borough of just more than 2,000 residents. Are social distancing measures not being followed there?
Watro, in his declaration order, says “many of the citizens of the borough have disregarded the directions we have provided.”
At no point does he say how many exactly because people would call him out on it. But in a community that small, wouldn’t it be easier to just mitigate the problem with the people who allegedly aren’t following these guidelines than punishing an entire community?
Don’t take this the wrong way. We do believe social distancing is a good idea, in general. No one ever wants anyone riding up on them while they’re grocery shopping. And nor should anyone feel the need to cram into one another while they’re out shopping. It’s rude and it’s a great way to spread a lot of things.
But these public officials will lose public trust when they make knee-jerk decisions, especially those based on rumors and fake news.