On Wednesday, President Trump, acting in the best interests of the nation's health, as well as the world's, suspended global travel by placing a ban on overseas flights until the coronavirus runs its course.
Unfortunately, one of his pea-brained media sycophants, radio-TV bloviator Sean Hannity, told listeners on his syndicated radio show that he thought COVID-19, to use the medical technical term, was a hoax. No, it isn't.
The disease originated in China at the end of last year, and the news media has bombarded television viewers and radio listeners with updates daily for much of the winter. The World Health Organization branded COVID-19 a pandemic on Tuesday. Trump has tried to downplay it, to assuage any fears the public might have, but, given how he's been perceived as being the Joe Isuzu of politics, any legitimate concerns he has will be seen as a case of crying wolf.
Then came word this morning that Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have tested positive for COVID-19 while shooting a movie in Australia. Still think it's a hoax now, Hannity?
The concerns over the virus are such that the NBA has suspended play until further notice. Television shows, such as Dr. Phil, The View, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and The Ellen Degeneres Show, just to name a few, are taping in empty studios. CW series such as Riverdale and The Flash, which shoot in Vancouver, British Columbia, have suspended production. This is serious business, friends, not a hoax.
That being said, Sean Hannity gets the Dunce Cap for misinforming his listeners on purpose. If a fellow Fox News talk host such as Tucker Carlson is sounding legitimate warnings about COVID-19, then Hannity should follow along. The President is facing his biggest crisis in office to date, but all that mis-speaking over the last few years may be coming back to haunt him. He's trying to man up. If only Hannity and others would drop the facades and pay attention.
Update, 6:29 pm (ET): The National Hockey League has also suspended regular season play. Major League Baseball has cancelled preseason games, and delayed the start of the regular season to the week of April 6. WWE Smackdown, scheduled for Detroit tomorrow, has been relocated to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, site of last night's NXT broadcast. However, this time, the arena will be empty.
Update, 9:04 pm (ET): The XFL, after announcing Sunday's LA-Seattle game would be played in an empty stadium, has changed course, and suspended play for the rest of the season.