The Coronavirus Pandemic Is So Serious That Even Andrew Bolt Has Managed A Backflip

Australia’s conservative commentators have decided to finally acknowledge the urgency of one of humanity’s most pressing issues, and they couldn’t have picked a better time.

No, they don’t suddenly support climate action, but they have come around on the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in January, Sky News host and noted George Pell-defender Andrew Bolt ridiculed concern about the virus in Australia, saying it was only a problem in China.

“I’m always suspicious, when the media pushes panic […] I think a lot of people have a vested interest in beating this up,” he said.

“I am pretty sure that a real, deadly pandemic would look a lot more deadly than this.”

At this time there were already a handful of cases in Australia, but hundreds of deaths in China. Yet he still felt the need to speak down to the rest of the country in a series of pretentious squeals.

“There is one more protection I think you should consider: how about building up some resistance to the emergence of panic about the bushfires, about global worming, about this coronavirus, about almost anything these days. Do you know how bad panic is for your health?”

By this week, Bolt had changed his tune, calling the pandemic “terrifying” and “very bad news”.

“If this coronavirus keeps spreading this fast, you’ve seen nothing yet,” he said sternly.

The next day, he continued: “Overnight we were already looking at an explosive increase in cases, but by early afternoon today it was worse than I thought possible.

“This. Virus. Is. Coming.”

Now he’s calling for much stricter isolation measures, similar to those implemented in Singapore.

“Here of course, we have a society that values freedom a lot more, but we may have to change and consider that kind of stuff as well,” he said, invoking the very same supposed loss of liberties that he uses against action on pretty much any other issue.

It’s a good thing that Bolt is finally taking the issue seriously, and it says a lot about how impossible it is to ignore.

Others are also slowly coming around. Radio host and shrivelled thumb Alan Jones recently described the pandemic as the “health version of global warming.” For those not keeping track, Jones reckons climate change is a hoax.

Thankfully he too has started to take the issue more seriously in recent days, although he still insists that there is too much “alarmism”. Others like Pauline Hanson also appear to take the pandemic seriously, but that’s possibly because it’s given her the opportunity to say “close the borders” on breakfast TV.

Over in the US, Fox News anchors originally downplayed the virus and ridiculed people’s concern. Seemingly in unison, they somehow twisted the crisis into a Democrat-orchestrated attack on President Donald Trump.

When Trump himself stopped dismissing the coronavirus, the Fox News anchors followed suit. Within the space of a month, they’ve now all started talking about just how serious the COVID-19 pandemic really is.

It’s great that we’re all on the same page now, but it shouldn’t have taken this long in the first place.