December 21, 2020
At MacIver, we strive to provide readers with information the mainstream media ignores or chooses not to cover. In 2020, with so much of the conversation focused on Coronavirus and the monumental presidential election, far too many important stories did not receive the attention they deserved.
While the list could be much longer, we have compiled what we believe to be the “Top Ten Underreported Stories Of 2020.”
Do you agree with our picks? Did we leave off a story that you believe should be on the list? Let us know in the comment section.
#10. Wisconsin’s Unprepared High School Graduates
A staggering report released in March of this year found that students from 186 high schools in Wisconsin were required to take remedial math or English classes when starting in the UW System, demonstrating many high school graduates are grossly underprepared for what comes next.
These findings come after consecutive and substantial budget increases at the Department of Public Instruction, where funds are supposedly going to provide a better education for Wisconsin students. This number will, unfortunately, only increase as many public school students are not receiving the same type and quality of instruction that they have received in the past. This means that while Wisconsin’s unprepared high school students is an underreported story right now, we will all come to know about this disconcerting trend in 2021 and beyond.
#9. Churches Protest the Government Prohibition On Worship And The Attack On Religious Freedom
Throughout the pandemic, not only has the ability to earn a living been taken away for many of us, but also our First Amendment right to freely practice religion. Religious institutions have been heavily targeted by government lockdowns with limited attendance capacities since the early months of the virus. To the churches that dare defy the restrictions of government bureaucrats in Dane County, fines of up to $1,000 could be enforced if there are violations of the 50 person capacity.
These rules are still forcing many churches to go completely virtual — nearly seven months after the start of the pandemic. In a time where more than ever citizens need to find solace in community and the church, this fundamental right was — and still is — taken away by government leaders.
#8. Dying Of COVID or With COVID?
Public records obtained by The MacIver Institute show that as of early December, at least 67% of individuals in the state who died of COVID-19 had another underlying health condition in addition to 31% of COVID-19 deaths that had an “unknown” comorbidities status with no explanation as to the large “unknown” classification.
During the virus outbreak, all we have heard is that we are following the data. Yet, public health officials, some politicians, and the mainstream media refuse to give the public complete information about COVID-19 or be transparent about the data that they are supposedly relying on to make decisions about the shutdowns, the economy, and other restrictions.
Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office Operations Manager, Karen Domagalski, said at the time, “Almost everyone dying of [COVID-19] has other serious health problems.”
If the vast majority of people who pass away, pass away because, at least in part, of other serious, underlying health conditions, why would you not share that information with the public or talk about it at your weekly press conference? Why did it take an open records request from MacIver to make public this public information?
Isn’t this the data that should be guiding our response to the virus so we target our resources and our efforts at the vulnerable, the elderly, and those with serious health conditions?
Why would the Evers Administration try to hide this important and basic information from Wisconsinites?
#7. Evers Administration Consistently Rewriting the COVID-19 Narrative
For months, Wisconsinites have come to know the repeated incompetence of Governor Evers and his administration. Time after time, Team Evers has tried to dictate to the Wisconsin people and restrict their freedoms with little to back up their views or even a good explanation of their decisions that the public can relate to. They wasted little time telling us what we can and cannot do throughout the pandemic without having a good understanding of the virus themselves.
Back in March, DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm predicted catastrophic positive infections and death rates when neither statistic came to pass. They said in April that holding the election would lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases and people would lose their lives as a result. In July, Palm admitted the negative test result rate she had been providing reporters was inaccurate. In August, the interim administrator of the Division of Public Health of DHS, Stephanie Smiley, stated the agency did not have a specific goal tied to the statewide mask mandate.
Even after the Thanksgiving holiday, when DHS warned infection and death rates would skyrocket if families got together, they continued to get their predictions wrong as virus rates remained steady in the state. Their reasoning behind this shifted from “the spike hasn’t happened yet” to “people just didn’t get tested” to “citizens followed our advice and stayed home.”
Normally, the mainstream media would have a field day with such complete and utter incompetence from an elected official and high-ranking bureaucrats. Sadly, MacIver is the only outlet questioning their narrative, asking tough questions about the COVID data and drawing attention to the ineptitude and ineffectiveness of Governor Evers and his administration.
#6. The Impact of Lockdowns on Everyone
The mainstream media has been quick to report stories of those who have been impacted by the physical effects of Coronavirus itself, but few of these outlets are reporting the greater repercussions of the lockdowns on public health. From mental and social health to economic well-being, citizens are suffering from being locked down at home. Over the summer, the CDC found one in four young adults reported they seriously contemplated suicide. This same report found 40% of individuals studied experienced a mental or behavioral health condition related to COVID-19. Additionally, the data is just beginning to show the drastic increase in domestic abuse as individuals have been forced to stay at home.
As MacIver pointed this out at the beginning of the virus outbreak, “we must consider the damage our COVID19 response is doing to our family, friends, and neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites are out of work and countless small businesses have been forced to close. Entire families are seeing their lives ruined. While the loss of life to COVID19 is tragic, the loss of jobs and loss of community has already had a much greater impact on the lives of our families than COVID19 itself.”
Too many government bureaucrats have been quick to extend their shutdowns — and the mainstream media is willfully providing the coverage they need — but they have not fully considered the detrimental impact social isolation is having on the health of their constituents.
#5. Milwaukee Public Schools Approve Spending and Tax Increase During a Government-Forced Economic Shutdown
In the midst of a nationwide pandemic, where thousands of individuals have been laid off and barred from seeing loved ones — the Milwaukee Public School District approved a $1.2 billion budget for the 2020-2021 school year.
The board passed spending amendments that expanded retirement benefits and increased the minimum wage of school employees to $15. All the while many of their property taxpayers and homeowners have lost income or their job altogether and will struggle to pay for higher taxes in the middle of COVID-19. Ironically, MacIver predicts MPS will be at the front of the line requesting more taxpayer funds in the upcoming budget season.
#4. Politicians Breaking The Quarantine Rules They Force Their Constituents to Comply With
It’s no secret that many politicians have been eager to exercise power and command their constituents to close down their businesses, stay home from church, and avoid any and all contact with those they don’t live with.
Yet, many of these same politicians seem to think their own rules don’t apply to themselves. Across the country, many politicians and bureaucrats continued to do as they pleased, while the rest of us were forced to stay in our homes and isolate ourselves from our loved ones.
- Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done in September
- Gavin Newsom dining in person at an elite restaurant
- Gretchen Whitmer’s husband requesting to use the family boat over Memorial Day Weekend
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attending rallies in support of Joe Biden
- Austin Mayor Steve Adler traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a vacation
- COVID Taskforce Member Doctor Deborah Birx traveling to her family vacation home in Delaware for Thanksgiving
The hypocrisy couldn’t be more clear: Rules for thee and not for me.
#3. Questionable Curriculum, BLM in Milwaukee Schools
Regardless of the fact that many Milwaukee Public Schools are struggling with low proficiency levels in math and English, this past school year, some MPS schools spent weeks at a time indoctrinating their students with Black Lives Matter material in the classrooms.
While MacIver’s video covering the questionable curriculum in schools has now reached over 135,000 views, this story is still widely underreported in the mainstream media.
#2. Did the End Bail Movement Lead to Anisa Scott’s Death?
Over the summer, a young girl in Madison was murdered while riding in the car of her mom’s boyfriend. Anisa Scott’s story was covered by the mainstream media, but what the mainstream media downplayed was that two of the three defendants accused in this heinous crime should have been in custody instead of out on the streets. Why would the media ignore this very important part of this tragic story? It undermines their push for social justice and criminal justice reform. Criminals are not really criminals, they are just misunderstood.
Jerry Ward and Perion Carreon would have likely been behind bars had it not been for someone paying their bail.
The ability to eliminate the cash-bail system — a movement being pushed by groups like Freedom Inc. and the Party for Socialism and Liberalism– will only lead to increased violence and crime in our communities. The death of Anisa Scott proves that it already has.
#1. Mainstream Media’s Silence on Hunter Biden
One national story that unfortunately got almost no attention in the mainstream media — that is until after the election, of course — is Hunter Biden’s shady overseas business dealings and personal life. While Hunter has been under investigation since 2018, it was not discussed in presidential debates, mainstream media outlets, or even by Joe Biden himself.
The mainstream media spent four years covering every element of Donald Trump’s campaign, personal taxes, and even his family, all for the purpose of “informing the public” about the 45th President of the United States. Therefore, the complete avoidance of Joe and Hunter Biden’s relationship is even more astonishing and makes it MacIver’s Top Underreported Story of 2020.
Why shouldn’t the American Public know if the son of the Vice President and a Presidential candidate committed a crime or crimes? Why wouldn’t the mainstream media approach this story with the same fervor and tenacity that they used every single day in their pursuit of President Trump and his family?
Unfortunately, we all know why the mainstream ignored the Hunter Biden story and every other entry on this list. And yet, the mainstream media cannot understand why the public questions their reporting or why so many people are searching out other credible outlets like MacIver for their daily news consumption. Maybe that is the ultimate Underreported Story of 2020, the public’s rejection of the biased legacy media and the growing chasm between the media and the American people.