Project Veritas has recently exposed CNN for using fear to attract viewers. It is a shameful technique used widely in media and politics. Your local ‘news’ paper uses it more than you may realize.
In a recent story about the Belknap County nursing home’s difficulty in finding nursing staff, it was made to sound as if this was an isolated problem for the county home. The reality is there is a wide spread problem in nursing in general. The problem is made worse by the easy availability of generous unemployment benefits.
As I know what is going on and I attended the commissioners’ meeting that spawned the article, I was not concerned. We have an excellent administrator at the Belknap County nursing home and the residents receive 5 star care.
A few days after the article appeared I received a call from a friend. She has a loved one residing at the nursing home. The story in the paper, as she read it, made it sound like the nursing home was going to be closed. I assured her that the nursing home is not closing and she could relax.
This was not a case of sloppy writing, it was carefully crafted to sow fear. This is shown in a more recent piece written about the county delegation investigation into spending irregularities.
Having attended the meeting from which this latest article arose, I found it odd that two references were made to oxygen in the nursing home. It was implied that there was insufficient funds available to have oxygen supplied to nursing home residents. It has nothing to do with the investigation and not a word about oxygen was spoken in the meeting. It seems only to be inserted to stoke fear of patients lacking proper care.
I immediately recognized this to be a manufactured ‘crisis,’ before I went to check the budget.
As of June 6, 2021, which covers the first 42% of the year, the budget for oxygen has spent 29%. From a budget of $39,000 only $11,266 has been spent. In fact, the estimate for the year end is that $9,000 will remain in the oxygen budget. Note that this is based on the very frugal delegation budget, the county commissioners had budgeted $49,800 for the year. What’s $20,000 between friends? Some might call it fraud.