On January 26, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others lost their lives to a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. While the NBA legend’s death continued to make headlines for days, news regarding the emerging COVID-19 disease failed to gain attention. At that time, there were only a few reported COVID-19 cases in the USA. Now, there are over 14,000 worldwide deaths reported after WHO has declared the virus as a global pandemic.
Around two months ago, USA Today ran an article about the virus, reporting about the rush to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. The article was placed on the left-hand corner of the newspaper, while the piece covering Bryant’s death took up maximum space on the front page. Snopes was the first to write about both the articles being printed on one day, emphasizing on how the COVID-19 disease is now widespread as authorities are struggling to contain the virus and treat the infected while the global death toll continues to rise. The articles were spotted by reader around five weeks ago.
7 1/2 weeks ago, nearly 2 months ago, we lost #KobeBryant and— “Drug makers are hustling to make a vaccine to counter the rapidly spreading respiratory virus that has sick and at least 1975 people in China and five in the United States.”— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) March 18, 2020
46-1 was golfing and tweeting gibberish. pic.twitter.com/SEHKoBdwMt
While USA Today’s article about the coronavirus was included in the January 27 issue of the print newspaper, the digital version was uploaded three days ago on January 24. The article focused on the National Institutes of Health teaming up with a company in Boston to develop a vaccine for the deadly virus. However, USA Today also mentioned about the outbreak of the virus, and how a vaccine may not be developed on time.
In January, China had 1975 cases reported, while the USA had only five confirmed cases. The virus had already spread to neighbouring countries like Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Now, the USA has crossed 35,000 confirmed cases (458 total deaths), while China has reported over 80,000 cases (3270 total deaths).