A Beloved Bar Owner Was Skeptical About the Virus. Then He Took a Cruise.

Apr 18, 2020 · 671 comments
Jim (Phoenix)
Let's not lay complacency all on Fox. I recollect in mid February the Times infectious disease reporter saying we were still in "the fog of war" figuring out what was or wasn't coming out of China. "We don't know if this is the big one." And at the beginning of March large crowds were watching spring training games in Phoenix, nobody got sick and nobody was saying shut down spring training. Spain in early March wasn't scary enough from keeping a Phoenix doctor from traveling there during their family's school break.
george eliot (Connecticut)
Certain established news media have longstanding reputation for being liberal biased, which over time has undermined their credibility, and triggered the rise of right biased outlets that in addition to political bias also relay egregious misinformation. Perhaps if every news outlet strove to be objective and unbiased - isn't that the intent of journalism - then maybe we wouldn't have these issues.
Kim
Thank you for writing this. It is a beautifully written story, which makes it's points about lack of reliable information and lack of national leadership contributing to Joe's death, very naturally. Thank you for taking the time to get to know Joe and his working class family and neighborhood, and sharing his story with us. My condolences and sympathy go out to his family and all who knew him
JMM (Ballston Lake, NY)
I have no doubt he would still be alive if not for Fox Fake News. Think: What if Hannity and Ingraham and Carlson talked up the threat? He would not have gone to Spain and would have practiced social distancing. Fox saw the lawsuits coming and changed its tune. I see a class action lawsuits coming. Bigly.
Brian MacDougall (California)
Truly a heart-breaking story; the guy was still pretty young at 74 with lots of years left. And he sounds like a really good guy. But it only takes one blind spot in life, one single act of myopia. Unfortunately, I think this is a story that is playing out in many families across this great land of ours, and the final dimensions of it will be tragic. And there won't be any "winners." We will all be the poorer for it.
JMSCameron (Jacksonville, Fl)
I’m so sorry for your loss. I recently lost my mother December 26, 2019, and it still hurts. Unlike you, my mother lived for 90 years and God call her home after her body gave out but not her spirit. Your father taken too soon because of a belief and lie that Clovid-19 was a hoax. When a doctor makes an error in the care of a patient it’s malpractice. What is it when our President does”malpractices” of the country?
Keith Vance (California)
I think one of the saddest aspects of this story is that an otherwise intelligent, well-informed person chose to believe a con man with a political axe to grind over the scientists with no other motive than saving lives.
George Santangelo (NYC)
More instances of death to doubters should be published. It’s the only way to get their attention.
Tim (Raleigh)
Apparently it was “a thing.”
jas2200 (Carlsbad, CA)
It's amazing how idiots like Hannity have so much power over some people. He could tell may Trump followers that the sun rises in the west and up is down, and they would believe him to the extent that they would risk their lives on his advice. He takes no responsibility for the propaganda and outright lies he spews from his Fox tower, and cashes those big checks every month. It's disgusting and immoral, but that's what we can expect for many of the Fox "News" commenters. Fox is largely responsible for the destruction of our country we have seen since Fox began their right-wing propaganda machine.
Julia LQM (California)
I feel very sorry for this family. Seems these were good people. And I’m hearing a lot of well-deserved blame for Fox News. But where is the personal responsibility people have to be smart consumers of media? And to keep one another safe by not spreading deadly diseases? These people were successful business owners and world travelers. How could they be so ignorant? How many deaths like this, and those of our courageous medical professionals, will it take before people wake up and see the truth what is happening?
DrJeff (NJ)
My condolences to the man's family, but ask the author about her tweet from 2/27 (since deleted but saved on Twitchy and other places. Won't let me paste it here) in which she tweets : "I fundamentally don't understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound." Rake meet face.
John (CMCH, NJ)
Thank you. Author should address this. Also maybe Deblasio advising carrying on as usual on 3/10.
John (Sunny California)
RIP Joe. Sounds like you were a good guy. It's sad that the people you chose to trust (Trump, Hannity, et. al.) deceived you and caused your early demise -- solely to further their own political ends. They convinced you not to trust the main-stream media who, while far from perfect, generally dig up the facts and tell the truth. And they insisted that you accept their lies about the severity of the virus. You were a good guy, and you deserved better.
Gambel's Quail (Out West)
Very sorry for this family. I hope that they, and others who've suffered, take Fox News to court for the damage they've caused. Of course money will not replace a beloved family member. But if enough people go after this intentional source of deadly misinformation, perhaps it will stop.
Prof (Michigan)
This story proves once again that Darwin was right. For the first 3 years of Trump's Administration, I thought the Republicans were making the movie Idiocracy into a documentary. But Mother Nature is more powerful than any political party or movement. Mother Nature is weighing in with the Coronavirus. Wait till she weighs in with her displeasure over Climate Change. You ain't seen nothing yet.
Gia (USA)
I was feeling sorry for Mr. Joyce until I read his daughters comment. Somehow the President needed to wear a mask for her father to have cancelled his trip. It took very little digging for me to know in December that this virus was killing a lot of people in China. I was distancing in February. I bought respirator masks for my family also in February. I did not need the President, the CDC or WHO to tell me what I needed to do to protect myself and my family. INTERESTING that Governor Cuomo and other New York officials down playing it was never brought up in the article. Cuomo March 2- “Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers — I speak for the mayor also on this one — we think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York,” Cuomo said. “So, when you’re saying, what happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries" “We know that there’s currently no indication that it’s easy to transmit by casual contact,” Barbot said on March 2. “We want New Yorkers to go about their daily lives, ride the subway, take the bus, go see your neighbors.”
Mike (Montana)
Setting aside what media outlets and mayors and congress members said, the White House is responsible for our our slow response at all levels of government.
Janet (Austin, Texas)
@Mike Aren’t y’all same folks screaming that Trump is dictator lol
Bob G. (San Francisco)
He sounds like a lovely man, whether conservative or liberal or somewhere in between. He was kind. It makes me sad that good people like him can be led astray by the lies of Faux News, but it happens all the time. Older people in particular become so sure that Fox is right and everyone else is wrong. It's almost like a kind of madness, or dementia. There must be a psychological reason for it, but I don't know what it is. What makes them follow a TV organization and a political party (the Republicans) that are antithetical to their own interests? I mean, the Republicans are the party that wants to end Social Security. Hello?!
ObservantOne (New York)
I think most New Yorkers didn't believe it was serious until the St. Patrick's Day parade was cancelled.
Chris (Brewster, NY)
So it's Fox News fault? Sean Hannity is to blame? Had they just read the NY Times, would they have made a different decision? Kinda doubt it given that the epicenter is in the paper's home town. SMH.
Nadine (New Jersey USA)
It's funny you ask whether Fox News is to blame, they are preparing to be sued over Coronavirus misinformation.
Linda (N.C.)
Chris, those who adhere to Fox for their information see The Times as antithetical, bc 45 and Fox talking heads tell them so. 45 demonizes Times reporters as "enemies of the people" so his worshipers fall into lockstep, never bothering for one minute to seek truth. it is pointless to even attempt to direct their attention to facts, graphs, quotes by non-trump approved entities. They dismiss it as deep state propaganda. it truly is tragic and will cost lives.
HM (Montana)
The responsibility for our country’s slow response lies with the White House. trump and his “very best people”.
tom (FL/CT)
A terrible story of the loss of a good man, but who knows if it colored by the political bias of his daughter.
Opinioned! (NYC)
Well. If Joe bought one of the $99.99 a tube toothpaste from Alex Jones, he might have been spared from this democratic hoax. Anyhoo, as Republicans would say, thoughts and prayers. Hope more FOX viewers go on cruises and spring breaks and rallies.
Janet (Austin, Texas)
@Opinioned! Thought and prayers to you. I do not wish illness or death on anyone and that includes folks I disagree with politically, as vile and hateful as they are. I figure their hatred must be a terrible burden to live with everyday.
Jean Lawless (New Jersey)
It’s very possible he didn’t contract the virus on the cruise. He most likely contracted it between March 12th and March 26th. That being said, he sounds like a nice guy and what a terrible loss for his family, friends and community.
Voter (Chicago)
I have always favored neighborhood taverns, and I am sorry for the loss of Mr. Joyce. It sounds like he ran a good business and was good to his customers and his neighborhood. How many more, otherwise good people, will be lost because they participated in these silly Fox-inspired demonstrations at state capitols against the very measures that will save us all?
Matthew61795 (Ohio)
This simply put, why you can't trust the NYT. It states (and then tries to dilute it) that somehow Fox was responsible. There were no important institutions or media networks were calling on people to stop traveling when the individual in question set off on his cruise. It turns out that we likely should have started serious social distancing at least a couple of weeks earlier than we did. But to blame our not doing so on Fox News is a. This situation is tragic enough but the Times won't miss an opportunity to politicize.
me (bala cynwyd, pa)
They went on a cruise a few days before Hannity tweeted, yet a few days after Ginia tweeted the following: "I fundamentally don't understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases...." https://twitter.com/ThatGuyBrian3/status/1251924270533533696/photo/1 So, in reality, if we are assigning blame on death based on tweets, it's Ginia's fault, not Hannity's.
Ginia Bellafante (New York)
This tweet is a reply to an investment banker and refers specifically to the stock market sell off....that is the “panic.” My point was that when things got better, eventually, production would resume. Alas, that tweet has been taken out of context. Here is Sean Hannity on 2/27: “Tonight, I can report the sky is absolutely falling. We are all doomed. The end is near. The apocalypse is imminent and you’re all going to die, all of you in the next 48 hours and it’s all President Trump’s fault,” he said, “Or at least that’s what the media mob and the Democratic extreme radical socialist party would like you to think.”
John (CMCH, NJ)
Thank you. Author should address.
John (CMCH, NJ)
Why no blame on Deblasio who on 3/10 was still advising all to carry on? All Hannity's fault?
MaryLou (Portland)
He sounds like a lovable man. I’m sorry he died because he believed the Republicans. And I’m sincerely shocked by the many mean-spirited, heartless, snarky comments here. A nice man is needlessly dead. Think about it as if you are a human being, please.
bellcurvz (Venice California)
His blood is on the hands of trump, republicans that lie for him and fox news.
John (Houston)
Maybe he read Gina’s Tweet on February 27th, instead of Hannity’s quite a week after he left.
Dennis Jay (Washington, DC)
Just want to say this is a brilliant piece of journalism, a story beautifully told.
Opinioned! (NYC)
A class action lawsuit is in the works. Hannity, Pirro, et al are already lawyering up. It will be very beautiful to behold.
Nnaiden (Montana)
the influence of this "president" and his favorite fake news channel, is beyond measure. it is also beyond cost. My heart goes out to the family.
Marjorie P (Vienna,VA)
Call me what you will, but I traveled to the UK on March 6th w my college age children. We were a bit frightened, but the numbers were low in London. We brought latex gloves with us, hand sanitizer and wore scarves over our faces on the tube. We were way more concerned it appeared than the Brits. We flew home on March 15th and quarantined immediately in our home and have done so since. At the airport we were not checked for fever or asked any questions about our travels. There were people on our flight who had flown from other countries through London to reach the US. I was more concerned about them than I was about us. So far we are all healthy and hope to stay that way. We canceled the Paris leg of our trip.
Rona Sussman (New York)
What’s your point? This was a man who bought into the fake news being served up by trump and trumpers and died because of it.
Matthew61795 (Ohio)
@Rona Sussman You are simply wrong. No org like the who, etc, was saying don't travel at them. To try and blame Fox News just is not fact based.
Yeah, whatever.... (New York, NY)
Yup. "A working class hero is something to be." John Lennon.
sue (ny)
Sorry for the tragic loss. The fact remains though that everyone who voted for that nazi monster and who continues to support him even now caused all of this. This is what happens when you support a fascist lunatic. I am battling covid and pneumonia right now at home and pray that I survive it. You all dod this to me and to those who are fighting this.
Rax (formerly NYC)
“If Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,’ I don’t think he would have gone.” Proof that Trump is killing people with his lies, omissions, half-truths and poor leadership. Very sad for this family. A terrible thing.
Rocket J Squrriel (Frostbite Falls, MN)
@Rax Had Trump done that the media would have screamed that he was making a big deal out of nothing(which they did), that he was racist (because the virus came from China), that he is a fascist dictator. In other words, Trump can't win. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.
richard.wilson (Brooklyn)
Started reading this sad story, but I appreciated that it was not yet another Trump story. Then it turned into a Trump story. You guys can't help it, I guess.
RSQ (Bucks County, PA)
Again, I blame Bud Light for contributing to our cultural downfall.
Yaj (NYC)
It's not contradictory to detest Hillary Clinton and also understand Trump + FoxNews lie/d about the corona-virus. I'm not clear why Ms Bellafante even mentions Hillary Clinton. Joyce supported Trump, and didn't take the virus seriously, likely because he believed the likes of Trump and Hannity. His failing is not a dislike of Hillary Clinton and not wanting to listen to her supporters (few want to--after all HRC and her supporters elected Trump), Joyce's failing is believing Fox News and Trump. I'm sure it was an okay bar, with not great beer on tap, Bud made in Newark is nothing like Bud from St. Louis, but I'd like to know the religion of the Syrian dart player. Trump supporters are known Islamaphobes--look at Trump's birther nonsense.
lou andrews (Portland Oregon)
There is a saying and a sad saying at that: "Nature does know how to weed out the nimrods". Such truth all in one sentence. Parrots are parrots and are supposed to be have like parrots. humans need to behave like humans, not like parrots or sheep. Bu there we are, celebrated 24/7 by so many people. Please people, take off your mask and look at yourselves in the mirror and see yourselves as you truly are.
Mike C. (Florida)
Trump and Faux News lied, and people died. This is just one more tragic bit of evidence.
Andy (Texas)
So, he was fine with immigrants and gays, as long as they were customers supporting his business, but he had no problem supporting a president who has demonized immigrants from day one, and who has supported homophobic policies and hired virulent homophobes time and time again. Was he a sweet but dumb, naive rube who got duped by right wing media? Or just a savvy businessman who was tolerant as long as money was going into his pockets?
Randy Little (Turlock, CA)
Harsh, but I see your point. Do people who do good deeds go to heaven or do they have to believe? FoxNews probably has an opinion on that, too.
Rome (Here & There)
Another victim of the right-wing misinformation machine. Sad.
Dave (NV)
He was warned. Let his death be a warning and lesson for others.
Jay (S)
Men and women like Mr. Joyce are known to all of us. They were our childhood friends or family, and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic we tolerated their embrace of Fox-con nonsense and their slide into Trumpism with a sense of bemused exasperation. Post Covid-19, their willful ignorance is no longer tolerable no longer amusing, no longer just a quirk that one can separate from the rest of their personality, however charming it may be on the surface. I've chosen to not just socially distance from such people, but socially separate. Honestly, it's a relief.
Plashy Fen (Midwest)
I wish that every news medium would put up repeating PSAs whenever covering this corrupt "president": "Trump doesn't like this" IS NOT SYNONYMOUS WITH "This is not true."
Pandora (IL)
This man sounds like a terrific guy. I'm sure that Fox and Trump will find a way to blame him for believing them.
JH (Brooklyn)
Those who preach and follow science denialism will suffer the most under this pandemic. Let us hope it wipes out the noxious propaganda structures that have infected this country since the ‘80s.
Climate Change (CA)
Sean hannity was a construction worker until sheer luck and shameless lies and propaganda launched him to where he is today. If you listen to him for advice regarding a dangerous pandemic, this is an expected outcome.
NativeSon (Austin, TX)
. Mr. Joyce's death is yet another American's tragedy as a result of trumps incompetence and corruption... Covid-45 .
Steven (NYC)
You can thank the morally bankrupt trump and his lying tv “personalities” on FOX for this tragic situation and believe me, thousands of more that we don’t know about. The celebration of ignorance going on in this country is mind blowing.
Zora (New York)
I send this family my condolences. To the supporters of 45, please take this as a teaching moment. As you're protesting the shut-ins and comparing them to Nazi death camps and violations of your rights. Remember, you have the right to die - you don't have the right to take other people with you.
JAS3rd (Florida)
I'm sorry, but this story makes no sense to me.
lou andrews (Portland Oregon)
@JAS3rd even to parrots this story makes sense.. hint hint
Paul Downie (New York City)
Of course it doesn’t. You probably spent all day on the beach in a red hat.
DMC (California)
I’m so sorry for this poor guy and his family, but Fox isn’t the problem. The misinformation on the Wuhan virus came from China, WHO and many others, including democrats Nancy Pelosi and Bill DeBlasio, who said it wasn’t a problem and encouraged people to mingle and go about their day. Trump took it seriously starting in January when he stopped travel from China. California shut down nonessential businesses on March 13 when my son and many others lost their jobs.
Baruch (Bend OR)
@DMC The whole world knows that "I take no responsibility" Trump ignored the virus for months, some reports say as long as a year. Trumpists just don't get it. They are following a man who is proven liar and psychopath. I guess the only way they'll understand is if someone close to them dies, or if they themselves get sick. Obviously if/when they die, they won't understand anything anymore. Your son losing his job may have saved his life. Would you rather he be employed and dead?
Sajwert (NH)
The final paragraph left me in a puddle of tears. My deepest sympathy to this family, one of thousands in this sad world. I have close members who are Trump supporters, but fortunately believe in science enough to fear this disease. For that, I am deeply grateful.
malibu frank (Calif.)
Arcade machines often have a disclaimer posted to the effect that the games are "for entertainment only." Since the cable providers are the primary carriers of Fox programing the above words, plus some additional warnings should be required; for example, "The following program contains false information and outright lies and does not reflect the official policy or position of Comcast Communications. Viewer discretion is advised."
John (College Point)
Is his family sure about the cause of death because Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides may be eligible to receive disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Widows of veterans who died as a result of a disease related to Agent Orange exposure may also be eligible for compensation.
Smc (Vancouver)
Now all those mesothelioma class action lawyers on TV can turn their attention to the lies brazenly broadcast out on Fox by Hannity and his cronies. They can run ads looking for victims' families to step forward with their stories and they can pursue Fox and friends with passion in the courts. I can see the ads going on CNN, MSNBC, etc. but will Fox and Rupert Murdoch take the placement? Yep, they are money grubbers and also they will need the money to pay for their own lawyers to fend off impending bankruptcy. A bankruptcy that will be well earned.
DLF (PDX)
All you need to know about the despicable nature of Fox News and the Murdoch family is what the NYT reported previously: “On March 8, as the virus was spreading, the Murdoch family called off a planned party out of concern for the patriarch’s health, according to a person familiar with the cancellation.” Apparently, the Murdoch family did not get their information regarding the pandemic from Fox News.
JM (San Francisco)
Such a tragic story. I am so sorry for this family's terrible and seemingly preventable loss of their beloved father/husband. How many more stories are we going to hear just like this. I am so sick of Fox news addicts who constantly quote Sean and Tucker and Laura as if they were their best friends. Tucker says we need to open up America, go on that cruise. Sean says the virus is a democratic hoax . Laura says no big deal, lots of people die from the flu. How can these Fox News political hacks sleep at night knowing they are spewing political propaganda that puts their loyal viewers in grave danger. You don't see THEM out there demonstrating. They're not THAT stupid. So America must now hold our collective breaths worrying about the virus spikes in 5-14 days from these Fox News/Trump promoted alt-right protest demonstrations. They'd better not show up at any hospital treatment.
Ms. Bay (Bay Shore, NY)
Well put
Lord Melonhead (Martin, TN)
>>He didn’t want to hear how much you loved Hillary Clinton, as one regular at his bar put it to me, but he was not going to make the Syrian immigrant who came in to play darts feel as if he belonged anywhere else.<< Well, duh. They Syrian immigrant was spending money in his bar!
ObservantOne (New York)
@Lord Melonhead Bay Ridge has had a large Syrian and Lebanese population since the early 1900s. I'm sure he grew up with plenty of Arabs.
Matt (Arkansas)
What a surprise, the NYT's blames FOX news. On Dec 14th the WHO declared the virus was not contagious. On Feb 2nd Pelosi and DeBlasio hold conferences telling people to ignore Trump and carry on. On Feb 24th Pelosi visited Chinatown and encouraged people to "enjoy the parade". You people amaze me.
Francis (Minnesota)
@Matt I'll need some documentation about WHO saying the virus was not contagious. I follow events closely and I don't think they ever said that. In fact, all viruses are contagious to one extent or another. Pelosi and DeBlasio told people to ignore Trump about what? Trump was completely dismissive about covid-19 at that point. He certainly wasn't advocating caution. So were they telling people to ignore Trump's nonchalance? That would have been a good thing. February 24 was nearly a week before the first US death. No one was being particularly careful at that time. Certainly not Trump and certainly not FOX "news".
Mike (Port Waahington)
The author of this article tweeted on Feb.27th that she didn’t understand what the panic was about. How’s that for being disingenuous ?
Baruch (Bend OR)
@Matt I see that you, like a minority of other Americans, believe the lies Trump tells you. I hope you find a deprogrammer and save yourself, otherwise, like the majority of Trumpists, you will end up dead pretty soon from this virus.
SRP (USA)
Fox News was asked for comment. Their response? “Thoughts and prayers.”
ICantFixStupid (Boston)
He watched fox news - need I say more. He then took a cruise - need I say more. He then died - need I say more.
Welcome Canada (Canada)
“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’... So sorry for his family but maybe, just maybe people will learn from this and ditch Fox. You will never, never get the thruth from hacks who pretend to know so much.
MDCooks8 (West of the Hudson)
I am just curious how many people of the NYT faithful will be leaving New York, NJ or CT once other states are open while the tri-State area remains under stay at home orders?
Judy Petersen (phoenix)
Trump is anti science. If you follow him you may die.
Cordelia (New York City)
And then there were the hordes of people walking on the beach in Jacksonville, Florida two days ago, many less than six feet apart and none with masks on. None of them has a inkling that just being in the airstream of someone who coughs or sneezes could prove deadly to them. How many of the people on that beach on Friday are also Fox News watchers? How many have an iota of an idea about how this virus ravages the bodies of its hosts? How many even suspect that an ER ICU overwhelmed by victims may not be able to help them if they become infected? I'm disgusted by trump, disgusted by Fox News, and just as disgusted by mindless pleasure seekers on a beach, or worse yet morons protesting against their state closures of workplaces and public spaces for their own benefit.
T. Cavendish (New York)
This is precisely the type of article that’s going to help Trump get re-elected, the type of story that the Times apologized for in the wake of the 2016 election when it promised to do better. The whole thing reeks of condescension: Pity these poor blue collar iron workers, cops and firefighters, with their simple lives, simple pleasures and their rapt attention to Fox News as the only source of information they trust. The story runs with a single assumption — that a man in a city ravaged by COVID-19 probably got it in Spain — and uses it to portray anyone out of lockstep with the Times’ ideology and the social status of its newsroom employees as quaint little idiots, people who aren’t smart enough to realize they’re being manipulated by media that is Not The Times. How many people like Joe work in the Times newsroom? How many among the editorial staff come from a similar background? How often do you bother considering them when it isn’t for one of your pitying stories designed to show the dangers of not swearing fealty to your ideology?
Francis (Minnesota)
@T. Cavendish I think the whole article reeks of compassion. Here was a well-liked guy. A lot of this article was in praise of his attitude and his actions. And there was no a single word of ideology. Your entire last paragraph is incomprehensible. So what if no Joes didn't work in the Times newsroom. The article is filled with concern about the man and his family. I don't think conservatives can detect compassion because they never show any.
James (LA)
@T. Cavendish How about you set aside all your preconceptions and start with facts: British-registered Diamond Princess was the first cruise ship to have a major outbreak on board, with the ship quarantined at Yokohama from 4 February 2020 for approximately one month. Over 700 people became infected, and 12 people died. At the time, the ship accounted for over half the reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 outside of China.[2] You are down a rabbit hole. That fact of a Covid-19 outbreak on a cruise ship 3 weeks before Joyce's trip, while not proof that he contracted it in Spain or on the ship indicates an extreme risk in taking the trip. POTUS job is to protect Americans. He had a duty to warn rather than say the number would go to zero and soon it will be gone. Because of his mendacity and destruction (ending pandemic preparation) we are now the nation facing the worst crises from the disease. No reader comprehending the story thinks it says Joyce contracted Covid in Spain or on the ship. We recognize that his risk was enhanced, and yes not just there but in NY due to denial and inaction by Trump. News flash pal, he ain't getting re-elected. The numbers here prove it. His supporters on these comments are outnumbered by easily 10-1. I of many people on the left who abhor the Times thinking that the Times give him tacit support. Three years ago there would be scores more Trumpists here. He is only waiting for the fork. Wake up and smell the death. Isolate or risk death.
Orion (Los Angeles)
@T. Cavendish Your assumption is that everyone who disagrees with you is following “the Times’ idealogy” and that we are swearing “fealty to (the NYT’s ) idealogy”. After all the detahs in New York, and re trcaing Fox and Trump, you still think ot is a hoax as you originally thought? You should separate the comments from the factual reporting in this article. People in the comments are entitled to their feelings and opinions. The article merely reported the facts, get your facts right.
Sally (California)
This was the period when Donald Trump, rather than underscore the potential threat, was horsing around calling the coronavirus "a hoax" and dodging the serious questions. -And no, he will never live that down. If Mr. Trump had reacted intelligently many more people would be alive today. Lots of Republicans were aping Trump at that juncture too, cracking jokes, repeating his words, saying it was nothing, nothing at all. Joe Joyce simply believed what he heard. Which brings up the obvious question, when will Fox News, Donald Trump's propaganda mouthpiece, (which distorts reality for political purposes) pay for encouraging people to ignore the potential threat of the coronavirus?
Mkm (Nyc)
Sorry I didn't know Joe, sounds like a heck of a guy. I'm also sorry the NYT felt it necessary to tarnish his obituary with a political smack at Republicans. Two of the paragon of progressive values in this country are Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo. Together, they are responsible for nearly half of all the known virus cases and death in this country. On March 10th, Governor Cuomo sent the National Gaurd into New Rochelle were the first outbreak occurred amongst NYC daily commuters. It then took twelve more days until March 22nd at 8:00pm to close down the city and state. During those 12 days the virus took off in the Tri- State area. We needed the national guard in New Rochelle but let the city run for 12 more days. The biggest failure of this entire disaster.
Cali’s Yogi... (S. Central...)
Ignorance, apparently, is not bliss. Prayers to the family..,
Marina (Florida)
With friends like Fox who needs enemies.
Bothwell (Bay of Bothnia)
I regret Joe's death, but perhaps there are other's out there that will take a clue - not from what Trump and Pence say --- but what they do. Even on March 1st, Trump had long before given up his "rallies". He was a bored prisoner in the White House. His only option was to run the daily coronavirus advisories on tv. Joe didn't think he had to pay attention to the nuance of what Trump and Pence are doing. Joe chose to headbob in agreement with whatever Trump said. People: Pay attention. Only when you see Trump back at his "rallies" in some high school auditorium, the room mobbed with screaming fans, none wearing masks, all crammed together and breathing down Trump's neck, only then should you maybe consider going to the grocery store instead of having everything delivered. Use you heads. Be safe.
Will. (NYCNYC)
A bar called "JJ Bubbles" was gay friendly. Imagine that.
James (NYC)
Sounds like a lawsuit against Fox News to me.
Woody Guthrie (Cranford, NJ)
He watched Hannity on Fox. Then tragedy ensued. A terrible one.
chambolle (Bainbridge Island)
Why does the New York Times insist on calling those who still deny the threat posed by covid-19, even in the face of tens of thousands of deaths and tens of thousands who will suffer long-term pulmonary impairment after a battle with the disease ‘conservatives.’ What is ‘conservative’ about willful ignorance; about an abject, inexcusable refusal to participate in the social contract to the extent required to,protect themselves and others from a deadly contagion. What does that have to do with politics, much less ‘conservatism’? Nothing — unless by ‘conservatism’ you mean ‘terminal, self-destructive stupidity.’
James (LA)
@chambolle Your last sentence pretty much sums up what conservatism, at least to the masses who are still anti-civil rights has become. The Fascist in charge perhaps intuited that and has made incredible hay and now death out of it. Even tho you posted your question without the question mark I will retort with mine. What would you call them? Myself from watching his rallies, the alt right events, mass shooters quoting him and the fools in Michigan with confederate flags I would call them racists. The Times did a service to conservatives by telling the story of one who is presumably not one of those racists.
Buttercup (Jersey)
Bitter. My dads dead because he believed Sean hannity. Hannity would shill for Biden for money. How can an adult from Brooklyn not get that?
Steven Thackston (Atlanta)
I hope Sean Hannity reads this...
David (San Jose)
Reality always wins. The ongoing lies told by the far right in this country will cost tens of thousands of lives and trillions in economic damage from theirs crisis alone - and it’s nowhere near over, as the idiots detached from reality and demonstrating all weekend showed. What a sad story, with no redeeming outcome. This guy didn’t have to die so the Murdochs, Trumps and Kochs can be a little richer, nor do any of the rest of us.
Gusting (Ny)
What a waste. How many people have to get sick and die or be permanently disabled from this “hoax”?
Politically Incoherent (San Francisco)
What kind of bar has only two kinds of beer on tap, and those are Bud and Bud light?
Paul Downie (New York City)
Give the people what they want, friend. In your neck of the woods that could be 8 kinds of undrinkable IPA and a low-calorie option. Horses for courses, I guess.
Joseph (San Antonio De Béxar)
Condolences and god bless. Unfortunately, he contacted the virus as result of not heeding any warnings. Rather, he chose to dismiss it.
Tom J (Berwyn, IL)
In Chicago we have 4 TV channels plus PBS to watch news if someone can't stomach the liberal MSNBC or FOX. No excuse not to at least be informed. Unless you just don't want to be.
James (LA)
@Tom J MSNBC is not a channel, it is a cable program and if you have cable you have well more than 4 channels. Over the air you have, CBS, NBC, ABC, The CW, WGN, WRJK Newsnet, PBS, BBC, Fox, KBS (Korean world and local says it's available in English), WPVN MBC News, NHK NewsLine (Japan says it's in English). I would recommend trying all of them at least through PVS and BBC. Korea if it is in English might be a good place to learn how a smart company is dealing with Covid-19
Susan Masson (Portland oR)
Nancy Pelosi encouraged everyone to be safe, but to enjoy the crowds in San Francisco for Chinese New Year. What was that all about? Now she flies about in a private jet and eats chocolate from her freezer. When people are suffering even more from this scourge by the fact of obesity. Fingers can be pointed everywhere —- and you what they say; point a finger at someone else, and there are four fingers pointing back at you.
James (LA)
@Susan Masson Other than rationalizing what's your point?
Thomas Aquinas (Ether)
America, land of the semi free and home of the scared.
Tom (New Mexico)
I hate to be cynical, but he died holding true to his beliefs that "liberal media" is out to get Trump at every turn, and that Fox news is the only reliable source of information. My brother asked my opinion as to whether he should go on a scheduled cruise in late February (planned departure in early March). I told him unequivocally no! He respects my expertise as a health professional and did not go and is glad he did not. Listen carefully to what Fauci says when he is allowed to speak. He is the face of US evidence-based medicine. A former co-editor of a book that is the bible of internal medicine who is accomplished in his own clinical field of rheumatology/immunology, and who is head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, now and at the start of the HIV epidemic. He has undoubtedly reviewed thousands of scientific publications in the field of medicine during his career! Or you can listen to Trump and his economic advisers and/or his proxy Sean Hannity.
Mike (Montana)
Ummm....I’ll go with Fauci.
Mel Pi (Downtown NYC)
I am wondering whether Fox "News" will cover this story. I think not.
Carla (Pennsylvania)
How many other people did this man infect upon his return from Spain?
stephen (ny)
Deblasio and Cuomo also said on March 1 that there was no need for anyone not affected to alter their behavior. They got it wrong also. Everyone did. Is it prohibited to point this out in Times pieces?
Dee (Somewhere)
Did Cuomo or De Blasio say people should go on cruises? Really?
Dave (USA)
Poor guy....You could tell he was a good person. However, this shows the danger of Fox Fake News, the lies of trump and Sean Hannity and how complicit they are in this man's death. Fox should be taken off the air and trump should be removed from office for endangering the lives of anyone foolish enough to listen to them!
Lkf (Nyc)
Facts have a way of asserting themselves. Joe sounds like he was a good guy, but a hallmark of this MAGA crowd is taking direction from the flim-flam Fox clowns and the head clown himself while choosing to ignore actual fact. If you choose to get your information this way, you will be wrong about a lot of things and some of them could be fatal. What is most objectionable to me is that the choices made by the fact-free contingent sometimes redound to the rest of us: A president who is an ignoramus, horrible mistakes in policy and a coarsening of the social fabric which is supposed to bind us. RIP Joe and a pity that the people who might do well to learn from your sad example are utterly incapable of doing so.
LynnCalhoun (Phila)
So very sad. I would have loved to go to his bar. Killed by political opportunists.
one percenter (ct)
How is this Trump's fault? Is everything Trump's fault?
malibu frank (Calif.)
@one percentile If you have to ask these questions, you have obviously shut yourself off from every fact-based source of information on the planet, including a lot of conservative ones. Poor Joe wouldn't even listen to his own kids over Trump's adoption of the Limbaugh/Fox "This is just the common cold, folks" attitude. So, yeah, I'd say this is absolutely Trump's fault.
Boomerst3 (Orlando)
Trump needs to be voted out. He should have been removed after being impeached, but the corrupt political system kept him in office. Now he’s responsible for so many deaths. It’s a shame so many fall for his lies and corruption.
Jeanie LoVetri (New York)
First of all, I am very sorry for their loss. Sounds like Joe was great guy. I, too, know people who only listen to FOX and who like the President. These are mostly educated, intelligent people and they will not listen. It is infuriating but addressing that with them only makes it worse. Even if people get the virus, if they don't die, they will say they didn't have "it." If they don't get it, they will say, "See, it really was a hoax. Over-exaggerated." Trump is an idiot. He will always act so he can "look good" to his base. The issue is more that the religious right, a political movement if there ever was one, is winning. They have money, plans, and are way ahead of everyone else. Do you supposed that Joe had any idea that FOX is in service to an extreme group that includes Trump but is far more than that? Unlikely. In times of fear, it is easy to manipulate people. It takes little to stir them up and make the fear worse and far more dangerous. Only weak, ego-driven people do that. Trump is certainly one. Many around him know who is really is but keeping him in power is a perfect cover for them packing the courts, winning elections and putting their repressive ideas into place. There are many "Joe's" out there. I hope they don't all meet his fate.
Joeleo (Boston MA)
Peace and healing to his family and all left behind! anyone else thinking about the similarities between trumpism and the Jonestown cult? Followers of both die from their blind obedience to their infallible leader...The families left behind devastated and helpless. Malignant narcissism writ national. How then shall we proceed?
Joyce (Singapore)
Apparently, people who read/watch the so-called "liberal news" tend to read/watch a variety of news sources. But people who read/watch Fox, tend to only read/watch Fox. That's dangerous. Literally.
Reader (NY)
This is such a sad story and my condolences to Joe Joyce's surviving family.
Janet (Austin, Texas)
This is a sad story and it’s also sad that it’s being used to score political points. So the man watched Fox, so what? He just as easily could have been watching CNN or MSNBC or listening to NYC mayor, all of whom in February and into March were downplaying the virus as being a big deal. Don’t believe me -google it! My condolences to the family. The gentleman who died, seemed to be a good and kind man. We need more and not fewer of those in the world.
Vish (CA)
Mr. Joyce may be blamed to be a victim to the pervert power of persuasion, but he had a choice to listen to his own children.He put others at risk by going to his bar and traveling to New Hampshire. One has a reason to be angry with his callousness, not just with his poor choice. It is heartening that so many felt sorry for him and the family transcending the differences, we are a nation of compassionate people. But I have not seen even a hint of compassion from Trump in his public appearances.
ObservantOne (New York)
I had four years of science in high school, two of which were biology, and don't recall disease transmission being covered. Time to add it to the curriculum.
Paul Downie (New York City)
Don’t you think it was being taught every day when you knew you were supposed to wash your hands and cover your mouth when you sneeze?
ObservantOne (New York)
@Paul Downie My mom taught me that.
Paul Downie (New York City)
@ObservantOne Yes, sir. It's that simple that it doesn't require addition to a formal curriculum.
Marc Castle (New York)
Joe sounds like he was a good human being, and I feel terrible for his family. But, for crying out loud, Joe lived in New York for a long time and should have known that Donald Trump has been a worthless pile of garbage his entire life. Trump has always been a shameless liar, and a seamless con artist. Joe sadly paid a heavy price for his devotion and trust in the lethal combination of Trump, and Fox News. May he rest in peace.
John (Hartford)
Trump, his spear carriers in the administration, Fox News, and the whole kit and caboodle of the mindless, politics obsessed, Republican party have a lot to answer for.
TammyR (WV)
Wow I think his family should sue Fox News.
FlameThrowinDem (Phoenix AZ)
Rick Wilson's book, "Everything Trump Touches Dies" has become more & more prescient. Pol's careers, global relations, national debt, TRUTH, faith in government. Now, if the creature touches your ideology, to him, your death is nothing more than collateral damage to his top priority: Re-election to avoid prison time in NY.
Becca Helen (Gulf of Mexico)
@FlameThrowinDem EXACTEDLY!!
Paul (NJ)
Our daughter with her husband and daughter lived above J J Bubbles for a good number of years in the mid 2000's. We became pretty good friends with Joe and Jane, Kevin, their son, tended bar and we got to know him and the other bartenders as well. My son-in-law and I would always go down to the bar when my wife and I visited and play darts and hang out with the regulars and have a few cocktails Both Joe and Jane were kind, generous, and were the kind of people who were easy to get close to. Joe would always ask how you were doing and if there was any thing you needed. He was a one of a kind guy who will be sorely missed by all who knew him. RIP Joe and keep on having fun!
Sara (New York)
My parents have always been very conservative but they also believe fully in science, knowing from their childhoods that bad diseases are out there and vaccines and public health efforts save lives. In some ways, Joe was in a bad demographic position - not old enough to have lived through things like that, as my 90-something parents are. The other difference I can think of is that my parents have never had cable; they read a mainstream newspaper and have never seen Fox News propaganda.
rjw (yonkers)
His family should sue Fox News. It's a mystery to me why Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch are treated so well in this country. We vilify the Koch brothers rightfully, but the Murdochs are far worse in how they've indoctrinated/ effectively brainwashed millions. They're big financial donors to Mitch McConnell too. They're very bad people with a very bad long term agenda.
Hal (Illinois)
Propaganda media like FOX should be labeled as such and should never be referred as "news". They have no conscience and could care less about people, they prey on ignorance.
Packard (Madison)
There are a million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.
Becca Helen (Gulf of Mexico)
@Packard Creepy, just creepy.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
A good man died because he trusted bad people. Unfortunately for him, and us, these bad people or who lied and abandoned the American people is our federal government controlled by republicans.
Shahbaby (NY)
So sorry to hear of these tragic deaths; what a toll COVID 19 has taken of the world..
XManLA (Los Angeles, CA)
Moral of the story? Fox and Trump cost lives.
ED (San Jose CA)
My condolence to the Joyce family. Either you believe scientific facts or not, it is just a common sense if you believe any cold flu virus is contagious capable of transmitting from person to person any prevention will save you in getting it. Will you listen and believe what Trump and Fox News are saying or end up like another mislead corona-virus victim.
b d'amico (brooklyn, nyc)
Sadly, we need many more of these stories published to save the masses. The NYT should have a series and call it, "Ignorance Is Not Free."
2Butterbeans (Connecticut)
Good title.
John Smith (Reno, Nevada)
This is so sad, this family should have a civil action against Fox News.
Larry (Australia)
Fox News and talk radio will have a lot to answer for when this is all said and done. Disgraceful!
NDG (Boston)
If (and that’s a big if) Trump were to read this article, he would scoff “not my fault!”
Jeff C (NYC 10023)
Is the media fixed, a fake? According to Republicans - yes. It’s been their rallying cry for years. But not their media. Do they bash FOX or NewsMax, Breitbart or Drudge? No. Only the N.Y. Times, WaPo, and otters like them. Don’t believe me? Here’s an ‘opinion piece’ from 4 weeks ago from a well-known moderate Republican operative. It took a pandemic for him to come clean. Nonetheless we should thank him. Here’s that article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/18/elections-have-consequences-slow-response-virus-is-one-them/ I’m sorry we lost JJ. Pray for us. It isn’t over.
Francis (Minnesota)
"He said, ‘Don’t you think this is fishy? Do you know anyone who has it? Do you know anyone who has died from it?’" That sums up the conservative attitude very nicely. "If it hasn't affected me, it hasn't affected anybody." This goes for racism, poverty, early stages of pandemics, the effects of lies from high government officials, climate change...you name it. This must stem from a combination of a profound lack of imagination and chutzpah--to think that your world is an exact microcosm of the actual world.
Becca Helen (Gulf of Mexico)
@Francis TRUTH.
Cathleen (Virginia)
It is so sad that this family, and this neighborhood, lost such a beloved man. So many people below have noted a sense of Covid-19 not being a 'thing' before March 1 but other journalists, Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, for example, have pointed out that our government had infectious disease specialists in Asia as early as Dec. 31 and in Geneva at WHO headquarters in January. The danger was known early. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/17/trump-tells-damnable-murderous-lie/) Our President and his allies knew the danger early on. They chose not to inform the public about it.
Pemajalbina (New York City)
The family should sue the Fox News for misleading information.
sdt (st. johns,mi)
If you don't know what's in your best interest, life will be hard and probably short.
Miss Anne Thrope (Utah)
Curiouser and curiouser. Watching this Pandemic Drama unfold, while tragic in so many ways (you know, sort of like Life), is also hilariously fascinating. It repeatedly highlights that we're all Bozos on This Bus, that If We Weren't Crazy, we'd All Go Insane - ALL of us, every single one. We all have bats in our belfries, toys in our attics… Edgar Allen Poe said, "All that we see and seem, is but a dream within a dream". We live in a Cosmic Illusion, then Delude ourselves that the narrative that we each make up in our own pea brains about the Illusion is True. Not only that, our Delusion is the Only Truth. I'm Right. You? You're nuts! We're blessed to "live in interesting times", peeps, a grand sociological experiment, and we're the Bacteria in the petri dish, the Rats in the cage. Mask? Meh! Don't mask? Meh! In the end, we're all Dead (whatever Dead is). In the meantime, it's always NOW - not yesterday, not tomorrow. Breathe in, breath out and Pay Attention to Every. Single. One. of those breaths. It's the biggest challenge we face (given our always distraction Big Brains). The result (not that I know, but I'm trying, I'm trying)? Awakening! Aliveness! Enlightenment! OM!
Anita (Richmond)
Getting the virus regardless of your age can be very bad, and we are hearing now that there are other possible long-term health issues associated with this virus. So you may be young and healthy now but this could scar you for life. Bet that's not making Fox News.
Jennifer Hayward (Seattle)
He died for his beliefs. And he infected others along the way.
BC (seattle)
Can't we sue Fox News and co-conspirators Hannity, Ingraham, etc for their knowingly false statements that have contributed to so much death and grief?
JKberg (CO)
Has Fox News apologized yet? To anyone?
Julie (Dallas, TX)
This is disgusting on so many levels. In a Forbes article from Mar. 9 (eight days AFTER the Joyces left for their cruise), Dr. Fauci himself "told reporters if you are healthy, there is no reason to eschew cruise vacations." But that doesn't fit the "reporter's" narrative. It's also shameful to imply that Mr. Joyce was a brainwashed idiot, and especially sad that his children seem to share the writer's opinion of their dad. Pathetic.
GarySFBCN (San Francisco)
@Julie What Fauci actually said, my emphasis: “If you are a healthy YOUNG person, there is no reason if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship.” Joe wasn't a young person.
Dan (Ny)
@julie, Trump knew . Many knew in January. “Give the people the news they want to hear” Roger Ailes Fox Entertainment. No one is putting the misinformation and lies Roger Ailes let loose back into the bottle.
Janet (Austin, Texas)
@Julie Thank you! I’m a conservative mostly and have 2 children, one of whom aligns with me politically and 1 who does not (Bernie supporter). But, if I die of Covid 19 (I’m in high-risk group) and I can’t imagine my child making out to be some kind of dupe in the pages of what used to be the nation’s newspaper. Sad!
Mattie (USA)
Deepest condolences to this family and the thousands of others who didn’t need to die. For the rest of the covid-29 doubters, do as your leaders do, not as they say. Trump is sequestered in the White House testing everyone who comes near him ever day all day with rapid tests that he is hoarding for himself, his family, and his immediate staff. Until he is out on the streets shaking every hand, pushing up against the door windows without a mask with you, and protesting daily with you, he knows it’s not safe. That means it’s not safe for you either. If you can’t see that he is willing to sacrifice you and lie to you if if helps his poll ratings and ego, then at least follow his lead and not his lying words. Stay in, demand testing, demand masks, until it’s safe to go out.
Rick (sf)
@M. pence says "experts" say it's OK to reopen. Oh? Since when does that ilk believe in experts?
Andrew (USA)
@Rick Trump has heard everyone is saying it's OK. Nothing to worry about. Go out and shop. Have a ball.
Mark (Oakridge, OR)
I live in a very small town, rural area. There are many people like Joe here. Nice enough guys, decent, generous, yet I can't really talk truthfully to them. I always have to watch what I say to get along. Fox news is the word of God. Donald Trump IS God. What do we do about that? I don't know. Who could like Donald Trump? It is beyond me. With so many people like good old Joe around I think our country might be lost. Yet, I know about loss and I send my good thoughts to his family.
JMM (Worcester, MA)
@Mark You ask "What do we do about that?" “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Speak up.
Shelly (AZ)
@Mark “Who could like Donald Trump?” I can and do like Donald Trump. I’m a mastered prepared registered nurse, serving on the front lines in Phoenix. I also care for my family, my elderly mother, volunteer shop and deliver items to those that are unable. Please stop generalizing as to “who could like Donald Trump?”
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@Shelly So how can you like the guy who said the number of cases would soon go to zero? How? Explain yourself!
Welcome to Hard Times (Truth or Consequences, New Mexico)
Bad decisions come from bad information. Fox spews bad information every day; Rush, too. Yet they're wildly successful. What a world, what a crazy, dangerous world we live in! Watch your back, double-check your facts, and doubt all your important decisions: Life doesn't always offer do-overs. Humble thyself. Only a god is infallible. Better safe than sorry. And if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. Do as many of the smart things in life that you can -- in all areas. Your health is your wealth, your foundation for achieving anything else, like raising up a happy family. We're pulling for you to succeed, because, in all candor, if you become happy, you're contagious in the best way. And we need all the happy people we can generate. A happy person won't break the moral law, Immanuel Kant told us; a moral city is a happy city, Plato told us, for virtue is its own reward. People before profits!
Fast Marty (nyc)
Yeah, well...quick story: I lived in Brooklyn for 25 years and habituated bars like that in and around the 78th Precinct. One day in the 90s, in the days of the crack inferno, I heard two off-duty cops talking about what they'd been seeing, day after day. "It's like a self-cleaning oven," one said. His buddy nodded. Actions have consequences. The administration is liable. Fox News is liable. All the enablers are liable. The believers are in the palm of Trump's hand. And that hand turns the "self-cleaning oven" on and off, to suit reelection outcomes. So too bad about JJ. Wait until this monstrosity blooms in red-state America. Just wait.
Ed Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh)
What a truly sad tale. This man trusted Fox News and trusted Trump. Both convinced him that coronavirus was a hoax and he believed it just long enough to become infected. Even then he resisted testing because he wasn’t sure th virus was a real thing. Trump and Fox have both said they do not feel responsibility for any outcome of their lies. I hope someone finds a way to make them pay.
Malone Cooper (New York, NY)
@Ed Pittsburgh A more important culprit would be the Chinese government, who, according to many intelligence reports from around the world has lied about the origins of this virus, misinformed the world with its lack of transparency and delayed the release of vital information. The NYT has had very little to say about this, despite the fact that many European nations have responded markably different to this important piece of news. As usual, the NYT has used much of its space to report on the president's fault in all this but so little on China's part in it. How very telling...
Bridey (Vt)
I intend to spend part of today watching FOX news. I'm going to write down the names of every advertiser. I'm going to boycott them and let them know why. I suggest that others do the same. Waving signs around in public isn't the only way to protest..
Shelly (AZ)
@Bridey How about spending that valuable time doing something more worthwhile (if you are able) such as volunteering at a food bank?
Mary (Wisconsin)
@Shelly: Why can’t she do both? Volunteering at a food bank, presuming the original poster would even be permitted to do so now, helps individuals, but does nothing to hold businesses accountable for their questionable decisions. There’s room for both types of action.
malibu frank (Calif.)
@Shelly That's a good suggestion. But there is nothing more worthwhile than putting Fox out of business and old man Murdoch in jail.
DP (Lexington, VA)
I can't help but believe that this same story is playing out all over the country. Here in rural Virginia most farmers, and Fox devotees, believe this is a hoax and refuse to wear a mask in a store, or even try to keep a six-foot distance from you. It endangers all of us. So my question is this: If a corporation is a person, like the supreme court has so foolishly determined, then why has Fox been allowed to push lies that are directly impacting the deaths of so many people? Why can't they be charged with negligent homicide?
MJ G (San Francisco)
anybody relying on Trump for good advice is already lost-
Barry Schreibman (Cazenovia, New York)
I'm so sorry for the loss of this good man. A loss, apparently, which could have been avoided but for the sociopath in the White House. As the NYT reports today: Trump has “moved [this public health emergency] from the hands of health experts to become an increasingly political fight over costs to the economy, which Mr. Trump sees as crucial to his re-election.” So Trump just doesn't care how many people die unnecessarily if these deaths further his chances for re-election. For Trump, it's not that he doesn't have empathy for other people. It's that, given his all-encompassing narcissism, other people don't really exist for him. He knows we're out there. He hears our voices. But he cannot see us. May the holy spirit be with all those who love Joe Joyce and grant them the peace beyond understanding.
Kathy (SF)
@Barry Schreibman I suspect Trump hears only those voices he chooses to hear. His bubble has a one-way valve.
Haplopia (Vallejo)
Community is important and I respect Mr. Joyce for creating a somewhat progressive institution around the sale of alcohol. But the first thing this article brought to mind is a phrase among Millennials. Covid-19 is called “Boomer Remover”. Pretty harsh, but it highlights two themes. First, the Boomer generation is at great risk for infection from the virus. Second, this generation has a “hey hey” attitude towards facts. They are less discerning about information on social media. They tune in to Fox News and stay in their bubble. Wishful thinkers... A single stranded RNA virus does not care about your politics. The tragedy of Coronavirus played out on the Diamond Princess well before Mr. Joyce got on a cruise ship. He had all the information needed to make a rational choice. He failed. Today, Fox News and the President are encouraging resistance to social distancing and basic public health measures. You don’t get to pick and choose facts.
Ann Strosnider (Southworth, WA)
I cannot believe you would generalize about a whole generation that way. I am 74, the same age as Mr. Joyce, and I despise Fox News and its attempts to downplay the seriousness of the virus. Don’t forget this is also the generation that protested the Vietnam War, experimented with drugs, fought for both civil rights and women’s liberation, and created some of the greatest music ever. But it’s a huge group of people, some highly educated and some less so, some very progressive, some extremely conservative. You really can’t generalize except to say that we are more vulnerable to the virus than younger generations and we need to do all we can not to expose ourselves to it.
Kris (Minneapolis, MN)
@Haplopia I resent your statement that Boomer's tune in to Fox News and stay in their bubble. I am surrounded by my fellow Boomers here in Minnesota who voted for Hillary and who detest the lies and misinformation of Fox news. This same group of Minnesota Boomers is taking the virus very seriously, are social distancing, are staying home and are NOT at all like the way your comment portrays Boomers.
Sara (World)
@Haplopia Haha.. "Boomer Remover". Well I have to agree that this generation is problematic. I would say it's problematic from about age 50 on up, but the 60+'s are the real problem. Really highest concentration of hypocrites-- including the supposed "progressives", many who probably secretly support Trump. Also, it doesn't help that this generation is really macho acting and they think they're invincible. Of course, this makes them more susceptible to contracting Covid.
John (Mexico)
Its absurd to connect this man's politics. In fact its shameful. When he embarked on the cruise , NYC schools were oown, Cuomo was telling us to be calm , and Deblasio was clueless. You have taken Trump bashing to a new low.
Linda L (Washington Dc)
@John Also, Don't forget that by that time, his bar had closed down and his children strongly advised him not to go.
Michael S (NYC)
Who dares to set a low bar set when it comes to Trump?
Becca Helen (Gulf of Mexico)
@John This family has every right to tell their story.
psi (Sydney)
This is a very sad story and you have my sincerest condolences. My Dad, with a PhD in plant science, was a climate change denier. It was the only thing we ever argued about. He died before he got to see the impact of his beliefs. I am sad he was made a fool of, sad we argued, but at least it didn't kill him. It is interesting your dad was not convinced even by the evidence of his own body. I wonder if communities who deny the science will regret their decisions and change, because they will be harder hit than those who have listened. The evidence will be around them but they might well be like your dad. This might well affect how the US right sees climate change science, but then again it might not.
S. Roy (Toronto)
@psi Having attended well-known graduate schools, having known, closely, people with graduate degrees, including Ph.D.s or awfully smart people (smarter than Ph.D.s I know) without any graduate degrees, I have known for a fact that such people often compartmentalize their intelligence. It seems to me that VERY often and almost certainly due to what seems to be confirmation bias, such people seemingly convince themselves, somehow, to overlook contextual facts and logic in situations of their own choosing. It seems that intelligence has not much to do with coming to a correct conclusion all the time. It is the attitude that indeed makes the difference.
Thomas Zaslavsky (Binghamton, N.Y.)
@S. Roy Intelligence is often used to construct elaborate justifications for beliefs, regardless of truth or justice or fairness.
Pacifica (California)
@psi What! And admit they were wrong?
Ziggy (Earth)
There has to be some standards in broadcasting. Willfully misinforming the public makes FOX culpable in these deaths.
susan mc (santa fe nm)
@Ziggy maybe someone should sue fox for false information during a time of global pandemic. i mean we aren't supposed to scream fire in a movie theater are we? better yet, i think bloomberg should buy fox
Tom (Yardley, PA)
@Ziggy Don't forget, senior staff at Fox were sanitizing their offices and practicing safety protocols last month even as their on-air talking heads were sending the opposite, endangering message. "Willfully misinforming the public makes FOX culpable in these deaths."
helen (mansfield pa)
@Ziggy As it also does Donald Trump!
ijarvis (NYC)
Such a fine man. Such a dichotomy. It's so clear his open door policy wasn't about money but an expression of his best self. The criminals here, Hannity, Perino, Limbaugh, et al; I guarantee they jumped into total isolation even as they were telling their viewers not to buy it. Now they're pushing the same good folks to march together and protest. When will the Fox anchors and right wing radio gurus attend just one of those rallies?
Herry (Queens)
@ijarvis That's exactly what is so wrong about FoxNews people. They practice the safe guide but promote other to repel it. If that's not a "premeditate murders", I don't know what that is. It is not just FoxNews, it is the whole GOP/Republicans/Conservatives universe. Recently a politicians from Wisconsin Republican party encourage people to vote during pandemic and doing it while being covered up in protective gear like hospital workers from head to toe, unbelievable....
Mark (SF)
This “fine man” supported a self-confessed sexual predator. Where is the morality in that choice?
D. R-K (Missouri)
They must get some sort of a power trip isolating and then controlling the fear and anxiety that cause people to not protect themselves, it’s all about cash and power for them. There was a comment earlier about how this nation has stopped caring for each other- I really think that’s what I see overall after years of this conservatism in graining itself into our social order.
Paul (Brooklyn)
Being a conservative is fine, just like being a liberal. The problem is this guy fell for a demagogue like Trump and listened to him on Hannity. It indirectly or directly depending on your view cost him his life. Otherwise he sounded like a good guy, a good American. RIP and condolences to his family.
Pat (Somewhere)
@Paul As observed elsewhere, facts have a well-known liberal bias.
Finnbar (Seattle)
@Paul Unfotuately, not listening to him can still kill you as he controls things like testing which is impacting all of us
Kathrine (Austin)
@Paul Ignorance kills.
Rich Connelly (Chicago)
I wish all the protesters in Austin could read this article. But, heck, they wouldn't believe it.
Chuck (CA)
A loved father and husband has died..... because he believed the Fox narrative that the virus was "no big deal", "a hoax", "a plot against Trump", yada yada. A family has been left behind because of this. This is both sad and maddening at the same time.
Thinking California (California)
Heartbreakingly sad.
BSmith (San Francisco)
There is a cost for speaking and perpetrating lies like the Corona Virus pandemic is a hoax. Joe Joyce took the Republican Koolaid and died for it. He will be one of many. Will this horrible pandemic kill more Reublicans or Democrats? That remains to be seen. However, it is likely that it will kill more people who don't "believe in" the pandemic, and who don't believe in science, than those who believe in science and try to follow the recommendations of healthcare providers like Dr.Anthony Fauci. Donald Trump has perpetrated a horror story of Ameria which has the worst COVID-19 record in the world. Lying Republicans and our lying president have made us the dumbest, most vulnerable nation in the world. We fight a pandemic of the corona virus. We also fight a super pandemic of ignorance and viciousness.
Michele (Austin, Tx)
I think we need to come together and sue Fox News for the lies they have been and continue to tell their viewers. They have been slowly making is ignorant of facts over the years but now their lies are killing people. My condolences to your family and I hope we can find a way to battle this propaganda machine.
mikey (here)
Joe was intelligent enough not to blame a single individual for the global spread of a virus and might have taken the risk of living his life in spite of it. So, pack sand and don't pretend to speak for a dead man, who likely would have disagree with much of the authors schtick. Chutzpah indeed.
Sara (PA)
It doesn't seem like such a tragedy should happen in an enlightened society, to innocent and good citizens who just want to believe no less than their president. Covid deniers desperately need to give this president the support he tyranically demands. But why should the rest of us focus on trump, only to be opposed by those adherents who can reply mostly with glib put-downs? And we already know trump isn't able to distinguish knowledge from folly. I refuse to reward his obstinance with the attention he attracts. If he holds his breath, turns blue and falls over I'll yield him floor space and go about protecting myself and others from the dangerous fallacies he readily dispenses. We don't need him for this . There's nothing to lose by rejecting his every word. How about listening to the scientists trump talks down at every opportunity? We have Anthony Fauci who should be relied on now. He deserves our support, and to heck with that non-essential mess in the White House. We know the truth before trump steps onto the podium. It's what the more than 2 million diagnosed corona victims and nearly 150,000 dead, would want. It's what we all deserve. By the way, I wish I could name Dr. Fauci's associates who also work to provide the knowledge he conveys to all of us. We're so lucky to have them.
Raven (Alaska)
Trump continues to deny, minimize and blame . He hass now upped the anty by his calls for civil unrest. The man needs to be taken down, now. He is dangerous and moreover a traitor to America.
PVS (Tempe, AZ)
This death is tragic, and could have been avoided. Fox News should be held criminally responsible for deliberately spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.
Saint Leslie Ann of Geddes (Deep State)
Sad story; reminds me of a Twilight Zone story where the believers march into a UFO only to learn that the encrypted greeting they ignored, because the Aliens seemed trustworthy, translated to "cookbook".
Chad Gracia (Boston)
It seems like this man did a lifetime of good deeds, but since there is truth to the saying, “everything Trump touches dies,” he will be remembered exclusively for this one fatal choice - to follow a known fraud and serial liar.
Rita (California)
Trump has the Biggest bully pulpit in the world and he has an awesome network of echo chambers to amplify his message. Just think the good he could have done had he not downplayed the virus until March. And I cringe when I think of the harm he might be doing now by egging on the “Gridlock” crowd.
Momma Bear (Philadelphia, PA)
Mr. Joyce wasn’t a child. He was an adult with enough intellect to operate a successful business, but without the basic common sense to know that trump is a liar and that Fox News isn’t a credible information source. Fox and trump played a part in his demise, but the bulk of the responsibility falls on Mr. Joyce.
RoughAcres (NYC)
"The following day, Artie Nelson, one of his longtime bartenders at JJ Bubbles, and also in his 70s, died of the virus as well." Artie deserved more than a throw-away line. RIP Artie Nelson
Jay Paul Deratany (Chicago, Il)
Joe was a republican that didn't deserve to die. And this article highlights the complexities of who we all are. The right wing media make those on the left sound like we hate republicans. We don't hate republicans. Our parents, or brothers or friends are republicans. But the leaders of this party and their state run news --Fox have become dangerous. They promote disintegration of society. They killed Joe, not directly of course, but with their misinformation and right winged statements that bear no resemblance to science--they are responsible.
Rayfi (Ireland)
RIP Mr. Joyce. Im sure his people came from the West of Ireland looking at that family picture. The virus is a pure curse we had 41 deaths here in Ireland today.
baba (Ganoush)
American life has changed dramatically over the past twenty years and many older white men don't like their perch being threatened. Fox News plays on this fear and resentment, but now encouraging resistance to change can be fatal. Dump disease into the disagreements with "liberal elites" at your own peril.
Richard B., Washington DC (Washington DC)
Deniers put us all in danger. Mr. Joyce died. How many people might he have infected. Your moderating comments for civility prevents me from commenting further.
Thomas (Denmark)
I wonder how many others he infected while he roamed the world in denial of science.
Helen (San Francisco, CA)
My condolences to the family and beloved community who will miss him. My prayer is for people not to blame but encourage each other to sheler in place and to cover themselves with mask or any covering. Don't be a statistic. If you believe in flu, believe in this virus. Protect your elderlies. Health is more important than money. Spain, Italy, Iran, and China- they have lost so many love ones. If Trump believes in protest why is he not holding rallies with protesters. Wolf in sheep's clothing. Why are Fox anchors in their homes reporting? Why is Chris Cuomo at home? There will always unbelievers. Thank you to all health care and essential workers out in front.
Kati (WA State)
@Helen Chris Cuomo is broadcasting from home like so many others. Chris came down with Covid and gave us reports on his the disease progress. Luckily he didnt die from it. And luckily he didnt show up at work and infect other people. He is not to be put into the same list as Fox anchors who have and are denying the seriousness of the crisis even as they are protecting their own selves.
Murray (Long Island)
@Kati You’re 100% correct! Chris Cuomo should never be put in the same category as those FOX losers! I have no respect for anyone that works for FOX!
Justine (Brooklyn)
Everyone’s blaming the president but maybe i’m mistaken, aren’t people supposed to quarantine after coming off cruise ships from the Mediterranean instead of going to work???? Ohhh right right of course not- that’s Trumps fault again
Sarah (Orange County)
@Justine They should if they are doing it correctly but the president had not been advocating responsible behavior.
RD (NY)
Poor guy. Listened to FOX and Trump and now he’s gone. RIP bro
someone (wolf)
Fox news channe's irresponsible behavior is criminal and should be held responsible. It should be pulled off air seriously. USA is the only NATION on Earth that defies science and evidence based scientific facts. Religion and science do not have be incompatible at each other.
Gary Granza (WAXHAW HC)
Geez, that is a heck of a thing. Sending healing positive energy to his family and friends.
Ted Pikul (Interzone)
What I get from this is that Fox News really is a malignant force in Americans' lives.
Sandi (Va.)
Yes, this virus is a threat to human life. But so is Trump! The day Trump used the word 'hoax' about the Dems who were concerned and his propaganda machine Fox News geared up to help him make fun of the Dems; it was obvious this was going to be a deathly rough ride for those who put their faith in both Trump and his Fox sidekicks. Now, after all the suffering and death, Trump has learned NOTHING. He's still whipping up his followers to show that they love him and will follow him into hell if necessary. When will this nightmare end? Trump is worse than the virus imo. He is unfit to hold any office.
It is real (Cayman Islands)
WE HAD to be on that same ship! No one said word 1 about it, including the Cruise Line! We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale on 1 March, arriving in Barcelona on 13 March. Thankfully we got out of "dodge" as soon as we disembarked. Our condolences to the Joyce family.
GA (Woodstock, IL)
I began wearing N95's a few months ago in the factory where I work. When asked if I was doing so because of the virus I told a half-truth and said "No, I'm just protecting myself from the magnesium oxide dust because it irritates my lungs." I was embarrassed to admit I was afraid of COVID-19. But I had gotten sick enough in November to pass out and face-plant in a Walgreens from low oxygen levels and was taken to the ER. It took days before my oxygen levels normalized. In hindsight, I might have had COVID19. there's no telling. So I began taking precautions: No more crowded AA meetings; no more holding hands during the closing prayer at smaller ones; no more shaking hands; no more handling the sobriety coins passed around the room. My wife thought I was being overly cautious. A few people got angry with me. Then the death toll dominated the news. A wise man once said, "Experience keeps a dear school, but a word to the wise is sufficient." I hope enough Americans get wise enough to put one in the Oval Office.
Jane K (Northern California)
As I read through some of the comments on this article, I am saddened by the lack of empathy shown for the sons and daughter of this man. He clearly worked hard and provided educations and foundations for a good life for his family. A son that was a lawyer and a daughter in grad school at Brown were probably something he was extremely proud of, despite whatever political disagreements they had. His children were loving and concerned enough to discourage him from a trip that they thought would be risky. At the same time, I’m sure they knew their father was an adult and was going to make his own decisions, as he had for his entire life. I’m sure it drove them crazy. My parents sure did. He also was accepting, if not politically correct, to those people in his neighborhood that were different than him. He provided a place for different types of people to congregate and celebrate. It sounds like he didn’t like labels, and took people at face value. I bet he surprised people with his willingness to look past generalizations. A man like that was someone to be missed. Condolences to his family and friends.
SgrAstar (Somewhere in the Milky Way)
Gina, your reports on the coronavirus’ effects in the community are really moving. Thank you so much for putting a human face on this ongoing tragedy.
Markymark (San Francisco)
There are many, many tragic stories like this one. But even now many republicans still believe in Dr Trump's magical thinking because most of the victims lived in blue cities and states. Ignorance is always dangerous, but as practiced by fox 'news' it's now fatal.
Kevin D (New York)
I call to change the headline of this article, as it's clearly clickbait. There’s a lot of revisionist history by insinuating right wing media is to blame. They left for their trip to Spain on March 1st. The world was vastly different 6 weeks ago. Some warning signs were there but there was no guidance from the government not to travel until 11 days later. Jan 31st: Trump made his first move, restricting travel to/from China. March 1st: 1st case of Covid-19 in NY (this was the known person flying in from Iran). 84 known cases in Spain. Italy only had 1701 cases. March 12: Trump institutes travel restrictions to Europe March 14: 1st death in NY March 15: after much deliberation, NYC schools were closed. March 20: PAUSE In effect in NY They followed government guidance and probably washed their hands plenty on the trip. They RETURNED on March 14th. And given that he was taken away in an ambulance on March 27, given that there’s a 5 day median from exposure to first symptoms, it’s possible (perhaps even likely) that he caught Covid-19 on US soil. From a personal standpoint, on March 3rd I felt like I was being lame for backing out last minute on a trip to Europe in April. And felt weird about pulling my kid out of school on Friday March 13th. And I was bummed out when I learned the NYC Half Marathon on March 15th would be cancelled. Yeah different world. I dislike that this man's eulogy is being used as a cautionary tale on right wing media.
BS (long island)
The President of the United States has said for 3 years and change that the mainstream media is the enemy of the people. That science is theory, that he knows more than the generals. That only his opinion matters and he should not be under regulatory review (unlike 44 presidents before him). His base has blindly supported him. His sycophants in the House and Senate support him. They have endangered that country in a way no military adversary could have. We have a game show host as president. We have only ourselves to blame.
DLTTN (USA)
This story was first, beautifully written. It reminded me so much of one of the things I loved most about NYC: neighborhood communities. I used to say you don't live in a city. You lived in a neighborhood. Nowhere else have I experienced that like I did there. Acceptance of you no matter what. Going out of their way to take care of you because you were a regular. And unlike where that's true in small towns, it was usually gossip free, at least in the back-biting, back-stabbing sort of way. I've never been less ripped off than in NYC. I found the south a cess pool after living in NYC. I feel for the guy and his family. But stories like this are going to be in the thousands because of the point that was made: Fox News was criminal in terms of downplaying this virus as was Trump. And both did so for self-serving purposes.
Karen Hill (Athens GA)
This is why we need a new Fairness Doctrine. Fox gets to spew poison, without having to give airtime to anyone who can say, “Wait a minute. What you just heard was poison, and here’s why.” I believe I was able to pull my 80-something mother away from the edge of the Fox rabbit hole. She suddenly started saying things that were anathema to the kind, generous, smart way she had lived her life. I was about to haul her off for dementia testing when I somehow had the insight to just start questioning what she said: “Mama, think about it. That’s nonsense.” Who are they attributing that to?” “Why is that important now? Might they just be trying to make you mad? Or scared?” It took a while, but my mother’s mind came back. And, I’m not making this up, but for the past two years or so, she keeps her TV on CNN.
Richard Hahn (Erie, PA)
About FOX in this context (and maybe anytime, anywhere?), I'm reminded of the quote that goes like, "Who you gonna believe, me [FOX, Trump's state news outlet] or your own eyes and ears?"
David Henry (Concord)
This was a preventable disaster. The man believed the lies of right wing media, then based his travel plans on ignorance. This didn't have to happen.
Mary (Neptune City, NJ)
I send my deepest heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. He sounds like he was a great guy. I am sorry he was taken so soon. A good hearted man who wound up listening to the wrong people instead of to himself and those around him who loved him. I feel bad for all the people who still believe this president and his cronies, especially when they said it was a hoax and even now when they say "open up the economy". (Not without testing you don't!) I guess the old phrase "over my dead body" could be taken literally in that context. But whatever you do, don't believe them! Make sure testing is in place first!
Jitendhya (Washington, DC)
Tragic stories like this make Trump's recent rallying cries to "liberate" Virginia and other democrat led states all the more ridiculous, irresponsible, and morally corrupt. No doubt Trump and his media and talk radio enablers will continue to undermine state public health efforts and cause more unnecessary deaths. It's clear as ever that Trump cares only about himself and power. I just hope that a sizable major of voters see that as clearly as I do in November.
Tom Bennett (Brooklyn, NY)
I live north of Bay Ridge and had stopped by JJ Bubbles many times over the past year; got to know Joe a bit. In February I picked his brain on business and real estate, just a few weeks before he left for Europe. He was a smart, logical guy and his faith in the particular misinformation spouted by the administration and conservative media make this a particular tragedy.
JM (San Francisco)
@Tom Bennett So Joe listened to Trump instead of the experts or pleas from his own daughter....and died. What a horrible tragedy.
Suzy (Ohio)
My condolences to the family. Deeply sad.
ObservantOne (New York)
Quit drinking 4 years after opening the bar. How many patrons should have? Made lots of money off of many who probably couldn't afford to drink, financially or family-wise.
MSC (Virginia)
Another thing the WH could have been doing is dropping this idea that this is a "China" disease and talking about how widespread the disease is in Europe. I would bet that Joe Joyce felt safe, in part, because he was going to Europe and did not believe the disease was endemic outside of China. Mr. Joyce was victim in part because of the racism and political convenience that drives the WH.
Phreakmama (San Francisco)
As someone whose elderly parents live in New Hampshire and have done everything to take this seriously since the beginning but are out at risk by folks like this, I’m sorry for his family but I’m pretty angry too. My friends from growing up who are doctors in New Hampshire has to risk their own lives to care for people like this man. Take this seriously people, and stop risking others on ‘vacation spots’ because you bring your illness to your getaway home.
Dhg (NY)
I also feel sorry for people who got Coronavirus from deniers. Whether in Brooklyn, New Hampshire or in between.
gracie15 (Princeton nj)
I have several friends that swear by FOX news. Fox and Trump should be held accountable for misleading the viewers of FOX. I could not even watch 1 minute of their drivel. I listen to NPR and BBC World news. Having said this, my sympathies to the Joyce family. My father's family is from Brooklyn, my aunt had a house in Bay Ridge. So sad.
Jonathan Berman (Los Angeles)
Sorry to hear about this. Joe Joyce seems like the kind of guy who can't be replaced. I know the neighborhood a bit as my Dad kept his work close to his roots in Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge. It's been more of a Daily News place then a Times place - a nice blend of family values, charity, and colorful characters. I miss JJ and never even met him.
Barbara (NYC)
ALL cruise ships are by nature petri dishes for a variety of illnesses - whatever contagious / communicable condition happens to be on board in just one or a few passengers! Over the years there have been stories of ships stuck out there with other contagious illnesses.
taffy (Portland, OR)
I'm the same age as Joe Joyce, and my immediate & extended family lived about a mile from where JJ Bubbles is located. I made my first communion at St Patrick's Church on 4th Ave., so might have known him. I remember a post-war Bay Ridge with few cars, many striving young families, and immigrants from Europe, often refugees. I remember the junk man with his horse-drawn wagon on 3rd Ave., the knife-grinder, an accordion player walking down the middle of 93rd St on a Sunday afternoon belting out an aria in Italian. I can see how Mr. Joyce, in spite of being a Trump supporter, came by his incongruously progressive views towards all kinds of people. Bless him and those like him, and may we all come together in November.
Nick Tyler (Yul)
That last sentence is so powerful, so ironically sinister, it shall be force-fed to every single person who still ignores the facts. Mostly DJT supporters, it goes without saying. I’m for freedom of press but sometimes I feel like Fox News and likes are putting the american society in great danger. And it won’t end anytime soon.
TJ (Atlanta, GA)
What were local leaders, such as Bill de Blasio, saying about the risks at this time? Why was his bar still open when he returned from the cruise? How many lives could have been saved in NY if local leadership would have acted sooner.
Joey Tranchina (Sète, France)
The is a beautifully written story about a man and the decent world that he created around his work and his family. It is a story of someone whose humanity rose above the narrowness widely expected of his right-wing politics Every word of this story honors the life of Joe Joyce, without obscuring the disinformation that led to his death.
Ann (VA)
Have you ever heard trump say he was wrong about anything? Admit he made a mistake? He knows the most about everything. Any topic. All the time. He's a stable genius with a natural ability on every topic. He really gets it. Unless....it blows up then it changes to 'I didn't know" "it was their (choose a name) fault. Nobody knows everything on every topic. That's why people spend years studying, becoming experts in their respective fields. They're hired to share their knowledge. And a truly smart person takes into consideration what they're saying before blowing it off because it doesn't align perfectly with their views, unless they're related to them, or have showered them with loyalty and praise. Didn't I hear that Ivanka alone had created (how many) new jobs with the govt's money. Until the business fund ran out of money I can't listen to it. I can barely stand to read it.
Farnsworth (East Hartford, CT)
Back in the day when I enjoyed a regular beer at my favorite corner tavern, the bartender set the rules. And they were very simple - he didn't like talking about sports or politics, and the regulars nursed their beers while watching episodes of The Love Boat. There was a sheltering aspect of being in a neighborhood bar that shared the confined comforts of taking a cruise. You embark on a shared, confined, communal experience that welcomes outsiders and unites everyone. And the stories, jokes, debates and arguments carry the passengers along to an understood destination. I feel for JJ and his family losing him to COVID-19. Unlike the majority of minor everyday bar arguments you might win or lose, the saddest part is not being able to come back and say 'I told you so.' RIP JJ Bubbles
Halaszle (Austin, TX)
I was invited to a very important (for the host) event in Germany in late January, but had begun to see regular reports of the virus in China. By February, the drum beat (not, by the tRump administration, I note) was getting louder and time was running out to get a reasonably priced air fare. But I was very nervous about being on a packed flight both ways for 11+ hours. In the end, with enormous regret, I decided it was too risky. My departure date would have 11 March, the day tRump finally decided it was a 'thing'. The travel restriction from Europe went into effect 2 days later. Lesson: Listen, read and anticipate. Your government has priorities other than your well-being in the US, namely: money.
Marion Baldwin (Austin, TX)
My deepest sympathies to the Joyce family. Thank you for sharing. I pray that your dad’s passing will serve as a reminder to all people, regardless of origin or political belief, we are all human and susceptible to this dreadful disease. God bless!
Marge Keller (Midwest)
After reading this extremely sad article, I could see myself being a steady regular at JJ Bubbles because he seemed like a really, really nice and honorable man. Mr. Joyce and his establishment reminded me of that bar in "Cheers". "Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name, And they're always glad you came; You want to be where you can see, Our troubles are all the same; You want to be where everybody knows your name." Mr. Joyce "loved Donald Trump". Well, I really loved Ronald Reagan but despised his politics and could not find it in me to vote for him. I was able to separate the man from his vision. My heart breaks that Mr. Joyce was unable to do the same for if he had, perhaps he might still be here today. It's horrific when one's politics ends up playing a major role in one's demise. Profound condolences to Mr. Joyce's family, his patrons, and his many, many friends.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@Marge Keller Well this is a bit silly, Marge, but I've read so many of your always-sensible comments that I feel like I know you a little bit. So what did you love about Reagan? His acting? What? Just curious.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Jack Toner Hi Jack. Thanks for the very kind compliment. What I loved about Reagan was his sense of sincerity and passion he had for this country. He made me cry when he met with the families of the Challenger accident. His speech was so moving. One could actually feel his pain and compassion for those folks and what happened to that crew. I know that sounds paradoxical because so many of his decisions and policies as president continues to haunt and ruin this country to this day like his many deregulations. A friend of mine reminded me on more than one occasion to never forget that he was an actor and knew how to work the room and the camera. That was probably true but after every one of his speeches and State of the Union addresses, I just felt extremely proud to be an American. He had a knack for bringing that patriotic spirit to the surface because he projected such a deep love and respect for America. But I also realize he had another side to his personality. Anyway, thanks again for your comment.
Rich (California)
Ego and ignorance can be a dangerous thing. There are far too many people who pick and choose what they want to believe, defying common sense. Healthy skepticism of everything you hear and see is important -- I check "facts" all the time by reading different sources, checking studies, etc. -- but there is a point where you have to trust. For example, almost all of us who believe in global warming, and that humans are a contributing factor, believe this not because we have learned about all the facts ourselves but because most of the world's experts tell us it is so. It is pure common sense to believe in it. On the other hand, to believe what Fox News and/or Trump tells you and no one else defies ALL logic, and is based purely on political preferences. This man did not deserve his fate but his ignorance sealed it.
John (Baldwin, NY)
Another one who was a victim of Trump and FOX news. How much blood will be on Hannity's, and, especially, Trump's hands, when this is all over? Trump, who is a germ-a-phobic, is very good at the do what I say, not what I do philosophy. Let him be the first to shake everyone's hand at the next rally, hopefully in April. Never going to happen.
LadyofYork (San Francisco)
Trump's disinformation campaign is going to kill many people. I got a call from my Trump supporting cousin yesterday asking me to come to Michigan this August for a family reunion. I was shocked that he would suggest this reunion so soon and he was equally shocked when I told him it would not be safe by then to fly and gather with 50 people. Shows we are living in two different Americas.
John (st louis)
Sad, very sad.
richard (Brazil)
“If Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,’ I don’t think he would have gone.” Daughter
Dee (Somewhere)
He would have needed that?! I canceled a September cruise in February. No clairvoyance was required, just common sense and a healthy dose of self-preservation.
Greg (CA)
Beautifully written piece, Ms Bellafante. You found the perfect balance by painting Mr. Joyce as a caring individual that happened to be a Trump supporter and conspiracy theorist that bought the Kool-aid being promulgated by Hannity, through Trump. It's truly a shame that he had to die because he was being lied to by the very information sources he trusted. Hannity and Trump (and their cohorts) have the blood of thousands of Americans on their hands.
Laura (MA)
My condolences to the Joyce family. Mr. Joyce sounded like a compassionate man who treated each individual with respect. Thank you for allowing this story to be written. Thank you to Ms Bellafante for doing such a masterful job in writing it. Fox News, their news readers , #45 and the people in his cabinet all have blood on their hands. I hope that they are all held responsible for all of these unnecessary deaths and economic losses.
allen roberts (99171)
I wonder how many of those now protesting the social distancing measures put in place by the various Governors, will suffer the same fate.
Iconoclast (Earth)
I feel sorry for the man's family, but it's hard for me to drum up sympathy for a man who chose his idea of political correctness over the advice of health professionals to make a political point. Well, he did make a political point, just not the one he thought he was making and people listening to him probably got sick or got sick and died. So sad for his family. Any chance Republicans will learn from their mistakes?
WRG (Toronto)
In answer to your question: no.
robin (california)
Oh, how I wish there were the perfect words to "break the enchantment." Sad as JJ's story is, it's great strength is showing that Trump supporters have grit, integrity, and deep reserves of kindness and positive regard for others. They are not the enemy. But why can they not hear and see the truth? One thing that absolutely baffles me is why Canada is not used to make clear the magnitude of the Administrative Branch's failure. Instead of hurling mud at Trump, which turns off his base -- in a fact-based manner, compare the two free market democracies. Of course there is the health care insurance divide, but in the end PUBLIC health is not particularly an insurance-dependent reality A simple graph of deaths per 100,000 population by date shows the grim difference - a difference that can only be explained by administrative ineptitude. (The reason to use deaths is when "cases" is used for the numerator, the far superior Canadian testing rates confuse the picture.) Death rate is hardly perfect, clearly it will never be known how many urban poor perished without so much as a 911 call in the USA. But death cannot be argued or changed. I have been watching the death rate differences for 2 weeks or longer, and it has stayed at about 4 deaths per 100,000 in the USA for each one in Canada. Trump's administration, to my way of calculating, has blood on it's hands for roughly 75% of the deaths in the USA.
FilmMD (New York)
@robin Canada is led by highly competent, fact-based Prime Minister, and as a country it has universal health care. Those two factors help make the difference between life and death.
Timothy (Toronto)
@robin I think that in Canada we’ve been lucky that politicians from all parties have kept politics out of the conversation. Covid is viewed as a public health crisis...period. The financial aid being provided by the federal government is fair and balances the needs of businesses, large and small, with the needs of individuals, even gig economy workers. In fact, the aid levels have been recalculated several times in response to constructive criticism. We are also fortunate that there’s no Canadian equivalent of FOX, stoking fear and division. Media here has been a source of legitimate news and information. In my opinion, the USA has the money, the brainpower and the people to whip this virus. It’s not happening because the man at the top has a political agenda that takes precedence over the health of the nation. He’s made the calculation that as long as his supporters don’t get sick he can really stick it to everybody else with impunity.
Sue Abrams (Oregon)
There were so many mistakes made by this administration in the handling of this pandemic it’s hard to know where to begin. From getting rid of the infrastructure put in place by both the Bush and Obama administrations based on their experiences with highly contagious viruses. The unwillingness of the Trump transition team to adopt the briefing documents developed by the Obama administration on what needed to happen in a pandemic. To the early warnings from The World Health organization. To refusing the test kits offered by The World Health organization. To the undermining of the information and messages coming from the experts. There is not one culprit in this travesty but this administration and it’s enablers are definitely the most responsible. Tragically Joe was just one of its many victims.
Didi (USA)
The mayor of New York himself was downplaying the virus through mid-March. But of course, it's Fox News' fault.
Opinioned! (NYC)
@Didi, Correct. Same with Trump who called the virus a hoax. What a deplorable president.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@Didi Do you think it was okay for de Blasio to do that? If the answer is no, then presumably you would also say it wasn't okay for Fox to downplay it. But some on Fox definitely did that. Do I have to point out to you that Fox has much more influence in this country than Bill de Blasio? So they did more harm than de Blasio.
David (Whitestone)
The mayor was not downplaying. He very vlearly stated the problem, and said if you think this will be over in two weeks, try two months. That was Monday, March 16th.
sleeve (West Chester PA)
The intentionally false pronunciation by Sean Hannity should be investigated as promoting negligent homicide, but since Billy Boy Barr is in charge of what used to be the Justice Department, nothing will come from it. Yo Faux viewers, Sean Hannity is trying to kill you, turn that nonsense off before it is too late, as it now is for one of his believers, a guy known as Joe.
JAN (NYC)
Sad and infuriating as this could have been avoided. I find it incomprehensible that anyone believes anything that comes out of this president, or Fox News, or republicans in generally. The amount of stupidity in this country is mind boggling and its gonna kill a whole lot of us.
mdc1001 (Philadelphia)
I am terribly sorry for both families to have lost their husbands and fathers. It was preventable and one of the greatest frustrations I have on a daily basis is how we can hold Fox news accountable. Trump - we can (should, will!!) vote him out. That is a beginning in bringing competence and intelligent leadership back to our country. But Fox? I say they should start a class action law suit. The stories are piling up fast of those families who share that Sean Hannity (in particular) "told my parents it was a hoax" and those parents are now gone as a result. A class action law suit with thousands of in the plaintiff class could only bring light to this darkness (I am not an attorney by the way - no direct personal interest, only a human interest).
robin (california)
@mdc1001 I think just promoting a class action lawsuit is an excellent idea for raising public awareness. If "I'm gonna sue" talke gets a rascal like Devin Nunes news coverage, how much moreso a nationwide network of grieving adult children. IF YOU TRIED TO WARN A PARENT WHO HAS NOW DIED, PLEASE GET THE BALL ROLLING. If it actually can become a lawsuit, so much the better. If it is actually heard by a judge and jury, even better. But just news stories, with real families behind them, would have great power.
Cibon (NYC)
Brilliant decision.
Angela (Tacoma)
And when he went to the hospital, all of the staff had to risk their lives to care for him. All of these people "protesting" the stay at home orders should waive any right they have for the next few years to access hospital or medical care. I'm a nurse and have taken care of my share of COVID19 patients, and these are the type that really just burn me...do I give less care? Of course not. It just makes me want to grab these people and shake them until they get that their actions have disastrous consequences for so many others......
Deb Paley (NY, NY)
If your choice is to get your scientific information from Fox News, then that is your responsibility when it harms you, your family, and perfect strangers. How much of our exhausted storehouse of empathy are we to apportion to willfully ignorant people? My empathy is for those they needlessly infect with this disease. Sorry, but there are many news sources out there. No excuses for such selfishness and intellectual laziness.
Jamyang (KansasCity)
With only Bud on tap, I would never have set foot in this place. that beer has become swill. that fact alone tells me all I need to know about Joe's. Sorry for his loss. I once took a client from Atlanta out to lunch in a brew pub with a group of people; He was almost crying because they didn't serve Bud on tap. What is it with people?
rd (Denver)
@Jamyang Interesting feedback here, and I firmly agree! I'm fortunate enough to live in Denver, which has one of the highest concentration of brew-pubs in the country. I quit drinking that "swill" 15 years ago because much better beers were widely available for reasonable prices. If there were to be a poll of Budweiser drinkers, I seriously believe that 90% of them would be identified as trump base supporters...the rabid folks who attend his rallies. They seem to believe that drinking bud makes them "more American".
Jane K (Northern California)
@Jamyang, I have a feeling that people did not come to JJ’s for Bud beer. If the only reason people went to bars was to have a beer or a drink, then why not just go to the liquor store and bring it home? People go to places like JJ’s for the socialization and a moment to feel part of a group while they relax and have a drink. It sounds like he provided an atmosphere of openness and community that people enjoyed. Bud isn’t my favorite beer, either, but I bet JJ’s was a cool place to be and I would’ve liked to have a drink there, listen to some music and chat with the bartender once in a while.
James (LA)
@rd And it's decades since Anheuser Busch was sold to, was it a Dutch company? America's beer and Sam Walton's all American companies - poof. The oligarchy is global.
Susan Hatfield (Los Angeles)
This is a tragic story. But not as tragic as the continual mis-information and conspiracy theories spewed by the loathsome on Fox News (sic). Keep reporting the truth.
Dusty (Virginia)
@Susan Hatfield Someone posted links earlier about Fox lawyering up because of suits over their mis-information. Has the NY AG arrested Devin Nunes yet? https://codes.findlaw.com/ny/penal-law/pen-sect-120-25.html Frankly, they are all liable. Maybe a citizens arrest is justifiable.
WRG (Toronto)
To all those whose parents watch nothing but Fox: put the child lock on their TV so they can't watch that dangerous station. It's incredibly hard to deprogram people who have been brainwashed, but you can start by taking them off their daily drug.
J (NYC)
“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me." Just curious, at what point do Rupert Murdoch and his sons get arrested as accomplices to mass murder? How many deaths? What's the number?
Charley Darwin (Lancaster PA)
It may sound callous to say this, but when this crisis is over, someone needs to look at the death rates from Covid-19 among Fox News viewers vs. MSNBC viewers. Trump and Fox really do have "blood on their hands." There are probably many Fox viewers who are candidates for the (no longer funny) Darwin Awards - which recognize individuals who improve the human gene pool by selecting themselves out through their own actions.
Merlin (NYC)
I have spent many a happy hour or three of my misspent youth in places like his. There is a special place in Heaven for guys like this, where everybody knows your name.
Baruch (Bend OR)
How sad, that someone's willful ignorance cost them their life. He wasn't the first and obviously, from the behavior of Trumpists, he won't be the last to die from Covid 19 due to Trump's treason.
David (Michigan)
I hope that someday very soon people will begin to understand that the Titanic really is in trouble, even though Captain Trump keeps yelling to his crew "Fake news! Fake news!"
Border Boy (Brownsville Texas)
Mr. Joyce is the perfect example of anti-lock-down protesters! ✌😷
Steve Singer (Chicago)
So, what killed him was being a “COVID-19 skeptic”, right? Just how did he get that way? Besides being a narrow-minded person deeply inflexible and scientifically untrained (as many of us are)? If his false/fake idol, President Donald J. Trump, hadn’t made his false/fake reassurances back in early January, soothingly telling us that everything was “under control” when actually the lethal COVID-19 was spreading out of control worldwide, and fumbled the ball because he was punishing bearers of bad news and felt impatient because he just didn’t want to know, so he wouldn’t listen or read any written reports about the Coronavirus, or do anything that any normal sentient person would have done, might this otherwise ignorant and reactionary Trumpist still be alive? I think so.
Steve Singer (Chicago)
@Steve Singer Probably the worst place to be in a raging pandemic is trapped aboard a crowded pleasure boat for days on end. Boats are, by their very design, slow-moving crowded places. Our country is going to emerge from this pandemic ordeal very different; a very changed place.
Biggs (Cleveland)
Live by Trump, die by Trump. Did not Satan fool Adam and Eve to his own benefit, just as Trump has fooled Americans to his benefit? And is the right-wing establishment not akin to the demons who serve Satan? The hate and greed of Trump’s supporters blinds them to their sins. Ours is not a New Testament story, with mercy and justice, but one taken directly from the 0ld Testament, with anguish and punishment.
M.R. (NYC)
Another sad loss during these very unsettling times. You start out by painting a picture of a very impressive man. One who accomplished much in his lifetime. Small business owner for decades, sent 3 children to college, two of whom were Ivy League educated. Home owner of a main residence and a vacation home and most importantly maintaining a close relationship with his family throughout his life. It seems strange that you would choose to diminish his person, by suggesting he was lacking of free will and incapable of making his own decisions. With all of the accomplishments you listed, clearly that could not have been the case. To sum up by suggesting that he listened (blindly) to President Trump and Sean Hannity and died because of it is seems so very strange. I can’t imagine a man who accomplished so much would have wanted to have had that paralell drawn. It seems a disservice to his memory. I grew up in Bay Ridge, but I’ve never been to JJ Bubbles. I’ll have to make a point to stop in next time I’m in the neighborhood and make a toast to a local who lived his life well! My deepest condolences to his family. I hope that their lifetime of happy memories bring them comfort at this very sad time.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@M.R. Ah, free will. Time for a philosophical seminar. Mr. Joyce made a choice, exercised his free will. He was influenced to make that choice by various people, let's just say Trump & Hannity. They put out untrue information. Very untrue information. So does the fact that Mr. Joyce was exercising his free will exonerate those whose lies Mr. Joyce believed? No.
James (LA)
@M.R. Not so fast. Today we have tens of thousands of Trump cultists exercising free will to protest in the streets of several states. What they are not exercising is good judgement. They are failing to look at the science of how disease spreads let alone the level of deadliness of said disease. God gives free will but he sells judgement as in thou shalt not kill.... Think it thru M.R. Note: I am not accusing anyone of murder, however social leaders like Hannity and Trump are causing death by giving false witness.
malibu frank (Calif.)
@M.R. In the world of Fox and Trump, nothing is too "strange;" when it comes to the behavior of their followers. If poor Joe's own children say that he was influenced by Trump and Fox, that's good enough for me. When you stop by JJ's, tell them both to their faces that you somehow know what Joe would have wanted.
RJM (NYS)
To use the old Grouch phrase, he had a choice he could either believe trump or his lying eyes. He opted for trump and we lost a decent man to covid.
Ricardo Cavazos (Harlingen, TX.)
So tragically sad the belief in trump and his propaganda outlet, Fox, resulted in the death of this man. The ‘hoax’ as proclaimed by trump and hannity proved lethal.
Garry (Eugene)
Does Fox’s Sean Hannity feel any responsibility for his downplaying of the pandemic?
Karl Lawson (Oxnard)
@Garry No.
impegleg (NJ)
My condolences to the family for the death of their father and husband. I wonder how many more deaths were caused by DT's playing politics with the pandemic and the help of Fox news.
Paul G (Portland OR)
Joe, if you can hear me. . . They may have said this about me, but I really, really didn't like Hillary. And I still don't. Hope you're still partying.
Marc Laplante (Tucson)
Fox News has blood on their hands and is a clear and present to the United States and should be treated as such.
Jon Currie (Palm Desert, CA)
It’s so ironic. The people who so distrust anything from “the media” so love anything Fox says. What industry does Fox belong to? And don’t they love to say they are the number one what exactly? Cable news source, I believe the phrase is. Just another right wing con job. “Believe me, not what you see and hear.”
Vin (Nyc)
Sad and beautifully written account. Unfortunately it brings to mind all the yahoos protesting for an end to the quarantine all across the country. Our country has gone insane.
CK (Georgetown)
My condolences to the family of Mr Joyce. News reporting has become so ideologically driven, it is hard for lay people that do not have time to fact check each and every statements that came out from the mouths of news anchors.
Dave (Salt Lake City)
Avoid tv or video news, and its downstream products such as websites. Don’t get your news from instagram or facebooks. Read a variety of well-reported sources that used to be newspapers or news magazines. Treat material skeptically, but fairly. Problem solved.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@CK False! Fox News is quite often ideologically driven to the point of lying. The other outlets have their points of view (we all do) but they try to get the facts straight. So does Chris Wallace. But I get the funny feeling that the folks really into Fox don't listen to Wallace that much. I could be wrong.
Jey Es (COL)
You may start filing a wrongful dead lawsuit against Hannity, and everyone at Fox, including the company and their owners wont you think? Hannity (in my view) should be held accountable for JJ's life.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@Jey Es I totally understand your outrage but there is this little thing called Freedom of Speech. And no, this isn't really crying fire in a crowded theater. If someone does that in a theater that I'm in, I don't have time to seek another source of information, I'm trying to get out right away. Rather different. So I doubt that the judiciary is gonna help. Second Amendment? Radical, but if the law can't help...
James (LA)
@Jack Toner So are you saying Fox has the right to tell people they don't have to wear seat belts or it's OK to drive drunk? After all most drunks do make it either home or through a crash without killing others. Crying fire in a theater not on fire is an example of false speech causing harm not the definition. Many fine lawyers will make an argument that denying the risk of death via a public platform in contradiction of science is unprotected speech.
George A (CFL)
Sad to hear of more souls lost to this nasty virus, however, this could have been prevented but for the misinformation of right wing media. This statement says it all: “He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Unfortunately, many more will die as long as irresponsible networks, like fox, are allowed to spread lethal propaganda lies to feeble minds, all to prop up a wannabe dictator. Let us not lose sight of the fact that millions of lives are at risk, and that our way of life has been altered forever! FOREVER!
Jeff (NYC)
What does including "the right's hatred of the marginalized" add to a story like this?
James (LA)
@Jeff If you have an opinion you should share it. Don't hide in the shadows like a troll. That said I will answer your question, it gives a motive for the distortion cum denial of truth that potentially led to Joyce's death. Before you get all goofy about crime and motive, even the earth and biological sciences look for motive (causes) of events and behaviors and certainly psychological sciences do. History and social sciences are motivated by the study of motive. This article is not a simple retelling of facts as they transpired but an explication of the how and why. If you cannot fathom the role of hatred in it, while watching protests against addressing a pandemic of people with semi-auto weapons and confederate flags, indeed even hyper patriotic American flags you need to either go to school or begin a deep exploration of racism in America. Hint it begins before Jamestown.
farhorizons (philadelphia)
How tragic for this family and for the patrons of JJBubbles. I hope his friends learn a lesson from his avoidable death: do not take your lead from people like trump and hannity who do not inform themselves with facts before they give advice.
Jeff C (NYC 10023)
Ginia, thank you for sharing this.
Kathy (SF)
Why do people believe Donald Trump? He's a proven liar. How many more people have to be cheated, sickened or even die before the majority learn that trusting him is a mistake? Let's start a list of all the people he never paid, cheated thorough bankruptcy, his "university" and on and on. Maybe when we get to a million, people will wake up. In the meantime his fans should beware of other cheaters taking advantage of them. They are easy marks.
Marc Laplante (Tucson)
It’s a cult. Trumps most ardent followers never question his motivations. Reality and truth are irrelevant. Critical thinking banished. Fear and insecurity drive the agenda for people who are willing to capitulate to a unquestioned autocrat. This willful self-subjugation combined with Trumps ego-maniacal sociopathic character has brought us to this dark place in history.
Pietro (Macon)
There is a high cost for ignorance. We all pay it. In this case it was fatal to the victim, but his family and friends are paying too. Most all the Trump fans I know are older with considerable health issues. If Fox target marketing is correctly targeting...there are an inordinate amount of diaper wearing diabetics with all the other health issues they advertise for...Medic alerts, assisted living aids... They have been hiding while the poor and essential have borne the risk. I say let them come out and share the risk with the rest of us. I already had it and it is no joke. Let them find out the hard way.,
LarryAt27N (North Central Florida)
Wherein we learn, again, that good people can take bad advice and go with it. Most of the time, they lose only money and we refer to them as the innocent but gullible victims of swindlers, cheats, and con artists. It is when they enter the realm of quacks that they risk their health and lives. That's what we find in Fox's entertainment division -- quacks who are paid big dollars to position themselves as experts on anything and everything while poisoning our fellow Americans with toxic lies.
beatgirl99 (Pelham Manor, NY)
Trump/Fox News followers are blind to reason and science. This cult-like fanaticism has been brewing for nearly 4 years, and, like Jonestown, or Waco, it is ending in catastrophe. I am truly sorry for this man and his family. My father watches Fox 24/7 and I can barely stand to call him anymore.
Lisa (NYC)
And so the purposeful political divisiveness continues, even at a time such as this, when Both sides should be working to come together...to find common ground how to fight this. Instead, the two sides (and mainly driven by the Far Left, who apparently always know best) stand firmly entrenched in their camps...in their beliefs, one side becoming all the more fervent in response to constant attacks and belittling from the other side. As with all things, something in the middle is usually best. The sub-headline of this here story mentioned how the deceased's tavern was located in a 'Conservative' corner of Brooklyn. The clear message: 'he deserved what he got, because he's yet another dumb, pig-headed Conservative who didn't listen...'
James (LA)
@Lisa @Lisa No Lisa. That is not the message. Neither the times nor the absolute majority of readers here think he "deserved what he got". If you would read with comprehension rather than bias you would know that we think he did not deserve to die but did so at least in part because of the hateful propaganda of Trump and Fox, et al. Also there is no middle in disease. You have it or you don't. Allowing those who are healthy and think they are immune to roam freely protects neither them nor those who understand exponential transmission. It's not a matter of knowing best but accepting truth and science. I know people like Joe Joyce, who support Trump but treat people decently. I do not want them to die any more than I did Joe. But I sure would like them to open their eyes to the mendacity, greed and danger of Donald J. Trump.
Flyingoffthehandle (World Headquarters)
I hope my 4th drink will continue to be on the house
Long Islander (Garden City, NY)
Companies that advertise on Fox: are you ashamed yet to be supporting misinformation that has resulted in so many deaths? FOX should be taken off the air, but if that doesn’t happen, all companies that advertise on Fox should be boycotted.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@Long Islander Now you're talking. They have freedom of speech. Getting paid is another thing.
cbindc (dc)
Trump, Hannity and Fox are forthright and obvious about their self interest in ignoring their contribution to community infection.
Patricia (Chicago)
I am stunned. These questions are the same I hear/read from other people who don't believe the virus is anything serious: "Do you know anyone who has it? Do you know anyone who has died from it?" Is this a Fox News talking point? They think Italy and Spain were faking all the dead to harm Trump's re-election?
how99 (los angeles)
This guy clearly had a big heart, one that allowed him to be emotionally tolerant and open-minded. Unfortunately it appears he entrusted his political views to a far-right propaganda machine, one that fed him a steady diet of “Any news source doesn’t agree with us is lying to you because they want to destroy America”. Once you buy into that narrative, it’s very difficult to escape. Condolences to his family.
Julie (Denver, CO)
I wonder if Fox News will eventually face a class action suit for all of the wrongful deaths they caused. I’ve yet to read about a conspiratorial movement like the ones we have here going on anywhere else in the world.
jocko (alaska)
when will the commentators and the corporate leaders at Fox acknowledge the part their politically driven reporting has played in increasing the death toll from this pandemic?
Larry Buchas (New Britain, CT)
Relax in peace, Joe. You will not be alone. Hundreds of other deniers will soon join you. They were LIBERATED by their King in capitols around the nation. Unfortunately, they invaded two locations of Buchas family members. Now the Buchas family has more than coronavirus to deal with.
Andrew Porter (Brooklyn Heights)
A friend of mine—we had shared interests despite our totally opposite political views—believed that all news reports were colored by how much the papers and reporters were paid by those they were covering. He never read newspapers, never voted. They found him at home last month, dead of Covid-19. For once, I guess, it wasn't fake news.
R (sf)
Another all-too-common scenario when a citizen allows Faux Noise to eat their brains. Just watch and see what happens in Florida now that things are opening up on the beaches and elsewhere.
Seymour (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii)
Trump, Hannity, Limbaugh, Ingram and a host of others lied to the American people about the Coronavirus. They are Trump loyalist. Many people have died and the delusional Trump is Prepping his voters and loyalist to defy common sense and reality to march forward to open the country and fire Dr Fauci. The immediate carnage will cause the country to close for a long time when the disease ramps up and the deaths intensify. The greatness of America will be forever lost. The violence that follows will likely exterminate the Leaders, liars and followers of evil. Democracy has failed.
Chelsea (Miami)
This article glamorizes the ignorance of people. Because this gent was a “good guy” it was okay for him to be willfully ignorant? To endanger his friends and family? We are far too lenient on the Republicans these days and his family will pay the price. I don’t feel sorrow or sadness for this man.
Murnaloo (London)
Such a sad story, although beautifully and sensitively captured by the writer. No matter Mr. Joyce's politics, he was loved and leaves a void in those loved ones' lives. Yet, this story highlights something that baffles me. When did we lose the capacity for independent thought? Are we lazy? Uneducated? Brainwashed?
Reina (Philly)
While I sympathize with the family, there is no need to politicize this tragic event. The media (CNN, MSNBC, Vox, Recode) were all downplaying this virus. Bill de Blasio & Pelodi were saying there was nothing to worry about. Up to early March Dr Fauci was saying the risk was low. Perhaps he listened to them.
Dee (Somewhere)
The Diamond Princess was reported on in early February!! Dr. Fauci was NOT telling people to take cruises in March! Don’t blame him. I feel bad for these people but sadly, they made the choice to listen just to Fox News. Any other network, CBS, ABC, not just CNN, would have been a reliable source of information. Critical thinking would have helped too.
Jack Toner (Oakland, CA)
@Reina Lies, lies lies. Who had more influence back in early March, Trump or Fauci? How do you know what Fauci was saying then? You heard a cherry-picked quote on Fox. Well we got the Trump quotes. There's a lot of them. If we played a game of matching quotes, me with Trump's and you with de Blasio's, Pelosi's, Biden's and Fauci's I would win by a country mile! And don't worry, you'll be hearing Trump's quotes a lot come September. A whole lot!
Bill Brasky (USA)
Listening to the rantings of an unstable narcissist (trump)? Who knew it could turn out badly. Sad.
Seattle (Seattle)
My sympathy for people who still watch Fox News in 2020, for people who won’t listen to their own children begging them not to travel during a pandemic, who believe Trump is doing anything good for this country... my sympathy is gone. I don’t understand this death cult, this peculiarly American form of willful ignorance. It’s totally maddening. I give up on America. Failed state. Failed citizenry.
KJ Peters (San Jose, California)
Once someone has placed trust in a politician or a news service it is very difficult to change their minds, regardless of their intelligence level. Don't get me wrong, Trump and Fox news are vile, dangerous, and evil. But effective propaganda is very hard to remove from peoples minds once the virus of it is lodged in peoples brains. Both Fox and Trump start with the premise that you can only trust them, that every other source of information is tainted, untrue.Once you have set that premise up and some people buy it it is often set for life. They never even try to listen to other views because they distrust them from the jump. It's not that they are too dumb to understand the argument, it's that they do not ever hear it. II do feel sorry for this family and I don't agree with those who say we are better off when people like this die, the good riddance argument. I know very few people who have not bought into ideas or people who turned out to be complete frauds at some point in their life. How many highly intelligent people fell for the Bernie Maddof ponzi scheme, one of the oldest cons in the books. How many believed Bill Clinton and defended him until the ultimate truth came out. I know I did. I have always trusted my ability to sniff out a con. Clinton made me look like an idiot.So although I fight the Fox lie machine tooth and nail I try to be a little humble when I discuss them.
malibu frank (Calif.)
@KJ Peters This Fox/Trump cabal brought to mind a published article about a group of old friends who did everything they could to prevent one of their comrades from sending money in response to one of those "Nigerian Prince" letters. Despite never getting anything but more promises from the scammers, he refused to face that he was being had and continued to wire increasing amounts to a foreign account . When his savings were nearly gone, he finally gave up. The last paragraph included a quote by one of the interveners: "He still believes the prince will come through."
WHS (Celo, NC)
Heartbreaking!
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
Condolences to Mr. Joyce's family. This is what happens when you take medical advice from a con man, who has no idea what he is talking about. Innocent people suffer.
Dan G (New York)
JJ Bubbles is an amazing place, I popped in for a few buds back in February and loved the nostalgic, welcoming vibe. Myriad trinkets with hidden stories hung from every wal. The jukebox played the Stones of course. A guy was reading a newspaper; it was 10pm. I lingered as a visitor to an era I didn’t live through myself. I never met Joe before but it was clear he knew his patrons very well—he didn’t just run a bar, he built an institution and community.
Pelicans Fan (New Orleans, LA)
Someday, hopefully soon, we will get a handle on contact tracing for this virus. It will be helpful. However, we could start a whole new death toll of those who watch Fox News and voted for DTJ. It is a “Whole New Curve Of It’s Own.” If I lived in Bay Ridge, I would have gone to JJ Bubbles to watch ballgames and be friends with Joe. It breaks my heart a person this “good” could possibly identify with The Proud Boys and selfishness at the heart of today’s GOP.
Sam C. (NY)
And now Jeannine Pirro is on Fox telling Fox News watchers to "OPEN THE COUNTRY" and they're out without masks and not self distancing "protesting" the governors who shut down businesses to stop the spread, it is frankly sickening.
Adrian (Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan)
My condolences to his family. What a terrible thing. And fie on politicians and pundits who downplay the dangers of this disease. They are literally playing with others people’s lives. There can be no greater disgrace than courting the trust of the public only to betray it for your own selfish ends.
Vivian (New York)
This man died because he believed our President's lies. he believed that the main-stream media is "fake news". Trump is responsible - in more than one way - for this man's death. Too bad his family and friends won't realize that.
HMM (Atlanta)
The sadness and the irony of this story is that the very people who need to read/hear it most will not believe it because it's in the New York Times. And not Trump, nor Hannity, nor Ingraham, nor anyone at Fox News will feel the least bit responsible for the death of this man.
T. Turner (NJ)
Nice people get killed by willful ignorance just the same as bad people. Everyone makes choices. If you think Fox News is giving the straight scoop, and not just "taking the opposite" on everything to inflame and rouse their watchers, you are a willing party to whatever consequences you incur. I feel sorry for the family to have lost a good father. But the father made a choice, no different than, say, smoking and dying of lung cancer. If you ignore facts, they come back to get you.
Sasha Love (Austin)
Its no surprise to many to see a skeptic believing their own wrongheaded opinions over the facts presented by scientist and medical experts in the mainline news and dying as a result of their own hubris. Lesson: believe the scientists and experts and act accordingly
Graham Hackett (Oregon)
I feel bad for these people but this is why media literacy is important.
Deirdre Flanagan (Annapolis MD)
Hope Sean Hannity reads this and realizes his role in promoting disinformation.
ROK (MPLS)
Thanks for this. I have been so filled with hatred for the people who gave us this abomination of a president that a reminder of the decency of some of them is welcome.
BB (S. F.)
Sure, let's bail out the cruise industry.
Am Brown (Windsor)
FOX has a lot to answer for. So does Trump.
bills (notinNYC)
he gambled & lost and do you really believe the signs that say "Hiring!"? they are rhe 1st to be let go. now it's all of us. whether we drink or smoke...
Dan B (New Jersey)
Sorry, but people who can't recognize that Fox News is peddling a certain form of barely socially acceptable hatred and contempt for human beings, aren't as nice as their outward gestures might suggest.
Linda Jean (Syracuse, NY)
If the lesson of this story is that Mr. Joyce died because he listened to the false information from Trump and Fox, then they have blood on their hands.
gail (morristown,nj)
It is so sad but true of the many people who negate the words of scientists and doctors and make it political. Am sadden to hear and am sure many others who were followers of Fox news felt safe in going about life the same way. My condolences to the family..Be safe stay home...
Rich (California)
Ego and ignorance can be a dangerous thing. There are far too many people who pick and choose what they want to believe, defying common sense. Healthy skepticism of everything you hear and see is important -- I check "facts" all the time by reading different sources, checking studies, etc. -- but there is a point where you have to trust. For example, almost all of us who believe in global warming, and that humans are a contributing factor, believe this not because we have learned about all the facts ourselves but because most of the world's experts tell us it is so. It is pure common sense to believe in it. On the other hand, to believe what Fox News and/or Trump tells you and no one else defies ALL logic, and is based purely on political preferences. This man did not deserve his fate but his ignorance sealed it.
fishoutawater (Nashville)
This should be sent to trump, pence, and mitch even though all are lacking a heart. Tragic story.
Harry (El paso)
Mr Joyce was clearly an impressive man whose passing is a tragedy. Blaming his death on Trump, Hannity, and Fox News is a shameful disgrace. Yes Hannity, Limbaugh, and other Republican commentators were wrong about this virus. On the other hand Pelosi and Biden severely criticized Trump for stopping flights from China calling it racist. This wise move probably saved a lot of lives. The left hardly has clean hands in this matter. The bottom line is that Mr Joyce as do all of us made a personal choice when he went on his trip. He may have suffered severe consequences from his decision as could be the case for any of us. The politization of this national tragedy needs to stop from both sides .
North Carolina (North Carolina)
Trump and FoxNews both do not take their jobs seriously and people die from it. There is no more blunt statement than that. Condolences to the Joyce family.
Bill Kowalski (St. Louis)
Sad story. I think Sean Hannity and the other state-run media trolls who promoted the idea that coronavirus was a Democratic hoax are directly responsible for this man's death and that of many, many others. Rather than protect themselves, the Hannity devotees defied the advice of medical experts and exposed themselves and their families to a deadly disease - one they easily could have avoided had they been better informed. And that is still continuing to this day. Shame on those liars. They know how gullible their viewers are but continue to mislead them with sometimes disastrous results.
LoriD (Sanity)
What a tragic story. Sincerest condolences to his family and friends. Blood on Fox News' hands.
Helen Garrett (Brooklyn NY)
Two reactions: (1) I'm so sorry for his family - he sounds like a wonderful man. (2) There should be repercussions for real fake news. The article says: "“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me. Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared “unnecessarily.’’ He saw it all, he said, “as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”
J (US)
These stories are emblematic of the gutting reality that the misinformation and disinformation from Fox, OANN, trump, and many in his admin do more damage than thanksgiving dinner arguments. Please, please do front page stories about how, if possible, to effectively rescue victims of this deadly plague of lies and reckless falsehoods.
Malone Cooper (New York, NY)
It’s too bad that the writer felt the strong need to portray the bar owner as a Trump supporter, and a Fox News viewer who, 'of course', was skeptical of liberal news. There are early clips of speakers from CNN and MSNBC, who also believed that this virus was being over reported, just as there were those on Fox who believed it was being under reported. Of course, though, when it comes to Trump or Fox News, it is extremely difficult for a NYT article or any liberal writer NOT to milk the issue for maximum impact...and that is sad. What is also sad is that I feel the need to mention that I am not a Trump supporter.
M (CA)
Staying in NYC would have been bad, perhaps even worse.
Lorraine (Watkinsville Georgia)
It’s unfortunate that those that are screaming most about fake news in the liberal mainstream media have been failed so miserably by the outlets they trust. Fox, Hannity, Ingrham, and other media personalities, as well as trump should be held accountable for thousands of lives that have been affected. Their incompetence, lies and their cynical bashing of science and facts have led to thousands of needless deaths and economic collapse
glennmr (Planet Earth)
Sad story. When propaganda and ideology block out scientific reason, bad things happen.
Keef In cucamonga (Claremont CA)
The definition of reality: that which does not go away when you don’t believe in it. It’s like the zen student who suggested to his teacher that perhaps nothing is real. The teacher’s response? A rock thrown at his head. Real enough for you yet?
Space Needle (Seattle)
JJ Bubbles owner and bar tender both die of Covid. Wonder if they inadvertently spread it to customers or employees?
D (Delaware)
Reading this on a day when I also read and see photos of individuals gathering in a so-called protest in Austin and elsewhere, bringing their 6 and 7-year olds. that they come in contact will be infected? This is not a situation where one can say - I'll take whatever consequences come to me - and it's probably a hoax. No - the larger society has a right not to be endangered. What Trump and the fauxters have fomented is more than tragic; it's criminal.
JDalton (Delmar, NY)
I don't see this story as a vehicle to bash Donald Trump and Fox News. It is the story of a man and his family, particularly his children, who tried to get him to change his behavior to reduce his risk of contracting Covid-19. He didn't need their warnings, because he was getting conflicting recommendations from Fox News and the president; and sadly, he died from the virus. It is a story that is very likely to continue, now that Donald Trump is undermining his own task force recommendations by pushing his supporters out in public and back to work too early. Those early weeks were confusing for all of us, because the number of infections in the US was so low, and only the people who monitor diseases like this saw what was coming. We needed to hear that information early, but Trump and Fox News withheld this information from us, just like they accuse China of doing. Most of the previous things that Donald Trump called a hoax took place largely behind closed doors, but that's way harder to justify when we see the numbers climbing every day of people getting sick and dying in our communities, among our friends, and our families.
In Denial Of Selfishness And Arrogance (KS)
Sounds like Joe maybe recognized that JJ Bubbles was more representative of real life than anything either political party agenda pushes. The story say he liked Trump, he watched Fox, he didn’t like Hillary...opinions. Doesn’t sound like he spent a lot of time gobbling up every hour of Fox News, Maybe Joe was someone who had some political opinions but avoided completely selling out his life to the Gods of Partisan Politics, maybe he realized not everything has to be run through the Red or Blue strainer and then harshly judged. I have read several articles in NYT about people who ignored warnings, did their own thing, and now their dead. The focus of those articles was grieving good people who were taken out by the virus. I am over 50 and argued with my wife in early March about upcoming flight to golf tournament. A few days later I was under my own stay at home order, wearing gloves and a mask...due to rational, common sense...traits not congruent with partisan politics. I feel bad for the way our world is now and that includes people who have wholeheartedly hitched their wagon to partisan politics, their entire emotional, mental, spiritual, and intellectual stability is determined by Trump, MSNBC, Red, Blue, Cuomo, and on and on. Just not a recipe for healthy functioning.
workerbee (Baltimore)
I don't see what there is to be sad about. This is a man who had access to modern technology, but who refused to see science through the wall of politics. We are a FREE society - FREE to make our own choices and FREE to live life as we see fit. He saw the data and chose to ignore it. We should celebrate the fact that he lived life the way he saw fit. If a person chain smokes daily for 30 years and comes down with lung cancer - are we sad? Not really. If a person drinks themselves into oblivion daily and ends up dying of liver failure - are we sad? Not really. I disagree with the states and the people who are going out in protest of social distances. They are endangering their own lives and of course others. But they are no different than climate change deniers, anti-vaccine lobbyists, and anyone else who ignores scientific discovery. But we live in a country that champions these people's rights - their right to voice their opinion, and their right to live life as they see fit. Finally, we have a virus that does not pick between Democrats and Republicans. It does not care if you are white or black, or man or woman, or if you are Christian. We need to let everyone live life as they see fit - and let the virus cleanse our democratic society of those who are not evolutionarily fit in our beautiful new world.
Nancy (Kentucky)
My granddaughter is adamant that I stay home. I’m 74 with asthma, I live alone. I haven’t been off the property for 4 weeks. I listen to her because she shores up what I know to be true. My heart breaks for this family who couldn’t listen to those who know
RM (Vermont)
Transatlantic cruises from the USA to Europe typically take place in late Spring as the cruise lines reposition ships from Caribbean to European markets. I went on one in 2016 and it was unbelievably cheap. I was considering another one this Spring and my on line cruise travel agent was showing some unbelievable fares. But we chickened out, and instead scheduled an Arizona vacation for April. Alas, that one was wiped out as well. We are isolating in our mountainside home in southern Vermont. And, frankly we are thankful that our common sense prevailed. I don't know when we will travel again. Its a whole new world with health worries that never existed before.
Ed Marth (St Charles)
An American tragedy, which might have been avoided. I was drawn to the story because I was born in Bay Ridge seventy-five years ago, and on my mother's side was the Joyce family with an brother named Joe. They are all gone now, but from what used to be normal reasons; heart attacks, cancer, even old age. It, for me, was very sad to read of a good man, who I would have disagreed with about Trump, Fox, and other similarly bad sources of information, but bad information in pandemic will lead to bad choices. This man had such good character, a helper of others, a welcoming presence, and a neighborhood fixture (as only New York people seem to be able to be). I visited Brooklyn a few years ago with my older daughter to see the corner brownstone where my grandmother lived, and now wish I had known of and visited Joe Joyce and his friendly and familial place. His family surely has great sadness but wonderful memories which I am glad the Times has allowed us to share.
sg (seattle)
""his daughter speculated. “If Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,’ I don’t think he would have gone.”" At what point do the families of these people have a sound enough case for a class action suit in regards to the misinformation spouted by this administration and fox news?
KCulver (Massachusetts)
I wish that Mr. Joyce's children would consider bringing a lawsuit against fox news/Sean Hannity for pushing misinformation that proved deadly to their father. Fox news needs to be brought down for the damage done in our country --- including lives lost.
lfkl (los ángeles)
TV and radio are powerful tools that can change and influence minds. If that weren't true there would be no advertising. People on TV as well as radio need to be careful of what they say because most people think that just because someone is on TV they know what they're talking about. If I had heard the anchors on MSNBC or other mainstream news outlets say 'the virus is a hoax' or 'its like the flu' I may have been as cavalier about it as Joe. Take it to the next level of the POTUS, who you may have voted for and respect, confirming the TV anchors you watch you will be sure its a hoax or its like the flu and will disappear like a miracle. If MSNBC anchors were saying it and the last president that I voted for, Obama, had said it I admit I would have probably listened to him. I'm a lot like Joe in that respect but just 180 degrees in the other direction. Now that I've attempted to make a point I must send my sympathy to Joe's family. As different as he and I were it sounds like he was a wonderful human being and his death is a huge loss for the community.
Sam (MO)
@lfkl You would have believed Obama and MSNBC over medical experts? -Not that the scenario you describe is remotely possible.
lfkl (los ángeles)
@Sam Good point Sam. You are right. I Probably would have gone with science and experts even though as you point out Obama would have done the same getting me to the same place. Thanks for pointing out a hole in my comment.
Mark Smith (Fairport NY)
@lfkl I voted for Obama twice. I knocked on doors and made money contributions. I bought his books. However, I would not believe him based on my education, and, personal experience regarding everything he said. I think that Rachel Maddow sometimes makes mistakes. Once you lose your natural skepticism and your critical thinking ability you become ideological robot.
Chad (DC)
Great article. Joe sounded like a really good human being. Its a shame that Fox News has so much sway with their audience. I strongly encourage Fox News viewers to get an outside perspective - it may save their life someday!
Chad (DC)
I had conflicting feelings about Joe when reading this story. He seemed like a genuinely good man and had a positive impact on his community. He seemed charitable and loyal, embracing of those who were different, and a mainstay in the community. Yet he was intellectually lazy, and swayed by Trump and Fox's dark ideology - to his detriment.
Annie (new hampshire)
Can we stop with the hagiography? "He didn’t want to hear how much you loved Hillary Clinton, as one regular at his bar put it to me, but he was not going to make the Syrian immigrant who came in to play darts feel as if he belonged anywhere else." Please. If he supported Trump, he supported discrimination against Syrian immigrants. Allowing one Syrian immigrant to play darts doesn't mean he "chose selectively from the menu of current Republican ideologies, freely rejecting what didn’t suit him."
John Edelmann (Arlington, VA)
FOX News and the Trump Administration are culpable to the deaths of thousands, including this mislead man. Class action lawsuits need to take them down, personally and professionally.
Kelly Dafler (San Diego,CA)
My condolences to the family and all the patrons at JJBubbles who lost a good friend. I hope at some point Hannity,, Fox and Trump will be held accountable for misleading and killing people like Joe, the people who believed all the lies that they were told by people they trusted.The pain and anger felt by people whose loved ones died because they listened to these fake new sources must just be unbearable. The hardest things t bear in life are the things that just didn't have to happen, and Joe's death, and I'm sure many others are things that didn't have to happen. Joe's story is just so very very sad
Steady (Utica, NY)
Just another sad story among thousands. We are so desperate for genuine and decisive leadership in our country and I can only hope and pray that voters remember the current administration’s inept, incompetent and dismissive reactions to this crisis in November.
Jimmy joe (St. Louis)
Joe reminds me of so many friends here in Missouri. Nice but so credulous in terms of Fox. Bubbles sounds like a great bar. I hope to travel there some day and enjoy a Bud, maybe hear a story or two of the warm fellow who built the place.
Wally Benjamin (the BK)
With all due respect to someone who sounds like a great guy who will be missed, I think we set the bar dangerously low by lauding the act of not driving someone away because they are Syrian. That type of bigotry by a public establishment actually has long been illegal. Have we sunk so low that we have to praise not breaking the law and not being hateful?
Andy (Salt Lake City, Utah)
My wife's young co-worker lives with her retired parents. The parents were shopping discount cruises to Europe at the height of the Italian outbreak. We had to go to my wife's boss and ask, "Don't you think this is a problem?" The company had already instituted a travel ban on all employees. They hadn't closed the office yet. The parents would return at the same time as the Joyces. My wife is convinced she caught the virus from this employee. The overlap is indeed suspicious. I still think it was my fault though. I was extremely sick with a Covid-like disease earlier. Either way, the company's response was less than stellar. The boss is lobbying hard to reopen now rather than wait for antibodies or testing. The girl with the cruise parents is back in the office again already. Some people refuse to learn. They are not unintelligent. However, they absolutely will not accept responsibility for the collective health. It's always someone else's problem.
Cay (CT)
This is so sad but not surprising to me. How many people have gotten sick or died because they believed him and Fox News in the beginning? Trump destroys everything he touches-careers, the environment, relationships and lives. He doesn’t build. He demolishes. Trump and Fox News are culpable in the suffering people have endured. HE is the ultimate virus ravaging this country.
andy in seattle (Seattle)
The volume of blood on the hands of Fox and Hannity in particular should by rights shutter that organization. I hope everyone who made the error of listening to them and suffered from it sue sue sue.
Mark Smith (Fairport NY)
This sad bemusing article made think of the conservative British philosopher Edmund Burke. He believed that the hoi polloi needed to believe noble lies from politicians to make life tolerable and to survive. Burke asserted that the rabble should just accept their fate for the good of the state. Conservatives like Burke believe that liberals applying knowledge tears off the fabric that makes life satisfactory for the paroles. The contradiction in this story is that JJ sent his children to Ivy League schools who saw through the noble lies and told him so. But, at the end, JJ, chose the conservative virtue as submission side of the argument. After all, conservatives like Burke believe that the purpose of government is to protect the property of the wealthy even if it means sacrificing lives.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
It’s a catastrophe when people trust Fox News more than they trust their educated children. No different in my family. My favorite cousin in Orlando told me, “Thank god the virus isn’t here.” I asked her if she had a test, she said no- does she know who has had a test - no- so the truth is, who knows. The hospitals are full and people are dying- it’s everywhere. Without testing and PPE we can’t get back to work and this president has abdicated this responsibility to the states who are fighting over scraps as the price gets higher. It’s as if this president wants to destroy us with republican complicity.
DLA (Oceanside, CA)
I am hoping that Fox[Not]News and its hosts gets slammed by a bunch of lawsuits. I doubt any will win, but the nuisance factor will give me some solace.
ChrisA (New York)
This case proves the despicable nature of the poison Trump, Fox News, and Sean Hannity spread in our nation each day! I imagine all the protests we're seeing across the country coordinated by these same entities will have similar tragic results. It is also appalling that doctors and nurses are put in harms way everyday because of the ignorance encouraged by Trump and company. We should not let them escape responsibility and Mr Joyce's family has every right to hold Fox News and Sean Hannity totally liable!
Kathy (SF)
Fox and Trump make certain people feel superior. They know just what to feed them. They also have to fill a lot of air time. The performers aren't very bright; they're not real journalists, so the content is of very poor quality. My question is why do the viewers need to be constantly stroked? Whom do they fear? Why can't they lift themselves up? Can't the tell the difference between junk food and real food?
Hummingbird (New Orleans)
This story is so heart breaking. Unfortunately it's not unexpected. This is what happens when you have a president who is constantly delegitimizing the truth and pushing false narratives with the help of Fox news. People make bad decisions that ultimately cost them their lives. How can people make informed decisions if they aren't getting correct information? More people with die due to the reckless irresponsibility of Trump and Fox.
Patricia (Kansas)
To his family: our sincerest condolences....we were on that cruise as well. Nobody, I mean nobody realized what was coming. As we checked in at Barcelona airport very very few people even had masks on much less social distancing...This is, in part because we were not convinced we were in danger. Our government and media did a poor job of covering what was going on in the beginning!!!
Mrs B (CA)
My older parents aren’t Trump lovers and rarely listen to Fox. But they have cable news on often and the nonsense that they listen too worries me. So glad my siblings and I strong armed them in staying put otherwise the would be stuck in the epicenter right now.My mom is also sending me nonsense about corona “cures.” Our world is full of irresponsible media and actual “fake news” and our loved ones are falling for it.
ehillesum (michigan)
Please recall that Joe left for his cruise only 5 days after our Speaker of the House—a prolific tweeter, for the first time mentioned the Coronavirus and not long after she had encouraged her constituents to spend time in San Francisco’s China Town. And recall how many other pundits from the left also downplayed the risk from the virus for a long time. In short, the premise in this essay is simply an extension of the left’s untrue and quite despicable narrative that Trump and Fox News are misleading people and that it’s causing some to take actions that will lead to their deaths. It is not hard to understand why this essay was published.
Tina (San Francisco, CA)
@ehillesum Check Politifact. Pelosi was countering ethnic prejudice (e.g. the "China virus") a full three weeks before shelter in place was implemented. She was supporting her constituents and combating the idea that chinese-americans carried the virus. It is TRUE and DESPICABLE that right-wing media claimed this pandemic was a "hoax designed to take down President Trump."
malibu frank (Calif.)
@ehillesum Evidently, this bogus story came to you courtesy of Trump, after he first heard about it from Fox News.
Nancy D (NJ)
I marvel at the FOX viewers who parrot what they hear from the "entertainers". (That will be the defense when they are sued.) Why are so many people so susceptible to FOX distortion and persuasion? Is it that FOX merely builds on what their viewers already believe? How wonderful to receive that daily gratification that you were right all along until you aren't and you are sick or your loved ones are dying, dead or managed to make it through COVID19 with damaged heart and lungs.
King (Houston)
Several conservative friends have let slip that they’re straying from Fox and Limbaugh for their news. One quoted Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN, another mentioned a NY Times article. Apparently this is serious enough that, finally, facts are important. I’m sorry that Joe didn’t see or believe the warnings before his trip. I only hope that others will now recognize that truth can be a life-or-death matter.
Telegram Sam (Staten Island)
I'm a near-absolutist when it comes to the 1st Amendment, whether it's Trump's tweets or a white supremacist blog. But Fox News' apparently knowing and consistent spewing of dangerous information seems to violate the "fire in a crowded theater" clause in this case. I know the Barr DoJ will never prosecute them but my god, we may need some kind of Nuremberg reckoning when this whole thing is over, given a change of administration in November.
Carol lee (Minnesota)
What happened to this gentleman will probably happen to those "protesters" encouraged to go out and stand in crowds by Donald Trump and his ilk. Does it not get through any of their heads that they are not only endangering themselves, they are endangering everybody they come in contact with. Like their employees. Or their family. One of my office mate's husband works contract for a person who snowbirds in Florida. She specifically told her husband to not get near this guy, and only talk to him over the phone to get instructions.
Hypoteneus (Batman)
One of the saddest things about this virus is the Conservative / Liberal split. My brother used to work for the United Nations trying to eradicate the last traces of small pox in Afghanistan and my first cousin who spent the last 20 years in Seals have been at each other's throats and fighting like crazy people recently. Usually they are friends, but not any more. Sometimes I think the political divide in this country is doing more damage than the Coronavirus' affect on the economy or health of our people.
malibu frank (Calif.)
@Hypoteneus When did SEALs become epidemiologists?
Tom B (B.C.)
I notice that some contributors chide the author and other contributors for linking Mr. Joyce’s death to his Fox watching. Some characterize the linkage as disrespectful or otherwise improper. This is the same tactic the NRA uses after a mass shooting when they say we can’t discuss gun safety at such a time because it is politicizing a tragedy. These attempts to avoid a necessary discussion seem to arise from a deep seated wish to avoid re-examining their prejudices. We all need to get our heads out of the sand and face facts because the virus and other challenges to our society don’t pay any attention to what is said on the news. Usually facing facts includes ignoring or at least critically examining Fox facts.
Frank Monaco (Brooklyn NY)
This is so Sad. All those who went on the air and played this down should have a hard time sleeping at night. Maybe, Maybe if people in Authority and with large following spoke out about how serious this is people like Joe would still be with us.
Lawrence (Washington D.C,)
And the reason temperatures aren't checked before boarding, and masks provided and required for all flights within the United States is what? Is it being done on ferry traffic within and between states? It's largely regulating interstate commerce, truly a federal obligation. They will not let you into stores in Maryland unless you have a mask. My high school had it's fiftieth reunion last year. I wonder how many empty places there would be at the table for the fifty first.
Eben A (Charlottesville, VA)
My birth parents rely solely on Fox News for all of their news. It was Mar 10 when I was finally concerned enough by the discrepancy between Fox’s dismissal of the covid as a fake crisis dreamed up to hurt Trump and most other news organizations’ alarmed response to the pandemic. Luckily they paid attention, even though they were shocked how their trusted news service would be so maliciously mislead them. This story is one of many revealing the tragic consequences of such endless propaganda actually allowed in our modern anti-truth world. We need resurrection of Fairness in the press and on social media to eradicate this scourge of purely political faux news.
Kathy (SF)
@Eben A We need the Fairness Doctrine. But people must also be responsible for themselves. I hope your birth parents learned from this, and stop relying on Republican propaganda for anything important. It's propaganda, created to deceive. Learn, people. Please learn. Being ignorant is not your fault. Staying ignorant is.
LC (Washington DC)
I find it interesting the depth of compassion and condolences offered to Mr.Joyce, who decided to ignore the conventional wisdom and the advice of his loved ones, around taking precautions to prevent being infected with the Coronavirus. Contrast that, with the commenters who don't have an ounce of sympathy or compassion, and rush to condemn and admonish, in articles that highlight the disproportionate number of black and brown victims, who are dying at alarming rates. They don't have the luxury of taking cruises or watching cable news and being "led astray".No, they have to be responsible and accountable for their actions. They are working at nursing homes, grocery stores, driving buses, and taking public transportation to get to these "essential" jobs. Fox News is a bastion of hate, intolerance, racism, sexism, and xenophobia. Full Stop.
kyle (San francisco)
@LC I remember when conservatives tried to make the AIDS epidemic about morality instead of medicine. Now progressives are trying to make the coronavirus pandemic about race instead of medicine. Meanwhile, Trump supporters have ranged from denying the disease's existence to claiming it is was created as part of a left-wing conspiracy. A virus doesn't care about crackpot conspiracy theories or radical leftist theories on race relations.
Trainer (Houston)
The synopsis of this story is Trump supporter goes on a cruise while the whole world was still open and dies but that really isn't the whole story. The questions that are important that are not addressed are- did anyone else on the cruise come down with the virus? If not, the cruise was probably not the issue. Did anyone else at the bar besides his bartender come down with the virus either before or after he did? Did the bartender go on the cruise or did he come down with it before or after Joe? He had a very public job and could have easily contracted it at work. How many people who didn't go on cruises contract and/or die from the virus in the same time period? I'm not a Trump supporter but Trump and the cruise are just red herrings unless we know the answers to the questions that matter.
Berto (Cary, NC)
@Trainer I agree that based on the article there wasn't proof that he got the virus from the cruise. However there appears that there is ample evidence that the virus spreads more "efficiently" in tightly packed spaces where the people present are not following social distancing and the environment is not systematically disinfected; e.g. the environment of a cruise ship at the time of Joe's cruise. It also appears that Joe had faith that what the Fox news folks reported at the time was true i.e. that the virus was a hoax or at least no big deal. So, the gist of the story (to me) is that Joe, a real nice guy, didn't understand the increased risk he was taking due to his faith in Fox news, Trump, etc. and went on the cruise.
glennmr (Planet Earth)
@Trainer "It is possible, of course, that Joe Joyce did not contract the coronavirus on a trip to Spain, where almost 20,000 have died from complications related to it. Although the combination of being on a cruise ship — a proven petri dish for infections — and visiting a country with a full-blown outbreak is hard to ignore. But there was a way he might have avoided the trip, his daughter speculated. “If Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,’ I don’t think he would have gone.” The point of the article is to demonstrate that fake news from Trump and Fox could have tragically influenced Mr. Joyce. It was not an analysis of where he got the virus--so the topic was not a red herring.
Hinkley (Atlanta)
@Trainer you're right. But this was not really a news story.
Charles (Ironwood, MI)
"These are the times that try men's souls", this quote by Thomas Paine, seems to fit the current crisis. The tragedy of Mr. Joe Joyce is being played out in many places in a great many families. Everyone expects the truth out of our governments, and the media, we base our lives on this premise, and when one or both fail us, the consequences are dire. The family of Joe Joyce has my utmost condolences, in their time of grief.
Zoned (NC)
As someone who went to Europe mid February because there was very little information in the States to make me concerned, but returned a week early from the trip because the news in Europe was filled with information, so many deaths could have been avoided if Americans were dealt with honestly. European airports were empty when we returned because the people there were informed. Here senators were selling their stocks in February because they knew what was coming while at the same time telling he public not to worry. Gut instinct and listening to biased media caused deaths. I'm sorry this man died, but I'm also sorry for those exposed to the virus by him and for the thinking that permitted lies to be accepted as truth.
Brewster’s Millions (Santa Fe)
Illness and deaths for Americans could have, would have, been avoided if Americans had exercised a little self-awareness and taken a little self-responsibility. Like me. I saw this virus headed our way back in mid-January, so I loaded up on necessities (food, medicine, fuel, ammo) and locked the gate. Bought some masks too, but didn’t use a one, because ain’t been no one on this property but me and the wife and we haven’t left the property since mid-January, so we mailed them to a local hospital. Take care of yourselves.
USA Too (Texas)
This is actually a really sad story and Trump should be forced to read this out loud during one of his coronavirus task force briefings/rallies. Fox News should also be held liable to some degree for the deaths of thousands of Americans for putting out false information during a critical time period when they could have told the truth. Fox News has more power over our country than scientific experts and advisors and I find that truly frightening. What if Fox News had used their influence over the president to sound the alarm about this virus a few months ago instead of downplaying it and telling him what he wanted to hear? Our country might not be in the mess that it is now and that will forever be a part of the legacy of Fox News. Lies that cost the lives of thousands of Americans.
Ruth (Texas)
Heartbreaking and hitting close to home. My prayers for peace and healing to the family. We are behind the curve in East Texas and many are clamoring to re-open business. Just starting to see cases and we have five large prisons that are denying the evidence and it is coming. Trump's biggest danger is his propoganda and alternative facts....this episode will be spun as a victory if less than 100k die. I do not recognize this country anymore.
Paul C Hsieh (Walnut Creek, CA.)
If Trump draws support from people like Joe Joyce, he will not win the election for by then, population of his base has been reduced so much that he won't have enough vote. Why gamble with people's life, every life must be treasured, disregarding his or her political belief.
Tom (Boston)
This story is tragic, for all concerned. However, please look at the news and tweets of the past few days, with t tweeting to open up the country. This story will be repeated over and over again.
Norah Astorgah (USA)
I think it would be nice if we could invite all of the protestors who want to end the social distancing measures to fly to New York, take the subway to Brooklyn and have a drink at JJ Bubbles. I wonder if Joe would have made a different choice if he were granted a mulligan.
Brewster’s Millions (Santa Fe)
Oh, life would be much grander if we all just had a mulligan. But then, in today’s coddled world full of indecisive people, most would need another mulligan because they would have wasted the first.
J. (Midwest)
My sympathy to Joe’s family and friends. He sounds like someone who made his corner of the world a better place, and was someone I would have been enjoyed taking with, even if I couldn’t understand why he was a Trump supporter. My heart breaks for all the people who put their trust in Trump and FOX news, and have been thus betrayed. They and we deserve better.
MZ (NJ)
I appreciate learning a little about the life of Joe Joyce, a person that contributed so much to the lives of others. It seems he had strong political opinions but his views did not fit neatly into either of the popular notions of "conservative" or "liberal." It is upsetting, therefore, and deeply disrespectful to Mr. Joyce, that his story is used as a tool to condemn Fox News, and of course, President Trump.
Norah Astorgah (USA)
@MZ Sadly, Mr. Joyce was acting on the advice and "expertise" provided by Fox News, and of course, President Trump. If he had been acting on the advice of, say, Rachel Maddow, I am sure it would have been mentioned.
CPod (Malvern, PA)
@MZ This story isn't "using" anything of the sort. His children were the ones who told the reporter why their father was misinformed. Trump and Fox minimized this virus, that is a fact. This article serves as a warning. Unfortunately, on a steady diet of lies, it will be hard to pierce that bubble of denial. Do you think Trump has done a good job informing the public? Be honest. You are in Jersey where the death toll rivals NYC.
Kathy (SF)
@MZ We're drawing a line from A to B. It's really, really clear. It couldn't possibly be simpler. He also infected his employee and traveled to another state, further spreading the infection.
Dick T (Pittsburgh, PA)
A very sad story - JJ Bubbles sounds like a lot of the saloons we have here in Pittsburgh - places that you can feel comfortable in regardless of your political affiliation. About two weeks ago I had a conversation with a right leaning friend I've known for more than 50 years - he, too, gets most of his information from Fox. His question to me was "do you know anyone who has died from this disease?". I didn't then and I still don't, but I feel this story has allowed me to know Joe Joyce. However, I still dread the idea that someone close to me will die - all because we have leaders who tell their followers, don't worry, it's not as bad as you hear it is.
Prof Dr Ramesh Kumar Biswas (Vienna)
@Dick T I do know people who have died of COVID19 in the US, for instance my former boss while a teaching assistance over 20 years ago at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Michael Sorkin, for whom NYT wrote an excellent obituary a couple of weeks ago.
Dale Smith (Bridgeport)
Tragic story of a man who seemed to embody qualities of a kind, hardworking family man. Unfortunately, he seemed to take his cues from politicians. It would benefit us all to believe that official pronouncements by those in positions of visibility and authority — the president, our employers, etc — are well and good, but they remain only opinions. We, as individuals , are the sole and ultimate arbiter of self-preservation and the steps we must take to avoid COVID-19 infection. To borrow and mangle a line from a episode of “Designing Women,” “... people can say whatever they want but they won’t have to do the dying for it.” More than any other time, we must rely on common sense.
rjc116 (CA)
I would like to offer my condolences to the family for their loss. Also, for the record, I am appalled at the comments here I've read insulting Joe and blaming Trump and Fox News because of Joe Joyce's choice to go on a cruise. It's absurd and inappropriate. I'm a Trump supporter, I have read the same reports and listened to the same experts, and I have taken this pandemic seriously from day one. As to the superior self satisfied elite in NYC, with the most virulent NeverTrumpers and the highest rate of the infection in the world, how do you explain that?
J (US)
Respectfully, it is explicable based on scientific fact. A condensed population traveling with and around each other on subways and buses, in elevators, in densely populated environs without sometimes any & other times adequate personal protective equipment, no early if ever contact tracing, late and insufficient testing and isolation, and asymptomatic carriers traveling in these environs.
Gripah (Chalfont, PA)
@rjc116. The spread in NYC has to do with many factors. The largest public transit system in the country, travel thru NYC from Europe (Mnuchin wanted that shut down earlier in the outbreak) and its a densely populated area.
Kathy (Buffalo)
@rjc116 Aww, NYC might have the highest rate of infection due to the density of its population and why would you blame the people of NYC for the scourge they are suffering? That is a major problem with Trump and his supporters -if it's not happening to them it doesn't matter. It's an "us versus them" mentality and this country is no longer united in any way that can efficiently deal with this pandemic, People need to stop making excuses for Trump. He downplayed the virus and called it a hoax and since being in office he has viciously discredited science and the mainstream media so he can control the narrative in his favor. ( Kind of like what he is blaming China for doing in this pandemic). He is a dangerous man enabled by people like you. And the fact that you refer to people who question Trumps handling of all this as Never Trumpers tells me that you are making this about politics and not recognizing the human story outlined in this article. Our govt downplayed a deadly virus, spreading misinformation through a certain media platform that it controls and is watched regularly by millions, a man made a decision based on that misinformation and it cost him his life. A huge loss for his family and local community.
Kokopelli (Hailey, Idaho)
I wish somehow Everyone could read this and absorb the essence without politicizing the content. We are like salmon in a river eating up the news that flows only in that river, unaware of what’s coming down the next watershed.
Mary (Wisconsin)
@kokopelli, How can you say that the content is being “politicized” when Mr. Joyce made decisions based on statements of the President of the United States and his most supportive news outlet? “Politicized” implies that something was added to the story that wasn’t there before. That’s not true here. Politics, and its consequences, runs all through this tale: no additions needed.
bills (notinNYC)
if one watches TV. I stopped about 1/2 a century ago. even to a kid it was racist and classist.
Bigkimnyc (NYC)
@Kokopelli except politics are why we have most infections and dead people in the world. To leave it out of the conversation is like talking about how babies are made and never mentioning sex. Irresponsible.
Pam (Rockville Centre, NY)
Unfortunately these are the tragedies that have to play out in more communities to convince certain demographics that this virus is serious. I hated all the coverage on how hard hit the black community has been hit (even though its true), because I KNOW this won't help others take it serious. I have neighbors who died who weren't black and were in denial the whole time courtesy of right wing news. Everyone should be praying for and supporting the President & the Governor to make the best decisions for us. Unfortunately many of us aren't making the best decisions for ourselves.
Mike (NY)
@Pam Praying for the president to make the best decisions for us? Have you seen how he’s treated this? Where are all the test he keeps swearing we can do (but clearly can’t). Where was he back in February when he wasted the whole month calling it a hoax and saying it will just “disappear”... He’s literally incapable of taking science and medicine seriously and making the right decisions. We should all be praying he is ousted in November.
Margarita Perez (NJ)
I didn't know him. I am sad. Hope we can stop this insanity.
Miriam (NYC)
Joe Joyce seemed like such a decent guy. I would have hated his politics but would have been happy to know him or to have been a regular in his bar. My condolences to his family for their loss. I do think you can blame Fox News and Trump for underplaying the threat. However, shouldn’t the cruise line be ultimately be held accountable, particularly what happened with the Princess Cruise line ship, that was stranded in Japan. Certainly these companies knew what a Petri dish the ships are. There are constant outbreaks of nono viruses onboard, besides the corona virus. A major outbreak had already broken out in Spain, one of the destinations. Yet the cruise line, instead of canceling the trip, went ahead with it, just out of greed. They and all the ships that continued to sail. should be sued of every penny by the survivors or victims’ families. Besides the health risks these ships pose to the passengers and crews, they’re environmental disasters. Help should be given to crew members, but nothing should be given to bail them any so called American ships. To save money in taxes, they’re not even registered in this country. If the industry survives, nothing will change. It, rather than the passengers and crew, should die.
gbr (RI)
Wonder if those people from FOX news and others be responsible and liable for the damage caused to their news followers. How much free speech is considered reckless free speech that lead to place people in risk and or death. Should they be liable?
kathy (NJ)
I am sorry for your loss and grateful that your story is being told and shared. I read where someone blocked the fox channel from their Dad, he couldn't watch it and his mood and opinions changed.
Ellen Bellone (New Orleans)
We can no longer ignore the political divide that is contributing to the turmoil in our country. The President has taken over the evening news hour to appropriately inform citizens about the Coronavirus, but he manages a divisive rally of his supporters against his political opponents during these information sessions. He has ,in effect, a daily political rally which is falsely imbedded in his information broadcasts. How naive can the public be!
Anil (USA)
My sympathies to Joe’s family and friends. TV news casters and influential people should stop playing Doctor and advising people about medications and promote wrong ideas as it happened in Joe’s case.
Misplaced Modifier (Former United States Of America)
I believe the propaganda and lies that Fox News presents to its viewers as real “news” makes that corporation liable to class action lawsuits. I believe Fox News is partly and greatly to blame for the spread of the pandemic (and many deaths) in America. There are many others to blame for this pandemic, starting with the Chinese government and Trump, but Fox News has a captive audience of American citizens who are older and less educated (or incapable of critical thinking) and, therefore, wide open to the type of authoritarian propaganda presented by Fox News. Why has America allowed the Murdoch Family to call their gossipy opinion product “News”, let alone operate in America? Why do we allow Fox to present lies as facts? That’s not freedom of speech — at the very least it’s the marketing semantics of a sociopathic grift and it should be illegal.
Coger (Michigan)
My father and his twin were born on November 28th, 1918. Their Belgium mothers family had left Belgium in 1910 so her brothers would not be killed in a war! My grandmother would not allow anyone to see the twins. Her sister and husband wanted too! He died six weeks later at 26 of the Spanish flu! Leaving a widow with three children. I knew this was serious!
Rick (LA)
Carefully investigate, take many sources into consideration, use your judgement based on recent history, and the sources you are consulting, then make your decision.
MP (Brooklyn)
Why be sad. This is what he wanted. Sometimes people make choices. I’m making mine and he made his. That’s what freedom is all about.
Shelly (AZ)
@MP I don’t disagree with you. This article (and quite a few comments) blame President Trump and Fox News for Joe’s death. Joe wouldn’t listen to reason, even coming from his loving children. But your comment shows no compassion. The life of a generous and kind human being was lost. Please don’t blame (Joe) as others have blamed (President Trump and Fox News). My sincere condolences to Joes family.
Kathy (SF)
He ignored social distancing and likely infected others when he came back. Was it his right to do that?
John Doe (NYC)
I'd like to see Sean Hannity's reaction to this article. I assume it would be similar to Trump's. "I take no responsibility".
Sara (World)
Oh yes.. just so heartbreaking, the way Joe and perhaps his wife disregarded a SELF-QUARANTINE for those returning from Europe and cruises. They admitted in this article that Joe returned to his bar the next day and probably infected the bartender-- who ended up dying around the same time as Joe did. Gee, wonder how he got infected? I wonder if others in the bar did. Indeed, with Joe's attitude, he must have been a super-spreader. This couple then proceeded to further violate the self-quarantine by going to their second home in New Hampshire, probably infected many in their path and in both NY and New Hampshire. Although this article seems to have been written with the intent of eliciting sympathy, it may instead be laying the foundation for civil cases against the family and perhaps criminal liability for the wife. There was no need for them to do this. They are wealthy, with at least two homes, can afford to put their kids through the best colleges and go on luxury vacations. I think an example should be made of them! Especially over any known deaths such as the bartender!
Sara (World)
Dear NY Times Editor and Mr. Bellafante, I think it's only ethical to follow up with the Joyce family, especially Jane Joyce (the wife). She, along with her husband, refused to self-quarantine when they returned from Europe and a cruise that was a COVID hotspot. They refused to social distance in a way that posed a danger to their communities. Joe Joyce clearly expressed his defiance of social distancing, as is evident in this article. At least one death seems reasonably attributable to the recklessness of Joe Joyce. As the article states, the day after he returned from Europe, he went to work in his bar against the self-quarantine advisement; his bartender, Artie, later died around the same time that Joe Joyce did. Then both Mr. And Mrs. Joyce continued to defy quarantine and social distancing advice by going to their second home in New Hampshire. Considering the timing of their return from Europe and their potential to be super-spreaders due to their reckless disregard for social distancing, it is very possible that they could have seeded hotspots in the region. PLEASE advise Mrs. Joyce-- or her family-- so that she is urged to go to the public health authorities. Hopefully they can at least try to do some contact tracing and mitigate some damage. Even now it's not too late to do something.
Bluebird (North of Boston)
I was shocked to read that this man apparently fled to New Hampshire and then apparently died there. This is my home state and an easy google search shows his residence is in the next town over. There is only one grocery store that those towns share; did he infect people-me?-with his rather arrogant denial? This is the core issue with why this is spreading and people are dying—very unfortunately for us all, including Mr. Joyce.
vbering (Pullman WA)
The last paragraph describes exponential growth nicely. At first you don't see anything but eventually you can't see anything else.
Mike Page (Chatham, MA)
I see people pushing back against the social isolation measures, and think that not only are they putting themselves at risk, but also everyone else. One infected person can result in hundreds of infection within 30 days. It is a sad selfishness that defies logic.
Henry (NYC)
There is just so much more to life than politics.
disgracedhousewife (TX)
At some point, everyone has to assume responsibility for the news they consume.
Kingsely (NY NY)
There are thousands of stories like that well-told one, and all of the families should sue FOX and Trump.
KJ (Tennessee)
I read this yesterday and have been pondering the imponderable. Why did a good man who cared about all people and accepted their diversity gravitate towards a political party that stresses differences in wealth, appearance, innate biological variations, and everything else that makes every person unique? Why did an intelligent, worldly man believe the words of a lying rabble-rouser like Sean Hannity and admire a hedonistic user like Donald Trump? How did his children come to hold different views? And most of all, why did Joe Joyce have to die?
Bigkimnyc (NYC)
@KJ except he didn’t “ care about all people”. Besides supporting a man who caged Latinos, Banned Muslims, dehumanized Black people and assaulted women, he willfully ignored quarantine orders designed to help the most vulnerable in NYC, and brought the virus to his New Hampshire neighbors. If that’s what “ love” is in your mind then I think you need to think it through...
Ken (Woodbridge, New Jersey)
It seems like America has suddenly gone crazy. And it isn't just the Trump supporters, although their irrationality is off the charts. Consider this headline in yesterday's paper: Vote for Biden? Sanders Supporters Say It’s ‘Up in the Air’ There's plenty of crazy to go around.
V (Baltimore)
The disassociation with reality in the conservative movement is at 1984 levels. Fox news and conservative radio have been radicalizing the American public for years and the results are obvious. Unfortunately it won't stop anytime soon - the profits are too good.
Me (Here)
That he died is sad, lamentable. That he lacked critical thinking skills which would've kept him alive is also lamentable. I do not speak ill of the dead. But it is the point of this article, that many good among us are living in a magic bubble of denial while ignoring fact and science for political reasons. For the most part this ignorance has been talk and opinion, and America has skated by the consequences of ignorance. But while times were good we didn't pay down the national debt assuming a bad day would never come. Now that we need to deficit-spend, we find our debt is already sky high. This debt was being paid down by Obama at the end, then stopped by Trump's unfunded tax cuts. Magical thinking. Once a lark, now becoming deadly with deficits, global warming, covid deaths, etc.
NoName (Texas)
This is the moment some of us have been holding our breath about and hoping would never happen... science against propaganda, and if you choose unwisely the results are fatal.
Ruby M (California)
It’s Trump and Fox News that now want to open up the country and people will choose to believe their lies. Ultimately it is their choice.
Eric (Tampa)
Want to feel bad so much... but just can't... these are the same people that would risk our lives so they can live out some kind of political cowboyism. What you didn't include in this article is the possibility that JJ may have exposed countless people to this virus. His own willingness to treat this thing as a hoax may have put other family members, friends, neighbors, patrons at risk. Consider this: JJ may not be the victim in this. For all we know, he may be a perpetrator of a horrific crime, and that is knowingly exposing others to a deadly virus. His actions were no different than anti-vaxxers spreading diseases to immuno-compromised individuals.
Emma (San Francisco)
When you trust trump and Fox News and ignore reputable information coming from the CDC, you are playing Russian roulette with your life, and that would be fine, except Joe's foolish decision put untold others at risk too, most of all, he selfishly put the lives of the healthcare workers who took care of him at risk. We may never know who else became infected by coming into contact with him and how many others died as a direct result of his selfish choice. trump's narcissism is dangerous under normal circumstances, but now his narcism is deadly as he is putting his obsessive need to be reelected, over the health and safety of Americans.
Ralph Dagg (Australia)
This a very sad story of a man who died for what he believed in.
East Sider (Michigan)
To be more specific: This man died unnecessarily because of what he believed.
Charles (Maine)
Sad story. He seemed like a nice guy. It’s even sadder for the people living in New Hampshire that he may have infected. While not a Trump fan, I do not see this unfortunate death as his fault or the fault of Fox News. People are responsible for their own actions. That said, it is horrible what happen
Jane (Canada)
If knowledge is power then this story illustrates it perfectly. We live in dangerous times arm yourselves with knowledge from various sources, simple explanations for complex issues should send a red flag, check and read, it can actually save your life.
Julia (NY,NY)
I don't think it's a left or right problem. March 14 the Mayor said go out and have fun. People just wouldn't believe.
PRB (Pittsburgh)
I grieve for his family. However, intelligent people don't watch fox or support trump.
David Henry (Concord)
He believed FOX, which was engaging in willful deception. Intent matters. This family should sue. FOX caused this man's death. Willful deception should be easy to prove.
Greg Gerner (Wake Forest, NC)
Facts, including the fields of virology and epidemiology, have a well-known liberal bias. If you choose to wager your life and your family's future on ideology and propaganda instead of facts and science, the outcome is lamentably predictable. Some people think stupidity isn't deadly. Sometimes it is. But as Fox & Friends and Trump will gladly tell you, it's always profitable! Indeed, their business models are built on it.
bhs (Ohio)
So very sorry for this man's family and many friends. No Fox fan will be warned by his death. They will never hear his story. Or if they do, his death will somehow be blamed on Nancy Pelosi. The misinformation campaign is tragic.
Kathy (SF)
@bhs The campaign is tragic because it relies on the willful complicity of the viewers. They are leading themselves to slaughter. Like any cult, Fox has found a way to sell them what they think they cannot create for themselves. The saddest thing to me is that this is always about superiority to others, and it always has a cruel streak. It's not about how to help others and reduce suffering. It appeals to a subconscious desire to push others down, and it gradually gets people to stop caring, even about the most defenseless among us. So they start cheering for cruel measures against immigrant children. Humanity is lost.
kran r. (virginia)
this willful neglect of fact is and has been what is killing this country. fox needs to go, but it never will, in this country of “freedoms” at the cost of anything else. i wish no harm whatsoever to anyone, but i’ll go ahead and be the one to admit that i feel little sympathy for the people who refuse common sense. this family, for example, (& extended family) does not deserve this hardship, boris johnson didn’t deserve covid-19, but i don’t feel that bad, and i wouldn’t have if boris had died. does that make me a monster? i just want everyone to play by the rules.. my job and income are significantly affected by this pandemic (& i have kids), but i’ve been doing my part to minimize it, staying in except to get groceries or exercise (solo). my parents are boomers who are STILL going to the grocery store literally every day (to socialize), going to work, playing golf, taking friends to appointments, etc., even at my insistence and begging that they stay put. the majority of people i see wearing masks in public are younger (i.e. under ~50), and i see so many older people throwing caution to the wind. i’ve known a couple people with covid-19, and friends who have lost family members.. it’s absolutely terrible. we are all in this together, and we all have to work together to get through it. the world is forever changed; we have to accept that. and we have to accept our roles as humans responsible for each other as much as we are responsible for ourselves..
Jake (Singapore)
As far as I can tell, Fox news appears to be suffering no consequences for misleading its viewers, even in extreme cases like this. Will the children of the family have legal grounds to sue the news network for endangering their father?
Hooey (Woods Hole)
Now you're gloating over anecdotes of the deaths of conservatives. Classy. The fact is, it is uncertain how deadly this virus is. Two recent studies hint that the death rate may be far lower than feared. Let's hope that's true. As you know, most people do not die from the virus. His death was still an unlikely event and he had good reason to believe he would be fine. He turned out to be on the unlucky side of fate.
Anam Cara (Beyond the Pale)
The title of the book "Everything Trump Touches Dies" by political strategist Rick Wilson seemed an apt metaphor for Trump. I never thought it was a literal truth until now. "Coveffe" 19 might have been more than a typo by Trump.
bill (NYC)
RIP. This family should be able to sue trump T.V. (fox news) I hope they do.
Life Traveller (Melbourne, Australia)
"..And we have it [Coronavirus] totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine." COVID-19 has killed more than 34,500 Americans to date (Saturday April, 18). Sadly, more will die each day until we have the vaccine. But this much is true however: any families of those dead Americans that believe in Donald J. Trump's words of 'It's going to be just fine' can blame him for the loss of their loved ones. For Donald J. Trump is, truly, a demagogue.
M. Natália Clemente Vieira (South Dartmouth, MA)
Joyce believed what was said by the stable genius (SG) and the Faux News’ entertainers (FN). I read that a future liberation rally is now being publicized on FN. The rightwing donors are backing the protesters. The SG is tweeting to encourage his fans to liberate states with Democratic governors. Yet those egging the protestors on aren’t joining them. The SG is holed up in his fortress and can be tested anytime. The donors, in their castles, think that their wealth makes them immune to CV. Don’t the peasants realize that the SG/FN/GOP/donors don’t care if they or their families get sick or die? Isn’t it the job of the SG to protect us? For 70 days he did nothing to prepare for the pandemic. Now he is encouraging his fans to disrupt the progress that is being made. Can’t he be sued for dereliction of duty? FN must be breaking FCC laws when it gives false info to its viewers. Yet while this is being done FN is telling its employees to take precautions and Murdoch Sr’s birthday party was cancelled. It’s too risky for an 89 yr old. Can’t FN entertainers /owners be sued for putting our lives in danger? The protestors are endangering those of us who believe the scientists and health experts. These gatherings may reverse the progress we’ve made. But the donors/GOP don’t care how many peasants die. Can’t the donors/GOP be sued for inciting this type of behavior? The only thing these people care about is money. We the People need to sue!
John Eight Thirty-Two (US)
It's certainly true that Mr. Joyce would have avoided his cruise to Spain if the president had urged Americans to treat the pandemic seriously, as other leaders did. Is it a stretch to say that Mr. Trump is responsible for Mr. Joyce's death? Who killed more Americans, Osama bin Laden or Donald Trump?
alone0 (New York NY)
More blood on the hands of Donald Trump and Sean Hannity. It is tragic that so many people deluded by them have died and will do so in even greater numbers now that they are leading the irresponsible charge to re-open the country long before it is safe to do so, especially in those parts of the country dominated by Fox news addicts and MAGA loving fools. So sad for the late Mr. Joyce and the others like him who will perish. If only he paid more attention to Donald G. McNeil Jr and none to the horrid Hannity. But it is even sadder for the rest of us, who understand what a danger to life and limb our mendacious and incompetent leader is, and how horribly Hannity and the rest of the right wing zealots of Fox have poisoned American life. We know they lie and revel in our suffering, we ignore everything they say because we know how dangerous they are, we follow their advice by doing exactly the opposite of what they say - and still thousands of us will die because of them, and the virus and economic catastrophe will last longer because of their stupidity and incompetence. That is the tragedy that breaks my heart, the one we should be repeating every day, and the one for which, if there is any justice in the universe, Trump and Hannity and the rest the right-wing killers will pay a heavy price.
Joe B. (Center City)
Do we have to provide medical treatment to people who seek the virus out and spread it to others? They should be put in jail.
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
Why can't we stop FOX News from spouting out harmful lies and misinformation that ends up killing people? Don't we have laws against this? I shudder whenever I hear of supposedly "educated and intelligent" people who watch FOX and say this: "It is our only source of truthful news." Isn't there something we can do to let these people know that they are being fooled?
Peyton Collier-Kerr (North Carolina)
Certainly, I am sad for Joe Joyce’s family over his untimely [and unnecessary] death. I am saddened too by Mr. Joyce’s willingness to believe Donald Trump – about anything. Likewise, Fox/Sean Hannity should shoulder some of the blame for spreading lies to the American public. I have a close family member, also a Trump supporter, who feeds on FoxNews. Until just this week, she has refused to stay home or to wear a mask when she made her numerous trips to stores that were open. Thanks to Fox, she felt the virus as “nothing”. Fox-watching, Trump supporter, Joe Joyce was 74, a nonsmoker, healthy; four years after he opened his bar he stopped drinking completely. He didn’t see the problem. “He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ said one of his children. Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared “unnecessarily.’’ He saw it all, he said, “as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”
Samuel (Brooklyn)
He seemed like a nice man, but it's hard to feel too bad for people who believe that everything a narcissistic con-man says is the gospel. This man was an adult, presumably educated at least to a certain degree, and he was literate. But he chose to abdicate making informed choices, in favor of listening to a man that everyone in this city has known to be grifter and fraud for 50 years. If people want to take every word Donald Trump says as a good basis for making decisions, they lose any and all right to sympathy when those decisions blow up in their face.
David Henry (Concord)
" If the “liberal” media was telling us that a plague was coming and that it would be devastating, why should anyone believe it? Joe Joyce had his skepticism." Ignorance kills.
Jacques (Colorado)
Joe is all too human. Sadly though science and nature doesn't cease to trample on us all. Best to all the Joyces, sorry for your loss. The NYTs honored a good man, Mr. Joe Joyce.
Expat London (London)
My father was a veteran, Republican and only watched Fox. Twenty years ago he was a very conservative, but fairly sane and normal person. But his world got smaller and meaner every year, little by little, egged on by Hannity Janine Piro, and crew. The last discussion I had with him before he died (suddenly) last year was about Trump's disrespecting John McCain. I even showed him the video of it. He was enraged at "the lies that the media is spreading about Trump". His last words to me were "you know, you're not half as smart as you think you are".
Kathy (SF)
Fox feeds a deep seeded need in people. Is it a need to feel superior without doing anything? So many people feel unable to achieve for themselves, and threatened by those who are successful, especially when they're people of color, women, people from other countries. Fox tells them they are still on top just because of who they are. Fox is a special club and everyone else is the enemy. There is a lot of name calling. This is all grade school stuff; it's amazing so many people fall for it. They might be deeply insecure.
EEE (noreaster)
'arguments' wither in the face of the steely logic of nature.
Wonderdog (Boston)
He went on a cruise in Europe came home through Spain, and went back to work in his bar. How many other people did he infect? What's so horrifying today is how a "great guy" can be so utterly brainwashed by an entertainment network that makes its money off their gullibility.
Messier9 (Walton)
Fox News (the Murdochs!) along with Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham , and any other online personalities should be sued for misinformation and gross negligence. PERIOD.
Kris (Bellevue, WA)
What a sad story. Peddling lies and conspiracy theories actually kills people. I really don’t know how Americans came to be so poisoned against anyone who doesn’t completely agree with their politics. We are in a civil war of words that actually have catastrophic consequences.
Ovi (Davenport)
Well, it seems that JJ paid with his life, like many others as well, the mistake of trusting an extremely dangerous con man.
kerri (lala land)
let's not blame a TV show for someone's own poor judgement.
-ABC...XYZ+ (NYC)
even though I am not a denizen of any bar scene I am totally aware of the alure - JJ seemed to be a master of that universe - hopefully his influence will help some to live
Maxy Green (Teslaville)
A sad cautionary tale. Of course there will be "some people" who say it's a fake story.
Orion (Los Angeles)
Agian, this indivdual potentially infected many people who came to his bar. Some of whom may have infected scores of others, potetially causing some to have died. To what exent do people like him, who failed to exercise reason and judgement, and who contribute to to power of Trump and possibly in November are to blame?
Nate (Manhattan)
sadly this will be a "canary in the coalmine" story for Red states in the weeks to come...
Robert (California)
I can’t feel sorrow for a fool who plays Russian roulette. There are too many other people who showed good judgment, even heroic willingness to provide health care, who suffered through no fault of their own.
cr (San Diego, CA)
No. I have relatives and friends who embrace Fox News and Trump as the only source of information. They are not innocent babes. They chose Trump and continue to recite word-for-word the Fox News arguments of the day because these sources echo their deepest beliefs: that anything in their lives that is less than ideal is due to someone else, not their own failing. They choose to hate, to despise people who do not share their politi cs, their skin color, their language, and their religion. They have their choice. And will not be confused with facts. No. No sympathy from me. I reserve my sorrow for the healthcare workers who tried to save the lives of these and risked their own. God bless those doctors and nurses. And good riddance to those who willingly endanger them.
CFXK (Alexandria, VA)
I am sure family and friends are grieving at this needless death. But this was not just an isolated mis-step. It is grounded in a pattern of willful and destructive ignorance that is fueled by that axis of evil, FOX and Trump. This ignorance, and the defiance it engenders by through the denial of facts and reason, has been further weaponized with the emergence of this virus. And this willful ignorance and defiance are killing people. Mr. Joyce's death is sad, tragic and needless. But it is not innocent. Nor are the other deaths that will be caused through his willful ignorance and defiance.
Anam Cara (Beyond the Pale)
I grew up with people like this. Deny the truth staring you right in the face. They live in a world of preposterous lies, which they believe fervently because not to would betray their very identity. And there in lies the problem. Attaching to ideas the make them feel safe, but that are just the opposite. It is a strong man, fear inspired attachment disorder. This is how harm is passed down from generation to generation. The new religion is fox. That's why so called Christians can support such a vile president. Hannity is their messiah. Trump is their Pope.
lulu roche (ct.)
This family should sue Hannity and Fox for continually lying to the public. Their blatant propaganda is responsible for many now disbelieving the ugly truth of the virus. For that matter, sue Trump for his participation in the 'hoax' that is the GOP machine. Trump's blatant detachment from reality is no excuse for treason, sedition and genocide. It is time to pay up in the only way they understand. May Joe RIP.
d.e.w. (Wisconsin)
We call this a teachable moment.
Olivia (NYC)
Yes, let’s blame Fox News and Trump for the poor decision that this good man and his wife made. The Blame Game is just beginning.
Dismay (So Many Articles Waiting To Be Written)
I must express my dismay at the NYT and the scope of its reporting. While Small local stories of tragedies like this are being written and are important and sad and likely didn’t need to happen..Where is ONE scathing article about the first week international art fairs in NYC the first week of March and if they had any impact? The armory, the independent, Spring break, Volta? All in Early March? Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world presented at the fairs and attended las an act of bravery instead of the stupidity it was.People of all stripes were still acting and operating in denial up to March 7/8 regardless of whether they watched FOX news.
RT (Seattle)
Listening to Honest Don and Fox News, Joe Joyce obviously was a low-information, low-complexity guy. It's tragic that his gullible trust in them cost him his life.
MC from Staten Island,NY (SI,NY)
They should sue Trump and Fox (Propaganda) News.
saranye (oakland, ca)
This is a sad story. I only have one friend who is a trump supporter. She is very thick headed about the pandemic despite being a nurse (retired). She calls it a charade. I don't understand how an intellligent person can shut out all the evidence that has been mounting up. And I certainly don't understand listening to trump about something as important as this.
B Sharp (Cincinnati)
Deeply saddened by this . FOX is spreading wrong information, please all stop listening to Hannity or Tucker, I am sure there are some who are better.
Cemal Ekin (Warwick, RI)
Clearly a victim of a coarse and careless Trump and all the yes-people around him. It is too bad that partizanship can make many blind to science and data in favor of belief and dogma.
stuart (Washington DC)
So sad....RIP. Joe. I wish I had met you. but I think I know you from this article. YOU are part of what makes America great.
fact or friction (maryland)
Science denying can be fatal? Who knew.
Sarah Rainer (San Francisco)
How tragic. Even more tragic is that this man, instead of obeying quarantine orders that ship passengers received, went to work, likely infecting and killing his bartender.
Lillas Pastia (Washington, DC)
i'm sorry we lost this guy, joe joyce ... maybe not entirely everyone's type, but here portrayed as a decent fellow, a good neighbor, a kind boss, a loving dad ... sadly, not the only person who shouldn't have listened to the garbage purveyed by sean hannity & the fanatics at fox news ...
Danielle (New York)
What a sad story. He sounds like a good man even if he was led astray by propaganda. Condolences to his family. I don’t think its constructive to demonise everyday trump supporters. That divisiveness got us where we are today. He did the best he knew how. May he rest in peace. Thank to the author for humanising him.
Betty (Florida)
I live in SW Florida, where FOX news plays in doctors waiting rooms. “Governor” DeSantis campaigned on tv with his toddler “building a wall” with legos. He just opened up a beach and we have not even hit our Covid-19 peak. This is Trump country and the few anti-Trumps like me are disgusted. Im surprised at the lack of sympathy here but also the presumption that it’s affecting Fox viewers. I’ve lived on this coast of “FloriDUH” since 1995, and I can assure you that the hatred of “the left” has been percolating since then, way before Trump was on the Apprentice. Trump now panders to it. He is most definitely contributing to the divide, as is Fox, and the victims are everyone, not just Fox viewers. But once again, a tragedy becomes a political divide out loud, when it’s an economic divide quietly in real life. The Fox viewers here are wealthy, healthy and strong. They’re all fine and continue to play golf, hang at their country club, shop at the farmers markets and go down to their private beaches. They also think this pandemic is overblown but drive to stores in their luxury cars wearing masks everyday to hoard more food and toilet paper. And they’ve acquired private and unavailable Covid-19 testing from their concierge doctors. I’m not concerned about them as much as the workers catering to them. From my perspective, it’s not the old little Fox viewer that will be affected, but the people still working with them and the public. Let’s see what our early May peak will bring.
A (NYC)
@Betty I lived where you are in the early 90’s, and I saw it too. There’s a deep anger associated with it, and Rush Limbaugh was a huge component and promoter of this ideology black then, as he is now. And, like you mentioned, it was mainly within a wealthy, racist and very conservative family structure/dynamic.
cec (odenton)
"“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me. Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared “unnecessarily.’’ He saw it all, he said, “as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.” So now that Mr. Joyce has died from Covid-19 he is the subject of a very sympathetic column and his family receives condolences from most people? Don't forget that many on the right have been pressing to "open" up the country and have suggested that we are going to die anyway and that older people should sacrifice themselves for the good of the economy ( see Dan Patrick, Lt. Governor of Texas-- for one). Sorry no sympathy here for Mr. Joyce but much for those who have had to suffer under the yoke of Trump and his supporters. BTW-- Fox was pushing the the virus as a D hoax and that was actually nothing to it. Looks like Mr. Joyce unfortunately bought into the lie---- hook ,line , and sinker.
Mark Olson (Clarksville, Tennessee)
Why Fox News for the senior set? A friend nailed it. Repeat simple sentences over and over, almost like a mantra or chant. No need for discrimination in your thought. It is easy if your memory fades, does not require the effort of thought. So sad.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita, Kansas)
Another Negligent Homicide, committed by Trump and FOX. My very sincere condolences to the entire Family, and Friends.
Maxine Sue (Boynton Beach FL)
I blame Fox and Trump, and anyone who believes them. The "liberal media" is the problem. I think not.
Peter Close (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. :(
Lark Hapke (Indiana)
A very sad outcome for Mr. Joyce and condolences to his wife and family. What is also deeply sad is how much the current occupant of the oval office, his cronies and the wealth of fake news generated by Fox and friends is so sinfully destructive. It simply is beyond my comprehension how any of those people sleep at night. The rest of the media is not perfect and at times is too ideological on the left, yet it is the real news. In a world turned upside down by a profoundly disturbed President and a dangerous virus......we are all risk, every single one of us....whether you want to believe it or not. Again, to Mr Joyce and his colleague, Artie......RIP
John Bockman (Tokyo, Japan)
I can't harrumph here about Fox and Trump, who I shun, because it wasn't until early in March when I realized Japan's self-confidence was a sham to keep the Olympics on track. And it seemed only after they were postponed to next year that the number of cases suddenly increased exponentially. Now it stands at 10,000, and I can only look at what's happening in Michigan and shake my head. What are they thinking?
NM (60402)
JJ sounds like a good man. So, even generous good folk can admire Trump. Do his educated offspring love Trump as well? Sometimes, hopefully often, education makes a difference; particularly a liberal education. It can produce questioners along with many other valuable life learning qualities. That is why we wanted our son to go to college and learn to question everything. Of course, when he was an adolescent and questioned us, we jokingly questioned the wisdom of teaching him to question! JJ perhaps accepted too much and too many different opinions, positions and people. Perhaps, if he'd questioned more, particularly Trump & Fox, he'd be safe today.
Mode (New York)
Condolences to Mr. Joyce's family and to all families affected by this pandemic. Saving lives is not an option for our self-serving president and his affiliates despite his continued crying wolf concerns. The president is a pandemic.
Lisal (Brooklyn, NY)
My condolences to the family. I think it's a shame that some people will have to know someone who died from the coronavirus to be convinced that this is serious. I would like to follow up on the throngs of people who protested at their states capital with demands of being liberated.
Jonah (Brooklyn, NY)
“Last year, Vice Media went to JJ Bubbles and other bars in Bay Ridge to talk to supporters of the current president and landed on some of these ambiguities, discovering for instance the guy who admired Pete Buttigieg as much as he loved Donald Trump.” Ambiguities? What is unclear? These people hold contradicting views, and they don’t care. They are intellectually lazy. The fact that Mr. Joyce died demonstrates which of the views is wrong.
Brookhawk (Maryland)
I feel bad for this family and for the people in Brooklyn who will miss Joe. He made a terrible mistake, and this world and this virus are unforgiving. There are about 40,000 Joes right now, each with a story, some like his dominated by Fox. There will probably be another 10,000+ this week, maybe more given the propensity of the deniers to ignore the safety orders and recommendations like social distancing and not gathering in crowds or wearing masks (you can't take away my liberty!) and Trump's criminal recommendation that his base "liberate" the states with democratic governors who are trying to save their lives. Take care, people. This is not a sprint. This is a marathon. Be careful who you follow in this race.
Sue (Dutchess County)
I do not think Trump has done nearly enough and believe that he and Fox deserve a lot of opprobrium, this is not limited to deeply red states or supporters. Witness the people running in Riverside Park cheek by jowl, with no masks. People in Central Park meeting for play dates and picnics and work outs. This on the UWS where over 90 percent of the people voted for Hillary. This blindness and/ or selfishness is not limited to one group or persuasion.
Mae (NYC)
Very sad to read this account. Especially when there are photos in today’s issue of crowds of people in Austin, Annapolis, Michigan and elsewhere gathering, with their President’s urging, not wearing masks, shouting, packed together, without any basic common sense as we here in New York read daily accounts of our good citizens dying. If a private citizen urged people to disregard safety measures it would be considered a criminal act. Because it is. Like his daughter said, Joe would have acted differently if the man he supported acted differently.
MR (Jersey City)
I am sorry for the loss and sincere condolences for the family . JJ seemed like a contributing member of the society who was certainly needed by his family and surroundings and not a dispensable life that is worth sacrificing for the common good. I hope his family will sue Fox News and the Trump administration for the false narrative they spewed and still do.
Dadof2 (NJ)
It sometimes boggles my mind how people like Mr. Joyce on a one-to-one basis can be kind, and giving, and a boon to his community, but on a broader level live inside the Fox fake news bubble to the point of death. I'm so sorry for his family, especially that his choices led to this tragedy. We recently lost my wife's cousin to this, a friend's wife lost her mother, and my brother lost several friends. My brother and his wife wisely canceled plans first to go to Italy, then Spain instead. My wife, in early March, was scheduled to fly to Seattle for business. I begged her to find a way to cancel and she finally agreed. Luckily, the leader of the trip, an MD, called first to say "We're not going!" and she hasn't left the house since. If you get Covid-19, your chance of dying is now up to 5.3%--yesterday it was 5.2%...and 2 weeks ago it was less than half of that. None of us are invulnerable. Mr. Joyce was 10 years older than me, opened his bar the year I finished college. He didn't listen to his adult children, who loved him, and wanted to protect him. We went on many cruises, but stopped 9 years ago. Too many restrictions, too many people, too many noroviruses. And the ships just kept getting bigger and bigger, making them even more dangerous. As soon as the Diamond Princess, on Feb 4, had the first outbreak, EVERY cruise passenger should have cancelled EVERY cruise, everywhere! Losing money is better than getting sick and dying! RIP, Mr. Joyce.
J. M. Sorrell (Northampton, MA)
Thank you for writing about someone as a three-dimensional character. While I am baffled that anyone at all believes or follows the person impersonating a president, this article shows up close and personal how very responsible Trump is for putting his own base at risk. He continues to do it now. If his followers continue to support him when he is promoting their demise, I give up. Condolences to a wonderful family. Kristen, you were doing your best. Be kind to yourself. Everyone is on their own path. All we can do is inform and then let go with love.
A (NYC)
I understand that there were so many unknowns with this, but in addition to the talking heads downplaying the virus, we also had a lot of articles saying that “most people will have ‘mild’ symptoms.” It took me two weeks to finally find an article describing what “mild” symptoms could actually include. They include several things that I consider not mild at all, and basically scary and on the cusp of needing an ER visit. So, this concept of “mild” was very nebulous and quite a misleading representation.
Richard (New York)
There are, though, many who get mild symptoms. After two weeks of worsening illness, in serious denial, I was hospitalized with 'moderately severe' Covid pneumonia, spent a week in the hospital, made it through, and was discharged two weeks ago. Still tired, but better every day. My wife, who is considered immune compromised, after treatment for lymphoma, tested positive as well, but only experienced two days of mild headache and fatigue, which in normal times she would have ignored, then recovered. Who'd of figured?
Lindsay K (Westchester County, NY)
My condolences to this family. How I wish Mr. Joyce has listened to his children, who loved him and wanted only to keep him safe. What a loss for his family and his Brooklyn community. A tragedy all the way around.
Lance Iamnot (Home Alone)
As a now retired atmospheric scientist I often wonder when did science become political? It wasn't this way in the 1970s when getting my science degrees, or even the 1980s or 1990s as I recall. Sure, there was always a rift between creationists and evolutionists, but even in the 1970s it seemed that even creationists saw the merits of the science behind things that were contrary to their belief systems. Not anymore. When did belief, faith and political ideology replace logic, reason and science, and why? In the same way I just do not understand how some people can be led to believe anything like that 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school mass shooting did not happen, or that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex slave operation out of a pizza restaurant in DC. Or, that someone, in this case, Mr. Joyce went to his grave thinking that coronavirus, the very thing that put him in his grave, was made up "Democrat Hoax" and therefore not real. How did we get to this point?
Bounarotti (Boston. MA)
@Lance Iamnot And, perhaps even more importantly, how on earth do we ever proceed from this point. Is there another example anywhere of a scientifically advanced society that turned its back on science. More importantly still what does it say about a people consigning themselves to willful ignorance to prove a political point? I see a very unhappy future for that society and probably a fairly quick end.
Squid (28777)
@Lance Iamnot Some of it comes from the politicization of public school education, and the erosion of the separation of church and state. Some state legislatures such as Texas allow for not only the consideration of two ideologies -- ie. evolution and creationism -- as equally possible and/or relevant, but also the active encouragement of the latter as the more likely scenario. Evidence-based science and facts are thus swallowed up by various incarnations of magical thinking and aggressive ignorance. Enter Fox news . . .
Chris Adams (Washington D.C.)
@Lance Iamnot The large oil companies knew that climate change was a threat to their existence by the early 1980s and started bankrolling efforts to cloud what the science clearly said. Combined with big tobacco, that put a ton of money into public attacks on science and especially trying to politicize it. This isn’t just the obvious targets but the entire system — if you recall the pro-DDT attacks on Rachel Carson’s legacy a decade ago, they were run by the same cadre of lobbyists as part of an attack on the public health systems lowering smoking rates: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/rehabilitatingcarson A key link behind all of this was canceling the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. That cleared the way for talk radio and Fox News to not just present one faction exclusively but to present paid propaganda as journalism without informing their audience: http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1875762,00.html
Bathsheba Robie (Luckettsville, VA)
Of course I am sorry that Mr. Joyce passed away as result of the Coronavirus. However, I feel the need to point out something that this article ignored. Going on a cruise ship to Spain wasn’t his only mistake. His other mistake was going to his place in New Hampshire, potentially spreading the virus and placing an unnecessary burden on probably a small local hospital.
Pete (Prague)
Most people underplay this disease until they get to know somebody n their social circle affected by it. I have collague , who just recovered and he told me it was not so mild (he is 30 years old healthy man yet he was knocked down for three weeks). I also have learned about father of three recently, who died n thos in his 44 years (living nearby). I know also cases with very mild symptoms. With all that said I think we should be precautios as even though most people are fine and will not die from it, one can never be sure about predispositions, which might make u vulnerable. This virus is not yet known so well and honestly hearing about healthy 44 years old father deceased is quite scary for me (as i am in the same age group). We should not panic, but people should be careful as clearly there are many not yet known medical facts about this disease.
mbboston (Boston)
My husband is a Trump supporter, but didn't wait for the President to say something. Common sense, people. Reading is fundamental. For all we know, we are asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Danny (NYC)
When I was fighting Covid19 myself, I shared my experiences with my two oldest white friends in the Midwest. (I'm black and we are all late 50's). One is a republican and one a democrat. The Republican, a dentist, didn't think it was a thing. He didn't respect it, and maybe because he thought I was just attacking Trump. But two days ago he reached out to tell me of his illness. He went to the ER and was told to go back home to ride it out following his positive test. Incredulous that there was nothing the doctors could do, he went through the 10 days of terrible illness and infected his wife. They have FOX on all day. This is the sad reality. These liberty loving Trump folks are a massive problem. JJ Bubbles sounds like a place we would all have enjoyed. Sincere condolences to that family and community.
Kathy (SF)
@Danny Trump people seem much more concerned with their own "liberty" than they are about anyone else's. It's not surprising: the Republican doctrine is ME FIRST. Always.
Here in Jersey (NJ)
If this story isn't reason enough for the FCC to investigate and shut down Fox, I don't know what is. I occasionally tune in to see what it's like on the other side and after a few minutes I turn it off totally astonished that this fountain of misinformation is allowed to continue broadcasting as a news organization..
Rick (LA)
@Here in Jersey You do realize the FCC is controlled by Republicans right? So No.
Justice Holmes (charleston)
Sad, very sad. My sympathies to the family. This story is one of the reasons I believe we need a courageous prosecutor to charge Trump with depraved heart murder. His reckless indifference to human life has resulted in death to more than one person and chaos in our country. A second charge should be incitement to riot and sedition. When the President of the United States encourages armed men to block roads and entrances to hospitals carrying weapons it is time for someone who has the power to stand up and say enough! The president is not immune from criminal charges. The CONSTITUTION grants no such immunity. It is way past time for such charges to be brought. Where are the courageous prosecutors?
Salix (Sunset Park, Brooklyn)
How sad, how frustrating, how tragic! A neighborhood institution, a wonderful place to connect, and now a widow to carry on? All over the city there are new scars like this one. thank you, NY Times, for letting us know the personal pain of these times.
Whitney Devlin (NY)
It amazes me how many good people give well-meaning advice about closing the barn door after the cow has escaped! During this pandemic, placing blame on anyone is misplaced. We, of a certain generation, believe that citizens of the United States of America, would be protected by a government that was prepared to handle any emergency especially after 9/11. Never in 1 million years did I or anyone else expect this catastrophe. Who is too blame, no one and everyone. We are in this together, and together we will stand strong. Rest in peace Joe. You are someone I wish I had met.
Snowabode (Columbus, OH)
There IS someone and something to blame! As a society, we should learn who they are and deal with them. I have seen our government succeed at times but the travesty of reacting to Covid-19 goes beyond disappointment. I feel like we’re on that cruise ship that crashed off the coast of Italy and the captain jumped ship then blamed everybody but himself for the deaths that resulted (whatever happened to him?). We’re stranded without a course, even though a protocol existed to provide for one.
Whitney Devlin (NY)
@Snowabode I’m so sorry you feel so hopeless. I cannot believe that there is anyone, and I’ll be specific, in this COUNTRY that could have foreseen, or wanted this catastrophe. My only hope is that this pandemic will open the eyes of those who can make a difference in prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
Susan (Virginia)
@Whitney Devlin Read how trump disbanded the Pandemic Response Team and ignored experts for months before he did anything. And if you don't inform the ignorant that this is his fault, they will gleefully vote for him again.
SJL (Misanthrope, CT)
Joe Joyce sounds like a wonderful guy with a business beloved by and welcoming to all. RIP, Mr. Joyce. But aside from the loss of this man's life and what it means to his family and friends, HE OWNED A POPULAR BAR. I hope that it had been closed by the time he returned. An individual's misinformed decisions and warped opinions are becoming a health tax on all of us. We all pay with increased restrictions, the prolonging of the shut down, and for some by suffering serious illness or death.
Delph (Sydney, Australia)
Thank you for this moving piece. It's been so hard to understand the mindset of people who support trump, especially after seeing the recent protests, but you've painted a portrait of a decent, caring human being who was deceived by his news sources and not protected by the person he voted for. I hope Joe Biden can appeal to the best in us all, because reading about Joe Joyce has helped remind me that, despite political differences, we all have much that is good, in common. Sincere condolences to Mr Joyce's, and Mr Nelson's, families and friends.
Karen b (Brooklyn)
I agree. This shows the power of the right wing media. Murdoch has blood on his his hands too.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
Joe Joyce appeared to be a remarkable man. His timing and instincts proved successful in his early decision to own and operate a bar in the Bay Ridge neighborhood. If I had met him, I think I would have instinctively liked him because he was neither jaded nor closed minded, as evident by his unprejudiced nature regarding his admiration of Pete Buttigieg or making a Syrian immigrant feel genuinely welcomed in his establishment. I don't think blame is a word I would use to describe Mr. Joyce's choices when it came to not believing nor keeping an open mind about media reports of a devastating plague heading our way. He was misinformed. The real heart of the matter is that people believe what the president says. He continually stated early on that this virus was "fake news" or a "hoax". HIS words mattered then and continue to matter and impact people and their thinking now. Of all the negatives and mistakes that surround this president, what has always haunted and disturbed me is that his words truly are taken at face value and people continue to believe him, even when his words are incorrect, dangerous, reckless, irresponsible and ignorant. Mr. Joyce believed what the president said about this virus. And that trust and belief impacted his misguided decision regarding the decision of a cruise in Spring. For a president to state that he is not responsible, his actions and words continue to have deadly consequences. Deep condolences to the Joyce family and friends.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
My condolences to the Joyce family. Joe died from propaganda and it’s very dangerous. Just today my entire town received a copy of the Epoch Times in our mailboxes. It was not delivered by the mail carrier but by an individual. The whole town talked about it on our Facebook site and all commenters said they threw it out or used it for their pets. Lots of good jokes - but I am sure some read it and believed. I find it terribly sad that lies by conservatives made to enrich donors are the ones that ring true to good people like Joe Joyce.
Alan Jones (Chicago, Illinois)
Among so many fears in this terrible time, I am now concerned/fearing that with all the protections I am engaging in, a libertarian gone wild, puts me in a compromising situation.
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
I did not know Mr. Joyce, and never patronized his bar, but i offer my condolences to his family. You'd think science and facts wouldn't be red or blue, but you'd be wrong. Those who downplay, de-emphasize, distort, or conceal the truth about this disease are culpable in every death.
Kathy (SF)
@Retired Fed Science and facts aren't red or blue. It's a construct invented by people who want to make money from selling it to the gullible. What is so tragic is that our society, over the last few decades, has allowed that rot to fester because fewer and fewer people learn how to think critically and how to apply that skill to life. The Republicans' plan has come to fruition. First ignorance, then Bush, then Trump, then disease. Congratulations, Republicans. We have a country full of poor, sick, gullible people. The rest of the world is not fooled by our glitzy exterior. They can all smell the decay.
John (Mexico)
This is certainly taking Trump bashing to a new low. When this departed on March 1, hardly anyone was sounding the alarm. NYC schools would stay open for weeks and Andersen Cooper was telling us the flu kills more people.
Nino Gretsky (Indiana)
@John A good man has died, and still your main concern is to leap to the defense of the current occupant of the White House. I was watching this situation unfold since early January with quite a bit of concern, and I'm just a lone citizen out here in Indiana, without the full resources of the U.S. government at my disposal.
Eddd Mayfield (Rue de Lyle)
@John You are not taking Trump idolatry to a new high. His worshippers took it to the highest level of irrationality long ago. His children sounded the alarm, and still he went.
Michael S (NYC)
@John please stop shifting emphasis away from the sorrow for Mr Joyce while trying to defend the poisonous pied piper who continues to lead millions astray, including yourself.
John crane (Waterbury ct)
I know of a few trump supporters who felt the same way ,until someone close to them got sick (1 passed,1 is not doing well).It is unfortunate our leaders(from both parties)all were too late taking this more seriously.Politics should have no place in this,but unfortunately this is the world we live in.People really need to think more for themselves,and not follow the millionaire pundits on tv blindly.
Amanda Bonner (New Jersey)
@John crane Sorry -- but this isn't a "both parties" moment. Trump is president and he's the one who ignored it, called it a hoax, peddled it as a media hoax, and a Democrat hoax, got rid of the pandemic planning unit, disemboweled the CDC, ignored the warnings from the national intelligence agencies and watched the disease ravage Italy and Spain and anywhere else that it went and still did nothing to prepare the US for it and is still distancing himself from it by dumping the issue on the governors, not using the War Productivity Act to ramp up production of tests and now is supporting rightwing protests who want the states to open up economically which will create more illness, deaths and the overruning of the health system that the rest of us who are staying home are trying to prevent from happening. This is NOT a both parties scene -- this is one horrific monster of a president and the GOP's catastrophe.
Andy Hain (Carmel, CA)
@John crane For the past three years, Trump has gotten himself off by making fun of American citizens rather than by doing his job. He's the President, not some guy voted on or off some island!
BK (Boston)
I’m glad to read others here who have compassion and sympathy. I’ve run out.
Ed (Oklahoma City)
COVID-19 denial is the tip of the death and destruction iceberg. Climate change denial has already been more deadly than the virus. Floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes have been particularly awful in the last decade. Fox News and the GOP will deny science that requires that they reform their business practices until it's way too late for the rest of us.
Nancylee Friedlander (San Diego, CA)
Well wishes to this family, so sorry for their loss. I wonder if, overall, COVID-19 is differentially striking people who follow Trump and watch Fox. If so, are Trump's pronouncements, and those of his acolytes like Hannity and Limbaugh, reducing the numbers of his base more than the Democratic base? Are Trump and his minions unwittingly causing the ultimate "voter suppression" of Trump's own followers?
Amanda Bonner (New Jersey)
@Nancylee Friedlander Your lips to God's ear.
Den (Palm Beach)
I own a business and up until 3 weeks ago, now going on 4, I was going into work. My wife said I needed to stay home-I am healthy not over weight and active but still going on 76. My daughter and son and wife had a conversation and insisted I stay home. I really did not want to but they did have a good argument-I have no idea were my employees go after work and if I did not care about myself then why should I traumatize my wife coming home each day not knowing what could happen. So, I stayed home and worked from home. My employees still come in-many fewer hours and they are very cautious. We have shut the business down to all walking customers and have outside pick up or delivery via UPS etc., Reading this story certainly proves that my wife and children were right and I was dead wrong- I hate to say this but I think the only way Trump will understand what Covid19 is all about is to be infected himself.
Dirk in New Hampshire (Upper Valley NH)
So sad for the family, especially the children. But we all know Trump's base, like Joe "JJ Bubbles" and his fellow travelers, hang on his every word directly revealed at rallies or the podium and later interpreted by Fox News. We know they are motivated by the politics of resentment of others who they feel are getting something they don't deserve and regular "Joes" never get, they marinate in the feeling their country has changed and not for the "better", and they have been "left behind". Was Joe too caught up in all that to realize he had lived the American Dream? With little formal education, Joe started and maintained a successful business. He sent a child to Harvard and another to Brown on his own nickel and their hard work! Hollywood celebrities have paid millions to get their kids there and are now in the slammer! As Annie Savoy once famously said "The world was made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness..."
Gripah (Chalfont, PA)
@Dirk in New Hampshire. You’re spot on. The entire article I’m thinking, oh my, Joe has it all! How can he be loyal to a man who has cheated the system his entire life! The total opposite of Joe! How could he watch the network that is filled with propaganda and hate. Joe had a loving, accomplished family and was well respected in the community. RIP Joe, condolences to the family.
Joe (Lansing)
I am very, very sorry for the family's loss. At some point we will need a national reckoning. There are individuals in government and in the media who are morally and ethically, if not legally, responsible for these avoidable tragedies.
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
@Joe You might (it's a stretch) have a legal case if you could prove that there was knowing and willful distortion or concealment of material (life saving) facts and/or evidence.
Joe (Lansing)
@Retired Fed I am not an attorney, but I think a legal case would be very difficult. But I wonder if it would be possible for the major media outlets to draft a code of ethics and see who signs on. BTW, MSNBC, standard bearer I am guessing of the "liberal" media, is owned in part by General Electric, which I do not believe is a bastion of the "liberal establishment." In other words, I cannot help but wonder if the idea of a "liberal media" isn't another distortion of reality.
Samuel (Brooklyn)
@Joe The entire concept of the "liberal media" is a complete fallacy. It was literally invented by FOX in the early 90s, so they could present themselves as the contrast to the "liberal mainstream media".
R Thomas BERNER (Bellefonte)
We were leaving for Morocco on March 5 but cancelled. We would have flown through Frankfurt, which had the time seemed to have an outbreak of covid-19. We have since cancelled a Mediterranean cruise in late December and replaced it with a Mississippi cruise in the fall of 2022. We are in the vulnerable age cohort and are taking no chances.
Amanda Bonner (New Jersey)
@R Thomas BERNER Well, Mr. Berner -- I know for a fact that you are an educated man and are a retired professor and what our country needs now more than ever are educated men who have passed their knowledge on to others. Our lives depend on it. Enjoy your Mississippi River cruise - it's quite a wonderful journey down the Mississippi River. Best wishes.
Pat (NYC)
His daughter was right. Had the President done what needed to be done Joe would have cancelled his trip. Likely he'd be alive to see more birthdays and sell more beer. It's sad that people's political inclinations impact their health and that of others.
Third.Coast (Earth)
This sounds like a life well lived, albeit with a sad ending. My condolences to the family.
Mark (Smith)
You are right. To be extra fair, I'd add the governor and the mayor. From what I read, don't think JJ would have listened to them anyway but most in government were downplaying this a bit, especially mid Feb.
Avid Newsreader (North Carolina)
It's a sad reflection of our society that so many people live—and die— by the words of a pandering politician or a television network instead of actually paying attention to the scientific data and thinking for themselves. It is indeed troubling to see this many voters who ignore logical reasoning and instead have allowed themselves to be led to what amounts to a slaughter.
Dan (NJ)
Joe Joyce, may he rest in peace, was a skeptic toward the mainstream media. Unfortunately he chose the wrong mainstream media outlet to believe in (Fox). He also picked the wrong president to believe in. (Is there a day that goes by that Donald Trump doesn't tell a lie?) For all of his open-mindedness toward the people who frequented his bar, Joe seemed incapable of recognizing a fellow New Yorker who is a complete film-flam artist and carnival-barker. This story demonstrates the power of propaganda, and how it's used to acquire and maintain political power. If the media likes a political figure, that's one thing. But when the media becomes complicit in a politician's lying, that a whole different thing. If a lie is repeated consistently by powerful people using a media megaphone, it's possible to manipulate a critical mass of people into believing anything. It's a shame that Joe didn't apply his inclination for skepticism more broadly. He might have stayed home.
Guido Malsh (Cincinnati)
Another sad episode of tragedy in this country that's a result of not knowing, believing or caring what's true and what's false about any and every situation. With each side of a totally divided nation stubbornly refusing to back down and stop this endless game of chicken, we all suffer while some of us die.
Todd (Florida)
My condolences to Joe's family and friends. I'd like to hear more from skeptics who got the virus and then had to be put on a ventilator but recovered. I am curious about how the experience of being on a ventilator and or intubated changes one's opinion of the information these skeptics are receiving. Do they go back to being skeptical with the same enthusiasm? Or do they have a new found empathy for people who are concerned?
Sara (World)
@Todd Being on a ventilator would cause significant brain damage. This is due to biochemical changes in the brain that comes from the way air is forced into the body by a vent. These people would lose their ability to be reflective and reason-- especially if they are older (over 60).
HPower (CT)
Joe broke the stereotype of the Trump supporter. Sadly, he also likely become a casualty of the Fox News and Trump agenda of misinformation. May we hold both realities as true as we engage in our political discourse.
Michael (Bloomington)
This particular New Yorker was a skeptic and died of Covid-19. But the vast majority of New Yorkers are very liberal and NYC is ground zero for the virus in America. It has hit NYC far harder than anywhere else. The media seems to be building a narrative where red states and conservatives who suffer from COVID-19 somehow deserve it, but NYC, the place that has been hit far harder than anywhere else, does not deserve it. Furthermore, the narrative is that conservatives are the ones who are instigating against restrictions. But soon everyone will see the truth when some of the super liberal big cities begin leading the charge on this. Mark my words. I am a conservative who believes in staying at home. But my liberal family members in Chicago are the ones who want the economy to re-open now.
LuluLuli (Florida)
It stands to reason that NYC would be the hardest hit with international airports, density and public transportation. The most affected have been the lower classes who can not work from home. Most of these New Yorkers didnt make the choice to ignore science, world news and sail on a two week luxury cruise to Europe, the hardest hit area at that time.
Samuel (Brooklyn)
@Michael New York City is the most densely populated region on this entire continent. Of course we have the highest concentration of cases; that's how epidemic transmission works. The more people there are in a small area, the more it spreads from person to person. You are right to a degree, I do see a lot of people in New York without masks. But most of them are Orthodox Jews (conservatives, every one), older people (statistically more likely to be conservative), and the racists ranting about how we need to kill everyone in China and Trump should get a third term (definitely conservative). Just because New York is a very liberal city doesn't mean everyone here is a liberal. And while it's obviously not as cut and dried as "liberals believe in staying inside, conservatives don't care", there absolutely IS a reason that is an observable trend even if it doesn't apply to 100% of people. It's not liberals that the President is talking to, when he urges people to defy the social distance guidelines set in place by democratic governors. It's not liberals agreeing with Dan Patrick that old people are willing to die to restart the economy. If Texas ends all restrictions and goes back to life as usual because they care more about money than protecting people, and the virus spikes there again, then yes, they will absolutely have deserved that. If we open too early in NY, and it spikes again in 2 months, we will deserve that too.
Ignatius O’Reilly (Brooklyn)
“The media seems to be creating a narrative that red states are going to suffer from Covid-19 and deserve it” Sorry, paraphrasing. That’s not the media. That’s reality.
A.L. Hern (Los Angeles, CA)
Everybody, but especially people like Joe, have to learn to ask themselves a question that underlies the consumption of media: What is the prime motivation of the person I’m listening to, or writer I’m reading, for saying what he or she is telling me? When that consumer starts to devote the mere instant it takes to understand that he or she may be listening to a millionaire employed by a billionaire to make as many people as possible believe what those billionaires want them to believe, and that the underlying motivation of both billionaire and millionaire is nothing but money and power, then, and only then will the Joe Joyces of the world stop questioning the veracity other people’s favored media, and start questioning the veracity his own.
Amanda Bonner (New Jersey)
@A.L. Hern The people who fall for the Trumps and other conmen and women of the world don't have that crucial ability to think and act logically. Rational thinking is not a hallmark of people who listen to Fox or Trump or Limbaugh or any of the other spinners of lies, conspiracy theories, etc.
Richard2000 (Thailand)
I got the same from my older daughter. Didn’t think much of it on March 11. Went to Boston with my 13 year old, arrived and “stay in place” was my daughters ,older daughters orders. Did a small business thing then went right back and “stayed in place”.Thank you Jen. Cut short my trip, back in Thailand under quickly under14 day self quarantine and staying in place, wearing a mask, and waiting this thing out no matter how long it takes. I thought the same thing as as Joe. I did watch Fox though I watch it sometimes just to laugh at Hannity. I just looked at the stats. On March 11 in USA and Thailand and thought it was OK. Yes I blame Hannity,Fox,Trump but I also blame me. I was lucky because my daughters house was where we stayed and she was the boss. Thanks again Jen.
Eli (Germany)
Very sad story. My condolences to the family. What a good man Joe Joyce was. Unfortunately, it is easy to be swayed by the political views of those you trust and/or are surrounded by, sometimes regardless of where you live. My Canadian parents spend their winters in beautiful Mississippi and enjoy the warmth of the weather and the people. They don’t watch Fox News, and their views are very liberal. Despite that, they believed that I was over exaggerating when I pleaded with them to return to Canada many weeks earlier than planned. Thanks to their insurance company informing them that they had to return early or be without health insurance, in addition to Trudeau ordering the return of all Canadians, they made the trip back home mid-March. Soon after returning, and after having driven through some of the northern states, including an overnight stay in Upstate New York, they realized that the news, views and handling of the virus was markedly different than what they had experienced in the southern states.
Chris (Reims (France))
Great article, well written. Reading it, I wish I met Joe and had a drink at JJ Bubbles...
Ignatius O’Reilly (Brooklyn)
It was an ordinary Brooklyn Bar where you could run into someone you hadn’t seen in 20 years. Sharlenes’ on Flatbush is still around.
roseberry (WA)
Many conservatives have this notion that people are almost always responsible for anything bad that happens to them, unless it's the government's fault, and they have quickly decided from news reports that only people who don't take care of themselves are at any risk. So he believed that because he didn't smoke or drink and was healthy that despite his age, he wasn't at risk. But the main co-morbidities are hypertension and diabetes and heart disease, all problems that are so common in 70+ year olds that it's not unlikely that age alone is by far the biggest risk factor. Certainly teasing out these co-morbidities from age will take a lot of study that hasn't been done yet.
Sara (World)
@roseberry Look, the guy disregarded a mandatory 14-day quarantine for those returning from Europe and cruises. I'm more interested in the people he put at risk than him, frankly-- including the long-time bartender that died of Covid the day after Joyce did. How come we don't hear tributes about this guy, who was just doing his job when he was exposed to Covid by Joyce.
Spike (San Diego)
This is not the end of the story. I'm sad for Joe's and Artie's families, but what about the many other people who are contacts? Since these two men were very likely in close contact with many other people before becoming (obviously) sick, it is likely that the coronavirus jumped to other susceptible hosts and continues to make its rounds. That is why we are in desperate need for contact tracing, and (as Dr. Fauci says) testing, testing, testing.
Sara (World)
@Spike Yeah, you better believe this is not the end of the story. Joe Joyce disregarded a 14-day quarantine that was mandated for all those returning from Schengen Europe and cruises. Yet Joyce went to work in his bar the next day, probably exposing the bartender Artie and many others. Then he and his wife head up to New Hampshire-- again, in flagrant defiance of the 14-day quarantine order. The Joyce family would be VERY lucky if they are not face with a flood of lawsuits and potential criminal charges against Joyce's wife.
DC Reade (housebound)
It's good to read a piece in the Times that doesn't default to two-dimensional stereotypes about people who voted for Trump in 2016. I've never been a Trump supporter, but I comprehend that their motivations are often more complex than racism, nativism, and proto-fasicsm. I'm skeptical of the government, too, and alert to the possibility of partisan political manipulations, regardless of which party might be indulging in those tactics. But there's such a thing as getting carried away. And in this case, having examined the facts, I'm convinced that this virus is a serious enough threat that extraordinary restrictions are warranted. I'm impatient for them to be over, too. But getting ahead of ourselves could easily reverse all of the progress that we've made in halting the spread of the virus. That risk easily outweighs the benefits of pretending that everything can simply go back to normal in two or three weeks. That agenda needs to be set by reasoned analysis of the results from mass testing- and, eventually, the success of the scientific advances required to reverse the outbreak of the virus and keep it in check. Not by wishful thinking.
Walter Cooney (Tucson AZ)
A beautifully written article about a victim of the COVID crisis. Reads like a short story by one of the masters of the form. Thank you.
TrueNorth (Wellington. ON)
@Walter Cooney A victim of the COVID crisis? No, it could have been avoided if they had had the proper information. A victim of the Trump/Fox/evangelical axis.
senzacaffe (Australia)
My condolences to Mr Joyce's family, he sounded like a great guy (it cannot be overstated how valuable a friendly neighbourhood bar/pub can be for bringing people together). America's political divisiveness and its impact really worry me. By contrast, Australian politicians of all levels and leanings, together with the media, have pretty much worked together to convey a uniform message on Covid 19: warning people to stay home as much as they can, keep a distance when they go out, and wear masks where available. Nobody has said it's a hoax. After months of such an approach, it looks like we're coming close to eradicating the virus in the near future. It's almost like the lives of ordinary people are worth more than the ratings you can get by whipping up a voter base.
Matthew (Brooklyn)
Heartbreaking. And to read this right after the article about the skeptics across the country holding “open up our country” rallies...even more heartbreaking.
Lisa (Folsom Ca)
We have a friend who was on this same trip & dates are almost exact as to him contracting Covid 19. He pulled thru but had to be rushed by ambulance almost the same date, intubated & ventilator in ICU . He just got released a couple days ago after near death. So sorry for their loss. I’d be curious to know if others on this cruise contracted it
Kat (IL)
My condolences to the family. I am sorry for your loss.
JC (Washington, DC)
This heartbreaking tragedy has almost certainly been repeated in various forms, as the President's propaganda network, Fox News, has repeatedly characterized a deadly virus as either a hoax or the 'flu. When this is over, I will be surprised if there are no lawsuits from the bereaved, charging Fox with contributing to the deaths of their loved ones. The persistent downplaying for economic reasons, while knowing the truth, is unforgiveable. These people did not need to die.
Marlowe (Ohio)
Elections have consequences. Mr. Joyce sounds like a really good guy. It's just too bad that he listened to the GOP echo chamber and decided that a male carnival barker was better for the country than a gutsy, boringly brilliant, experienced, accomplished woman. Hillary would never have failed to listen to her intelligence experts. She would never have done away with the Pandemic Response Team in the NSC or cut funding to the CDC's world health outreach program. She would have used the 'How to Prepare for an Impending Pandemic" manual written by professionals who'd dealth with outbreaks during the Obama adminstration. She would have demanded to know why the CDC hadn't developed and manufactured a test in the first ten days. She would have enacted the Defense Production Act and actually used it to get the PPE and ventilators that hospitals told her they needed, plus extras. Her child and grandchildren live in NYC. What's more, she cared more about the American people than being criticized by the media. She was used to that. She didn't like it but she wouldn't have allowed it to stop her from doing her job - protecting the American people from harm. Elections have consequences.
Spike (San Diego)
@Marlowe Words also have consequences. Hillary must have recurrent nightmares, wherein some devilish creature keeps whispering "Deplorables" in her ear. With that one word, in one fell swoop, she mobilized millions of people to vent their anger and frustration and to vote against her.
John B Good (New York)
Thank you for this!
JanuaryBabe (Marietta, GA)
@Marlowe Yes Hillary certainly would have been on top of this disaster! It amazes me that so many people would listen to this incompetent president instead of the medical community and common sense!
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