Doctor, heal yourself.
Outgoing CDC director Rochelle Walensky left with a warning that we must beware of politicized science and misinformation.
She should know.
In recent months, we’ve seen many people in public health quietly backtrack on their once apocalyptic COVID advice and ask forgiveness for the mistakes they’ve made.
Well, making mistakes is human, and forgiving them is divine.
But it is easier to forgive unspoken human errors by using the Voice of God.
And deliberate misrepresentations do not count as errors. These count as lies, because that is what they are.
At the start of COVID, Anthony Fauci told the public that masks didn’t work.
It turned out that this was not based on the science of masks and COVID (there was none) but rather a desire to preserve mask supplies for health workers.
A laudable goal, perhaps, but still a lie. And when the lie was discovered, it cost credibility.
The “masks don’t work” line was then followed almost immediately by an equally draconian pro-masking rule.
And it wasn’t based on science either (there still wasn’t any), but anyone who disagreed was accused of “spreading disinformation” and treated everywhere as an accomplice in the deaths of people elderly.
(Also, while this was happening, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was In fact killing grandmothers by placing still-infectious COVID patients in New York nursing homes. He was made a CNN hero, of course.)
Public health officials then advocated strict lockdowns because letting people leave their homes was a deadly threat to public health.
It was so deadly that cyclists, beach walkers and even ocean paddleboarders were fined for posing a public hazard.
Birthday parties have been canceled, churches closed, small businesses closed and neighborhood parks padlocked, all in the name of health and safety.
(Big Box stores remained open, however, and California Governor Gavin Newsom still hosted lavish, unmasked dinners at otherwise closed French restaurants, but hey, the rules are for the little people).
Then came the Black Lives Matter protests, and suddenly those same public health officials who had closed the parks were telling us that it was OK for tens of thousands of people to march together in the streets, because that, you see, “racism is a public issue – a health issue.”
No, this is not the case.
And even if it did, no one would relax the rules for STD or measles marches, which are public health issues.
The truth was that when it came to a collision between public health and liberal politics, liberal politics won.
This is where the priorities lay, despite calls to “follow the science”.
Left-hander Glenn Greenwald then observed: “It was a pivotal moment in the history of the pandemic: for four months the message was clear and unrelenting: everyone must stay at home.
“Those who leave – even to go to a deserted beach – are reckless sociopaths.
“He swung overnight to endorse a mass protest movement that liberals loved.”
Follow the science, indeed.
Meanwhile, despite Fauci’s repeated denials, it turned out that the US had in fact funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Experts in the public health community had suspected a lab release early on, but the public was soon told that any suspicion aimed at China was somehow racist, and such statements were censored on social media and ridiculed in the press.
It was not about science but about politics and avoiding accountability.
Now, emails obtained by congressional investigators shed more light on efforts to cover up those connections and the use of private email accounts by public health officials to dodge Freedom of Information Act requests.
Such behavior would violate federal law, but hey, laws are for little people.
Then there was the successful effort by public health “scientists” to pressure Pfizer not to release its COVID vaccine until after the 2020 election, so President Donald Trump could not s give credit to voters.
It’s not a limited COVID issue, but it’s enough for one column.
What we have seen repeatedly is the use of “science” as an excuse to bully people into accepting leftist politics, when there is no real science involved.
A statement is not “scientific” simply because people who claim to be scientists make it.
If it’s not backed by reproducible data and research, it’s just an opinion. And, sometimes, just bullying.
Walensky is right that we need to beware of politicized science and misinformation.
It’s a shame that so much of this funding comes from our own government and the people it funds.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee and founder of the InstaPundit.com blog.
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