Americans have an instinctive love of science. Science put a man on the moon. Science eradicated polio. Science ended World War II, Science game us the internet and the iPhone. So, the call to “follow the science” has strong appeal. But when it comes to COVID, the “follow the science” mantra has been largely propaganda.
For example, the CDC changed its guidance on exposure and quarantines this week. Instead of isolating for 10 days (it used to be 14 days), it’s now just five days. What was the science behind that? Well, there wasn’t any.
The “science” consisted of a letter from the CEO of Delta Airlines to the CDC. What does the CEO of Delta know about virology? About as much as I do. But he does know how to run a business. Asked to explain the change, Dr. Fauci said it was done to get people “back to the workplace doing things that are important to keep society running smoothly.” Fair enough And that’s exactly what President Trump and conservatives were arguing last year! But conveniently now that Joe Biden is in charge (sort of), we can’t afford any serious disruptions to society. Well, someone better tell the teacher’s unions! Evidently, they’re ready to shut the schools down again.
By the way, pre-COVID there was consensus that lockdowns didn’t work. A 2006 study from the World Health Organization based on the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic found that “forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.” And a September 2019 study from Johns Hopkins University concluded: “In the context of a high impact respiratory pathogen, quarantine may be the least likely (intervention) to be effective in controlling the spread due to high transmissibility” In other words, the science told us not to do exactly what Dr. Fauci told us to do.
The CDC quietly admitted this week that it has grossly botched initial estimates of the spread of the Omicron variant. It was only off by 200% or so. Close enough for government work, right? And this isn’t the first time that the CDC has botched or ignored science. According to one member of the CDC advisory panel, the decision to authorize certain booster shots was based on “more (of) a gut feeling rather than based on really truly serious data.”
And when it comes to recommending booster shots for teenagers, the CDC and FDA totally ignored their own experts, who actually voted against the recommendation.