Public trust in science depends on its consistency, transparency, and divorce from political ideology. There can be no left or right, leftist or conservative, blue-state or red-state. This is true when scientific expertise is taken seriously.
At this point science should not receive acceptance without questioning. Quite simply we cannot trust “the science”.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific method has been politicized. The World Health Organization initially swore the virus was not transmissible by humans. It did not warrant travel bans. It did not require mask-wearing. The virus was not a significant global threat. The organization’s Chinese patrons gave WHO an unscientific party line. And WHO’s director then ran with the Chinese propaganda. He branded the propaganda with scientific authority.
American experts were often inconsistent on travel bans, testing, masks, quarantines and medical therapies, and intolerant of dissident medical research. Authorities can not reason through explanations to the public of how the virus spreads. They cannot explain why we are keeping children from attending school. Authorities cannot explain whether quarantines are to flatten the curve of infection… Maybe they are to eliminate it altogether… Perhaps we are just waiting out the virus.
We know children are rarely stricken with the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal health agencies are a hot mess. Their guidance is confusing and continuously changing. It changes more often than political polls.
The most vulnerable are the elderly. But then local governments gave then exposure to newly arriving virus carrying patients. Long-term care facilities became the preferred destination for virus patients. Expert advice… okay… sure… valuable too… right?
Rioters hit the streets protesting the death of George Floyd. Many health care professionals said nothing about the supposedly dangerous mass meetings. They were insisting mass meetings are major public health threats… except for when they were politically motivated… and when the political bent was to the Left.
More than 1,000 health professionals sympathetic to protests signed an open letter. The letter declares social activism is more important than social distancing. Yet, when supporters of President Trump then went to open-air rallies, many of these same medical experts suddenly were calling these assemblies dangerous to public health. In truth, either both or neither types of public outings are dangerous.
For six months, experts have given the American public contradictory directives on masks, social distancing, lockdowns, school closures, and workplace policies. All of these matters of public health show us the disasters that follow when we ignore common sense. Public health decisions are currently ideological and political.
Most Americans understand only the police can protect the vulnerable in times of social chaos. Most people instinctively sense; when we are not taking vast swaths of dead trees from dense forests, they will eventually serve as kindling for raging firestorms.
When scientific expertise offers ever-changing, inconsistent, and occasionally absurd public health advice, people are forced to turn to their own instincts. Innate common sense protects them and their livelihoods better than the whimsy of political ideology. Experts, not common-sense are failing America. Public trust and truth go hand in hand.