MSNBC's TV Doctor Nonsensically Proclaims You Must Wear a Mask After Vaccination

Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP

There are few things that bother me more about our political discourse than people presenting themselves as “experts” when they simply aren’t. The experts told us that there was noway we’d have a vaccine by the end of the year. How’d that work out? (see The Receipts Come Due on Media Proclamations About Vaccine, and Woo Boy).

Here’s how that worked out.

Our experts are the dumbest experts. That’s never more true than when dealing with TV doctors. These are people who, while they are usually real doctors (unlike Jill Biden), attempt to far out kick their coverage of knowledge and specialty. We saw that when CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta proclaimed that he saw evidence of COVID on Chris Cuomo’s X-Rays. In reality, he had no idea what he was looking at and ended up getting widely mocked for it.

Enter a different Dr. Gupta, this time over at MSNBC. You’ll be excited to learn that getting vaccinated doesn’t mean you get to ditch the mask. In fact, you have to keep wearing it for a long time yet, at least according to this television personality.

Actually, that’s exactly what it means. To the extent that there is a tiny chance of still getting the virus after vaccination, that risk will exist forever. The standard being laid out here is unattainable. Is the goal to manage the virus, vaccinate the country, and get back to normal? Or is it to never have someone get COVID again? Because I can assure that the latter is not going to happen no matter what we do.

Besides, Gupta is a critical care doctor. What exactly gives him the authority and credence to make any of the comments he’s made about the virus? Has he done studies on masks? Is he a virologist? Does he understand all the idiosyncrasies of how it spreads? If he does, he should probably let someone else know. Being a doctor simply does not make someone all-knowing about medical issues, and that’s made plain in the arguments over masks.

Look around. Florida is open and does not have a mask mandate (at least at the state level). They have consistently done better than New York and other blue states that do have lock downs and mandates. That comparison includes the current time frame, where New York is seeing another big spike. And while Florida is seeing a spike as well (as is most of the country), that is evidence that masks aren’t the silver bullet these people say they are. If they were, we’d see massive differences in spread rates among places like California and say, Alabama.

None of this is really about science. It’s all about control and making TV doctors feel good about themselves. Gupta gets to go on MSNBC and chatter on about masks while never having to provide backing for what he says, nor does he have to answer for circumstances that clearly conflict with his notions. Doing so gets him a paycheck and makes him a semi-celebrity. That’s all he really cares about.

(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)