Why Should We Trust Health Experts Ever Again?

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

 

Living in back-to-back crises has certainly been an interesting experience.

We have gone from health experts telling us to shelter-in-place for months to out in the streets in crowds that are not at all socially distant. We have gone from businesses being shut down by the state to burned down by rioters. In all this time, not once have we really been allowed to go out (I realize most people by this point, had gone out into this brave new world regardless of state orders), but now we’re seeing thousands out marching… among other activities.

In all of this outdoor activity, though, we suddenly seem to be forgetting that we’ve been told for months not to gather in large crowds. A couple of weeks ago, Florida and Georgia residents (along with the residents of other Republican states) were being chastised by the national media for daring to go out to the beaches. Citizens who were wanting to go and operate their businesses and conduct life as usual were ridiculed by pundits from CNN to MSNBC.

We were told by health experts that going out was ill-advised. These were the same health experts who were being trotted out every day to condemn the actions being taken by Republican governors and the words and guidance from the Trump administration.

Those same health experts, though, rushed out a statement in support of the mass gatherings and protests over the death of George Floyd. They put out a letter with signatures and everything. A week before, they were tsk-tsking people going to beaches, despite warm weather having an adverse effect on the ability of the virus to spread. Now, though, it’s just fine, even when the protests are happening in states that aren’t warm and humid.

Just as notably, when a study on hydroxychloroquine came out that essentially refuted Donald Trump’s claims about the drug, it was rushed out and touted in every media outlet as often as possible. After all, Trump was pushing a bogus drug! Scandal in the White House!

Except, now we know that the study was, at best, sketchy as hell and unverifiable. At worst, the data was entirely made up. But the health experts, including those at leading medical journals, pushed the study as if it were gospel truth.

The CDC has been plagued by ineffective dawdling, and it really showed in this crisis. The FDA couldn’t do anything until the bureaucratic red tape was cut. The health experts in government and out were all offering such convoluted and contrasting opinions from the start. Their statements, when they were useful to the media in attacking Trump, were blared out across all the headlines to make sure everyone knew Trump is an idiot and he is unfit to be the leader of this country.

But whenever any of those narratives failed upon closer inspection, they were dropped. It’s as if they never existed. Those experts, many of whom seemed just as willing as the media to make a comment solely at the expense of Trump, have really hurt their own credibility.

And the result is going to be, once again, a lack of trust in the experts from here on out. Why should we pay attention to or trust medical experts when they have so clearly beclowned themselves for media exposure.

Here’s the thing about science: The very point of it is to be tested over and over to get more accurate information. The problem with the health experts, and leftist academics and scientists in general, is that they have always started with the conclusion in mind (that this study will somehow prove I’m right) and then cherry-pick the data to make it happen. That’s not science, that’s activism.

That is exactly what has happened since day one of this crisis, though. The data has always been used to prove that Republicans – and Donald Trump in particular – are wrong. When you jump on the media bandwagon to prove a political point, you are are not doing your job as a scientist.

Why else would Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp get all the hate that was heaped on them when Colorado’s Democratic Governor, Jared Polis, was doing the exact same things? Why has Andrew Cuomo yet to face any real criticism from the media for his handling of the health crisis in New York?

Americans will, rightly, be hesitant to trust health experts again. The next time something like this happens, you’ll find more people willing to break the shelter in place orders. You’ll have a lot more and a lot louder complaining. And the health experts will cry out, begging to know why the people won’t just listen to them anymore.

It will all come down to the fact that people are tired of listening to their so-called betters because of the hell they went through this time. And those experts will deserve it.