Does Science Even Matter Anymore?

AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Yesterday (as covered by Bonchie here), Jen Psaki stood at the podium in the West Wing and told Americans that even if they have the vaccine, they still will be required to wear a mask and socially distance to slow the spread of COVID-19.  People from across the political spectrum became frustrated with the statement suggesting that such a directive only discourages people from getting the vaccine.

And they aren’t wrong.  The entire purpose of the vaccine, as we have been told by our dear leaders, is to make progress to getting back to normal.  If suddenly you’re told to take a rushed and experimental vaccine, but even if you do, you’re still going to be a prisoner in your own home, you’d likely politely decline your opportunity to take the vaccine. That isn’t to discourage receiving the vaccine.  I truly believe that everyone should take it as soon as they can and this is part of the reason I have pushed my parents to get vaccinated, which they have already received the first shot.  What Psaki and the Biden Administration did was remove that light at the end of the tunnel.

For instance, had they said that once we reach a certain benchmark of those vaccinated, we will lift restrictions and issue advisories to states and municipalities to do the same, it would give people a motivation to get the vaccine as soon as possible.  Instead, they simply just said, even if you do get the vaccine, nothing about your life will change and we have no idea when we will get back to normal.  The problem is, that isn’t science.  Science would direct the process absent feelings or intuitions.  Modeling for the spread of the disease could be adjusted to account for the increase of those that are vaccinated against the virus, and we would know exactly what percentage of the population would need to be vaccinated to reduce the risk to a manageable level.  Short of a mandated vaccine, which will never happen (and shouldn’t, for that matter), a significant portion of the population will refuse to get it.  Does that mean we all have to stay home in the meanwhile?  Of course not.

The issue with the “science” behind COVID-19, is that there hasn’t really ever been any.  When we were told that masks did nothing and that two weeks and we could flatten the curve, it was essentially guestimation.  When we were told that masks would reduce transmission (they haven’t) or that hydroxychloroquine was not effective against the disease (it is), we fundamentally altered our way of life in order to accommodate what was essentially a hopeful guess.  When we were told that South Dakota and Florida were going to have an explosion of cases because of their reduced restrictions, those same concerns evaporated when explosions of cases occurred in blue states across the country.  With parents begging for schools to reopen, elected officials and unions ignore the data about the spread when dealing with children.  They choose instead to sell sob stories about how this might affect teachers while ignoring the damage we are doing to our children through this long-term isolation.  That isn’t science.  That’s a popularity contest in the court of public opinion.

In California, we are told that the science governs Gavin Newsom’s choices when it came to shutdowns, which were suddenly, and inexplicably removed (not that I am complaining about that), which just happened to coincide with new polling numbers that showed Newsom was in danger of being recalled.  Oh, and about that science that governs Gavin’s choices? We aren’t allowed to see it.  State officials have stated that the science used for the decision-making processes to tell someone whether or not they can go to a bar or work out in a gym, is secret and not for the public.

Now, as we enter into a full year of COVID-19 restrictions, we are told to continue to follow the science.  Despite the chances of someone with the vaccine spreading the disease being so low, they still will require that they wear a mask and socially distance, indefinitely.  That’s not science, that again is guessing.

All COVID-19 restrictions should be removed immediately until such time as scientific information and data can be provided to the public to show that the measures are effective and the timeline by which they will be lifted.  No more of this, “just wait it out.”  No more “trust the experts.”  Often, we have found the experts to have been wrong.  How many times has Fauci been wrong, to date, about his COVID-19 predictions?

If the Biden Administration wants to encourage people to get the vaccine, show us the data of when we will cross the line into returning to normal.  That doesn’t have to be a date, but it should show that when a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated, we can get back to normal.