20 May 2022 Pandemic Revealed Politicized Science Policy
Like the COVID-19 pandemic exposed parents to what their children were being taught while they weren’t watching, increased scrutiny of how government health experts have performed is fueling concern about the credibility of the nation’s health care regulators and policymakers.
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford epidemiologist and co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration that cautioned against intrusive and unscientific COVID-19 policies, said during a Heartland Institute podcast that “the CDC has failed in deep ways during the pandemic. I think we’re going to need reform of all three agencies.”
Besides the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bhattacharya called for reform of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health.
The CDC is criticized for not collecting relevant pandemic-related data and not releasing data that it did possess. For example, muddled data on masking was criticized by University of California – San Francisco Professor Vinaj Prasad:
A CDC study published in November 2020 that sought to prove mask mandates slowed the spread of the coronavirus found counties in Kansas that implemented mask mandates saw COVID case rates start to fall, while counties that did not mandate masks saw rates continue to climb, says Prasad. However, the CDC’s findings narrowly focused on trends from July and August 2020 and ignored trends over the following months that showed practically no difference in COVID case rates in counties with and without mask mandates.
[T]he CDC’s study was not capable of proving anything and was highly misleading, but it served the policy goal of encouraging cloth mask mandates.
Bonner wrote that “[t]he CDC has divided loyalties to the worlds of science and politics.” And this was evident in vaccine policy – where Prasad said there was a horrible problem of “science as political propaganda.”
Bonner is the co-author of the National Center report “Beyond COVID-19: Blueprint for Restoring Liberty, Rebuilding the Economy, Safeguarding Public Health and Responding to Crises,” which contains 54 recommendations for dealing with domestic, international, legal and medical aspects of crisis response to instances of pandemic.
To read all of Bonner’s analysis – “CDC’s Performance During Pandemic Sparks Calls for Reform” – in the Heartland Institute’s “Health Care News,” click here.