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"Follow the science" is what they said. "Follow our politics" is what they meant.
In Panic Attack, nationally bestselling author and physician Nicole Saphier uncovers the hypocrisy and hysteria which has characterized so much of the American pandemic response. While journalists trumpeted the importance of following science to "flatten the curve," they praised Governors Andrew Cuomo and Phil Murphy, who sanctioned ill-equipped nursing homes to take COVID-positive patients, leading to an enormous death spike for New York and New Jersey. Plus, the old guard medical establishment captured by Dr. Fauci proved to be far too rigid during a health care emergency.
While some state legislators are still concealing accurate records of nursing home deaths, many others have made anti-science decisions regarding re-opening plans; all of which fuel distrust and civil unrest. Democrat mayors like Bill de Blasio openly admitted that their decisions to keep schools closed were fueled by a "social contract" with teachers (that is: teachers' unions), despite hard science saying this would be harmful.
When anti-science measures are continuously implemented, the long-term consequences of such actions will likely stay with us for years to come. The pandemic has resulted in a failure of government, much of which is unavoidable in a unique disaster scenario. However, the rampant politicization of science, from the origin of the virus to the simple concept of wearing facemasks, has hopelessly muddied the water, divided the country, and knee-jerk anti-Trumpism made it all worse.