There is no reason why a Democratic Senator couldn’t have distinguished himself or herself today during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, eschewing politics and partisan talking points with a statesmanlike and courageous presentation, thus earning Ethics Alarms accolades.
Instead, we got disinformation from Senator Warren, the party’s prime demagogue.
Questioning the ubiquitous Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Senator Warren asked for Fauci’s confirmation of inflated figures.
“As I understand it, we have about 25,000 new infections a day and over 2000 deaths a day … and some are estimating we could be at 200,000 cases a day by June,” she said.
“Wrong, Fearmonger Breath!” the good doctor essentially said, as he disputed the 200,000 new cases per day by June figure and said he expected the real number to be much lower. The other two figures were also false, however.
The 200,000 new cases per day by June estimate was probably from that leaked draft report that the Times put on its front page this week, presumably to scare people. The White House disavowed the report and its predictions, the CDC disavowed the report and its predictions, and the scientist that created the model disavowedthen too, since there were multiple possibilities included and he hadn’t completed his calculations. Elizabeth Warren quoted the half-baked model anyway, because that’s the kind of thing she does.
Her other numbers…well, nobody knows where they came from. According to the NBC News death tracker, which compiles information from state officials, the daily Wuhan virus death rate in the U.S. has been under 2,000 since the beginning of May. NBC News’ new case tracker shows that while the number of new cases was around 25,000 a day through April, the rate has fallen off since the beginning of May.
The White House corrected Warren’s misrepresentations later.
From the truth-seeking perspective, rather than the false narrative-building approach, we had Senator Rand Paul, who is a physician (an ophthalmologist), challenging the authority of experts from a position of some authority himself.
Paul questioned Fauci on data suggesting that recovered patients will have some durable immunity (Fauci agreed), the wisdom of children returning to school and students returning to college, since the mortality rates for rates for ages 0-18 are near zero, and the conventional wisdom-shattering example of Sweden, where children have continued to go to school and almost no restrictions were placed on businesses or the public. Sweden’s mortality rate is lower than in many other European countriesand it hasn’t had to torpedo its own economy.
Paul also correctly criticized the models that the media worships…you know, like with climate change. (Did you know that this May is on a course to be the coldest since the 1890s? Just thought I’d mention it. ) Pointing out that the virus models have been more wrong than right, Dr. Paul said that in his home state of Kentucky there have been fewer deaths (so far) from the Wuhan virus than from an average flu season. Outside of New York and surrounding states, Paul said, the effects of the pandemic have been relatively mild. Paul opined that the national lockdown was absurd. Then he told Fauci,
Really the history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction starting with Ferguson in England. I think we ought to have a little humility in the belief we know what’s best for the economy. As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you are the end-all. I don’t think you are the one person that gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there is not going to be a surge and we can safely open the economy. The facts will bear this out. But if we keep kids out of school for another year, what’s going to happen is that the poor and underprivileged kids who don’t have a parent that can teach them at home are not going to learn for a year. I think we ought to look at the Swedish model. It’s a huge mistake if we don’t open schools in the fall.
I have never been enamored of Senator Paul (or his father), but he has his moments.
This was one of them.