Thanks, Rochelle Walenski!
Apparently in the strange grip of a sudden compulsion to practice journalism, NBC’s Peter Alexander pressed CDC Director Walensky this week about the agency’s two years of contradictory explanations, directives and advice regarding the pandemic in its various forms. “Why should Americans trust the CDC?” he asked her.
Well obviously they can’t and shouldn’t, since the number of times what the CDC said one day was reversed another is beyond counting. The agency’s advice is untrustworthy, its messages are untrustworthy, its protocols and standards are untrustworthy and its leadership is untrustworthy. The question should be easy to answer for anyone who understands what “trust” means, and the answer is “They shouldn’t.”
“My job right now is to take all the science and the information that we have and to deliver guidance and recommendations to the American people that is adapted to the science at hand. This pandemic has given us a lot of new and updated science over the last two years, and it is my job to convey that science through those recommendations and that is exactly what we’re doing.”
The only way that answer could be construed as responsive to the question would be if she deliberately wanted to demonstrate the CDC’s evasiveness and lack of candor and transparency, thus showing, for those who understand signature significance, that the CDC cannot be trusted, because no trustworthy official or organization spokesperson would ever answer a direct question that way.
Maybe she meant, “they can trust us because we are doing our jobs the best we can.” BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! WRONG! “The best you can” stinks, and there is no reason to trust any professional or organization that is incompetent, no matter how hard he, she or it is trying. I’m willing to accept that Joe Biden is doing the best he can, but he wasn’t elected to do the best he could; no leader is. He was elected to do the job well—successfully, effectively (as fanciful as that expectation was in Biden’s case).
Yoda is relevant here. If the CDC director is saying we should trust her organization because it is trying to do its job, the proper rebuttal is “Do… or do not. There is no try.” We could have the Three Stooges as our CDC, and be assured they were trying. Is that a reason to trust them? The CDC’s job is to control diseases. How have they controlled the pandemic? Larry, Moe and Curley could not have done much worse.
Another reason the blather of Walensky’s non-answer tells us she and her organization cannot be trusted is its magical evocation of “science,” which has become a core aspect of the Left’s propaganda and disinformation. The relevant definition of science is “a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.” Knowledge, meaning facts. Opinions aren’t science. Theories aren’t science, though science may have been used in their development. Hopes aren’t science, and bad information is definitely not science. If the CDC has taken “all the science and the information” it has to deliver guidance and recommendations to the American people and those recommendations have been wrong, either what they thought was “science” or were calling “science” was nothing of the kind, or they had real facts and made incompetent “guidance and recommendations.” Either way, that means the CDC is untrustworthy.
If what you are calling “science” on Monday proves to be untrue on Tuesday, then it wasn’t science. If what the CDC calls “science” expires like that, the Biden administration’s mantra of “Follow the science” is useless, ridiculous, naive, insulting. Do masks work, or not? Dr. Fauci’s description of the “science” on that question has been no, yes, sort-of, maybe, couldn’t hurt. Do kids need to be vaccinated? Does wearing masks outside make sense? Is the six-foot social distancing rule accurate, or should it be ten?
I was told once by the CDC that if I had my two shots plus a booster, I wasn’t a threat to anyone, and they weren’t a threat to me, in or out, without a mask. Science? A guess? Walensky and her colleagues are just guessing, and guessing isn’t science. The argument would be that as health professionals, their guesses should be trusted more than anyone else’s, except they have also been caught in so many lies that this won’t work either. Who can say what they really know or think?
Once all those health officials declared that Black Lives Matter demonstrations in crowds and mobs were OK though church services were not, that was the end of any pretense of “science” being what drove policy. Then we learned that the CDC was calling anyone who died with the virus a death from the virus. Well, that’s a lie, but one employed to scare people. Scaring people with misinformation isn’t science, it’s politics, and unethical politics at that.
Just today, I read that the CDC “clarified” that many of the children reported as hospitalized due to the Omicron variant really tested positive after they had been admitted for something else. Oh! Was the original misrepresentation “science”?
The best answer that the CDC director could have given to Alexander’s question would have been the answer CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) gives in “Argo” when the desperate U.S. Embassy staff hiding in the Canadian Embassy from Iranian authorities express doubts about his crazy scheme to sneak them out of the country posing as members of a science fiction film scouting crew. Asked why they should trust him, Mendez’s answer is that they should trust him because they have no other options: he’s the only chance they have.
That wouldn’t have been a comforting answer, considering the CDC’s miserable performance, but it at least would have been honest. One candid answer would allow me to trust the CDC a little more than I do.
Not nearly enough, but a little.