In 2016 and 2020, scientists expressed surprise and alarm at the results of the Presidential election. In 2016 it was alarm that someone as antiscience as Donald Trump was elected, and in 2020 it was over how close the election was, given Trump’s dismal record on science, medicine, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Are scientists out of touch? And now what, for federal science policy and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Masks work to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the “masks make you sicker” narrative, like antivax nonsense, has proven to be unkillable and to be a killer.
AMPFest is happening this week, and it’s a conspiracyfest featuring QAnon, Trump supporters, COVID-19 deniers, and antivaxxers. It should surprise no one how easily antivaxxers fit in with QAnon.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the US, increasing concern has been expressed about the politicization of the CDC and FDA due to pressure from the Trump administration to downplay the severity of the pandemic and push out treatments and a vaccine as fast as possible, potentially at the expense of safety. This has led me to a disturbing question: Can I trust the CDC and FDA any more?
While Orac’s been away, there’s arisen a new bit of COVID-19 disinformation that deceptively claims that “only 6%” of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were really due to coronavirus. It turns out that this is QAnon disinformation.