The appearance in his name will be appreciated among the defining images of the coronavirus crisis. When Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House reaction to the pandemic, heard Jesse Trump reflect on the disinfectant as a strategy for Covid-19, his eyes blinked, his mouth closed, and he or he seemed to stay. discomfort.
As a cellular immunologist, Birx’s distress was very understandable. But she is not simply an investigator, she is a diplomat, and since Trump made his controversial comments a week ago, he declined to criticize her fantasy.
“Disappear”: the disinformation Trump spread about the coronavirus – timeline
Other prominent scientists have felt less compelled to be cautious. “Trump’s constant antics really are a danger to the citizens of the United States,” said John Holdren, a Harvard environmental researcher who had been Barack Obama’s White House scientific adviser during his two presidential terms.
Holdren told the Protector that the current method of science and experience within the Trump administration is truly “shame on most levels.” The fact that Trump is talking nonsense runs the risk of misleading the general public, it also distracts top scientists who spend emotional energy neutralizing the damage it causes when they must fight herpes. “
Three weeks after the pandemic, with a confirmed number of cases exceeding a million, the tension that has been boiling for several weeks between Trump and also the scientific world reaches its boiling point. His improvisation about the disinfectant injection encapsulated a sense of demoralization, of despair, almost, that many American scientists now experience drifting from evidence-based leadership.
Science is really under attack because the situation raises a surprising question: will we lose the battle for the pandemic? McCarthy, who now heads the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said he was concerned that the United States could not resist the attack on science launched by Trump.
“I fear that people will not see the attack. These things take time and effort to describe, they are not fragments, and our country has ignored the truth that we are making science-based decisions.” No longer true. “
The accusation that in three short years Trump has successfully broken the historic ties between the federal government and science-based decision-making is one of the most terrifying allegations made to his presidency. Ultimately, science was essentially the American experience, as Franklin Roosevelt produced the Office of Scientific Research and Development for the White House in 1941.
Not only did scientific efforts help win World War II – with the atomic explosive device and innovations, such as radar and communications technology – they were also at the heart of post-war economic success in America. Recently, Obama inherited this legacy and ran to use it, promising on his first day of work in 2009 that “we will give science back its place”.
In the first group of presidential nominations, Obama brought into his administration five Nobel Prize winners in science and 25 people from the National Development of Science, Engineering and Medicine. They grew up to be called the “dream team”.
In comparison, Holdren said, “Trump could be just the opposite. Science has played no role in almost all of the best meetings he has ever had.”
The roll call of Trump officials responsible for protecting the Americans from Covid-19 clarifies his own story. In the absence of Nobel Prize winners, Trump first relied on Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health Insurance and Social Services (HHS), who is a lawyer and a former boss of a pharmaceutical company. adopted by Mike Pence, evangelical and Christian politician and many others. recently Jared Kushner, the president’s stepson, whose expertise is based on property.
Trump’s best team has therefore promoted individuals into their own individual mold. As Reuters reported, Azar has assigned the task of coordinating the fight against coronaviruses within the HHS, for an individual whose work just before joining the Trump administration was like a breeder running a small business known as from Dallas Labradoodles.
The clash between science and the White House is the result of a long confrontation. As Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned economist at Columbia College, told the Protector: “The Republican Party continues to wage an aggressive anti-science campaign for many years because scientists support ecological rules like Republicans would. party of polluters.
He raised his right hand, placed his index finger on his temple and said, “The measurements are as follows. These are my statistics.”
This belief in instincts themselves, in addition to fact, has long been a feature. Trump is known to believe that being active is bad, because people are born with a limited amount of energy inside, like batteries.
Until he joined presidential politics, he was against vaccinating children, falsely claiming that vaccines cause autism.
Given these habits, when Trump won an unexpected victory in 2016, the scientific community braced himself for what they thought was an unpleasant journey.
The attack began in the first week of the Trump presidency. Scientists, including public health professionals, were not allowed to contact the general public about their work, and new restrictions were imposed on the environmental protection agency.
Since then, the Union of Concerned Scientists has recorded no less than 139 major attacks on the Trump administration against scientific integrity. For Michael Halpern of this Union, Sharpiegate summed up the mood in September 2019 after the White House rethought Hurricane Dorian’s path to incorporate Alabama so that the president does not have to admit that he was “ wrong. ”
Toward the shock and dismay of the scientific community, the country’s meteorological agency was created to play.
“Sharpiegate was the forerunner of what happened to the pandemic,” said Halpern.
Once the nation is dealing with a hurricane that threatens the lives of thousands, it is serious enough.. But a pandemic that threatens countless Americans is on another level. The margin of expert consultation that has been a trademark of the presidency has exploded in plain sight, with Trump’s belief in the intellectual prejudices directly confronted, often before television cameras, of councils based on the evidence of their own bewildered officials.
“Many scientists feared that the president might face a test very similar to the coronavirus,” Halpern said. “It has already established immediate and catastrophic effects.”
Virtually every mistake the Trump administration has made in managing the pandemic could be related to this inability to listen to and trust scientific advice. Trump was slow to mobilize the United States government. Although he ignored the scientific warnings, he made the decision to follow his “hunch” that the “miracle” is happening and that the virus would disappear.
Its dependence on chloroquine, an antimalarial, as a potential “game changer” for Covid-19 has taken its toll in America and around the world, recent reports suggest that the drug has no beneficial characteristics and many effects. secondary.
Unlike other countries like Colombia, where public health agencies have made effective efforts to contain Covid-19, in America, CDC and prevention (CDC) continue to be marginalized. His last press conference was in March.
The assault on science does not stop using the White House. Trump’s vocal disregard for evidence-based thinking has emboldened an army of charlatans, pseudoscience groups and conspiracy theorists who have intensified their proselytism on the Internet and in protests across the country.
President’s remarks about disinfectant injection not only led people to poison themselves by consuming cleaning fluids. But also encouraged commercial hawkers to reinforce claims that they were a “miracle cure” for the coronavirus.
Del Bigtree, the number one anti-vaxxer who created the Vaxxed show in accordance with the views of disgraced former British doctor Wakefield, told the Protector that the number of viewers of his online show HighWire has increased “exponentially” “throughout the pandemic.