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Blaming China won't solve America's problems

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-09-24 09:47
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Ignoring the science

The White House has engaged in a tug-of-war with experts over coronavirus policy. As an Economist opinion piece pointed out, to fight the outbreak, America needs clear, unvarnished public information and policies based on the best science. But as CNN, New York Times and other US and international media report, the Trump administration is shunting science aside in the battle against coronavirus, and scientists' advice in government is no longer sought or pointedly ignored.

Associated Press writers recently stated that the President's gut sense collides with science. A case in point, President Donald Trump and the government's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, are politely but publicly sparing over whether a malaria drug would work to treat people with coronavirus disease. The President also openly clashed with his top public health officials on the likelihood of the virus returning for another assault in the fall. The President's idea of injecting disinfectants is only the latest episode.

Trump seems to put science, medicine and controlled studies on equal footing with rumor and anecdotes, said Sudip Parikh, a biochemist who is chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), according to a report by AP. Mixing those two up when talking to the public is "terrible for communication," Parikh said.

"Trump ignores science at our peril," opined Elliott Negin, a senior writer at the Union of Concerned Scientists, for the Hill on March 28. Alexei Bayer, a Senior Editor at The Globalist, in his article entitled "Trump's Dangerous War on Science", states that long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has known that Donald Trump has been playing fast and loose with science." Comments in an AP news report by M. Granger Morgan, a Carnegie Mellon University engineering and policy professor, echoed these appraisals: Presidents of both parties often put politics before science, and the Trump administration has regularly contradicted science and doctors.

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