A Tale of Two Pandemics: The American Epidemic of Scientific Denial

There is a growing epidemic in America, and it’s repercussions are uniquely far-reaching, vastly understated, and potentially disastrous. The US has made a serious lapse. We have enabled a decades-long history of denying science, and produced a generation of scientific skeptics. This should be a national concern.

Amidst scientific concerns of global warming, we don’t heed the expert warnings, we hire new experts to give us answers more in-line with our political agenda. We selectively lend credence to biased data generated purposefully in line with cost effectivity. We hope it’s all part of a natural cycle. We pray that cycle will be forgiving.

By politically disabling fetal stem cell research, we have fallen to the global wayside in stem cell technology and application. We have dramatically fallen behind in areas of research including the synthesis of human organ tissue, spinal cord repair, and the stem cell repair of a wide spectrum of cardiovascular and pulmonary pathologies and circulatory dysfunction.

In considering the furthest reaches of this epidemic of nationwide scientific denial, I am compelled to consider our current controversy of whether or not to wear a mask during an epidemic of respiratory disease.

Can anyone actually produce a responsible, current scientific argument with peer reviewed data that refutes the benefit of wearing a mask in public during a pandemic of respiratory disease?

I didn’t think so…because it doesn’t exist.

Pay close attention as the specter of a second wave of COVID looms on the Event Horizon of Election Day 2020. Trump would like to enjoin a huge GOP rally this month, despite a growing pandemic, despite the wisdom of pandemic response science, and despite the spate of warnings from a concerned public health community.

If we are going to continually deny the opinion of our public health officials, why do even continue to support their existence? In addition to defunding the police, should we also consider defunding our public health system? Why keep paying into a learned system of highly trained, highly educated experts we repeatedly choose to ignore? Like POTUS has effectively done to Dr Tony Fauci, perhaps we should simply delete the voice of public health opinion.

The dangers of ignoring scientific opinion are not new to us. Despite warnings from her personal physician, my Mom continued to smoke till she died of lung disease, and in the end, would even remove her life-giving oxygen cannula, just so she could light up. I have a neighbor in the same boat. Are they unique? I don’t think so. They are both undeniably victims of lifestyle choice, but also victims of the growing epidemic of scientific denial.

Evidence-based decisions are warranted. Just today, the FDA revoked the Emergency Use Authorization of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for treatment of COVID-19, despite weeks of POTUS extolling it’s virtues – and even giving it his personal endorsement. Why, you ask?

The answer should be as evident as the mask on your face when you go out in public: the science simply didn’t support HCQ to treat COVID-19. Never did, never will.

In today’s news is that Shasta County reported a new case of COVID-19, with ties to a large family gathering that appears likely to produce more COVID positives. Be careful out there.

Not only is SARS CoV2 lurking out there, opportunistically awaiting your lapse of caution. The national epidemic of scientific denial is also out there, effectively exacerbating the lack of precautionary behavior of a largely under-informed, but extremely verbal, increasingly adamant, and relentlessly growing segment of our population.

Taken in combination, these two epidemics should be of concern to all, as it constitutes a deadly mix of ignorance and a potent contagion.

Bill Vercammen
Cottonwood, Calif. 

Guest Speaker

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