Watching the ABC Evening News a short while ago, I heard a soundbite that explains why Americans seem to have turned so sour on our country’s leadership. It came from a commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Stephen Hahn, on ABC’s This Morning program earlier today. Asked by host Martha Raddatz about President Trump’s statement that 99% of COVID-19 cases are “harmless,” Hahn said this:
“What I’d say is, you know, any case, we don’t want to have in this country,” the commissioner said. “Any death, any case is tragic, and we want to do everything we can to prevent that.”
Let me get this straight. This “doctor” contends that catching a disease and suffering no symptoms is a tragedy. Or getting the equivalent of a mild cold is a tragedy. Or getting the equivalent of the flu is a tragedy.
It is tempting to just kill myself and get it over with.
But of course, I’m not going to do that, because I’m not a complete imbecile, and I don’t believe “authorities” just because they vomit forth nonsense.
This is what I was talking about in the opening paragraph. On the one hand, politicians of both parties seem incapable of saying anything that is not obviously about trying to gain some kind of partisan advantage. (There may be exceptions, but they are rare enough to qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act.) The public good be damned. The only thing that matters any more is holding power, and if that means they have to say things that would embarrass a literate third-grader, they say them gladly.
On the other hand, there’s the expert class. Whether we’re talking about the WHO, the CDC, the NIH, the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), or any of the multitudes of academics assuring us that WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!! if we don’t do exactly what they tell us (until they change their minds and say the opposite), the fact is they’ve disgraced themselves throughout this ordeal. Who would not be cynical about experts hearing the changing advice regarding masks, the changing judgment about surfaces, the kowtowing to China, the misuse of statistics without context, and the politicization of the entire mess (having church with more than ten people is a health hazard, but a protest with 10,000 people jammed shoulder-to-shoulder is perfectly OK, if the cause is right). Either they don’t know the difference between COVID-19 and shinola, or they think we’re all so senile we can’t remember what they said five minutes ago. Or both.
The real tragedy is that the disease is, especially for senior citizens, a deadly serious matter. In the face of it, we’ve got a leadership class (both political and medical) that is doing its best Three Stooges routine. Telling us that every case is a tragedy is the medical equivalent of Moe hitting himself over the head with a clown hammer. The politicians, bureaucrats, doctors and academics who have repeatedly lied to us, misled us, and done backflips to maintain their PC cred should be ashamed of themselves, but I doubt they have any shame.