Science can be Great… Scientists? That Depends
“Follow the Science” has become a frequently heard rallying cry from the Left and their media in recent months. An even newer phenomenon is the bumper sticker asking “Got Science?” which is often spotted adorning a Prius or Subaru, between the drivers’ other decals pleading “Feel the Bern” and “Resist.” Anyone paying attention understands that those of us who disagree with our friends on the Left on matters of science tend to do so not based on any aversion to science, but rather the political nature and behavior of individuals within the scientific community. The issue isn’t science at all. The problem is scientists, and to be more accurate, scientists who lie to us and are politically motivated while pretending to be otherwise.
This past weekend we became aware that Dr. Anthony Fauci had told the New York Times that he adjusted his projections on the number of nationwide COVID vaccines needed to achieve the ever-elusive “herd immunity.” Fauci told the Times, "When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70-75%. Then, when newer surveys said 60% or more would take it, I thought, 'I can nudge this up a bit,' so I went to 80, 85." Fauci justified his “nudging” not based on science, but based on polling, which begs the question: why doesn’t Fauci just give us the facts straight up?
Fauci’s admission barely raised an eyebrow on the Left because Fauci is, after all, a scientist. Neither the New York Times nor any other member of the mainstream media (aka the Democratic Party’s Communication Department) would dare to question Fauci’s judgment, at least not since he became a critic of President Trump. But the rest of us hear such news and shake our heads. How can Fauci be so cavalier about how he tints his decisions? How can he think such deception is acceptable? And, if he’s being so nonchalant with this situation, what else has he been lying to us about?
Skepticism on the Right regarding scientists is nothing new. The late, great conservative commentator William F. Buckley once opined, “Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.” That cynicism comes largely from the Left’s tendency to hold up science as their pseudo-religion while simultaneously dismissing scientific theories and results that don’t align with their left-wing agendas. We saw such a situation play out this past October when three highly-regarded infectious disease scientists from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford issued the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). The document urges officials worldwide to refrain from the practice of lockdowns due to COVID, and has thus far been signed by over 13,000 health scientists and almost 40,000 medical practitioners.
Since such advice doesn’t fit with the Left’s worldview, and since such advice would have supported similar assertions made by President Trump before the election, Joe Biden totally dismissed the initiative during a 60 Minutes interview with Norah O’Donnell in October. During that session, Biden claimed, “Nobody thinks he makes any sense, nobody,” referring to President Trump’s top advisor Dr. Scott Atlas and his positions on lockdowns that were almost identical to the GBD. What Biden meant to say was “nobody I agree with thinks he makes any sense.” Even more recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) bizarrely referred to the pursuit of herd immunity as “quackery.” Indeed, the Left only likes Science when it fits in with their narrative, and there are plenty of so-called scientists who are more than willing to play along and shape their results and opinions to fit that narrative.
Additionally, many of those same scientists who tailor talking points and manipulate data clearly think the rest of us aren’t very bright. The positions of many scientists regarding the issue of mask-wearing due to COVID have noticeably drifted with the political winds. In early March, we were told not to wear masks, and in fact we were advised that wearing masks could actually increase our risk of infection. Included in that group of scientists was none other than Anthony Fauci, who explained during a different 60 Minutes interview, "There's no reason to be walking around with a mask." Recommendations from Fauci and others shifted quickly, and within a few months we were eventually told that not only was it important for us to wear masks, we’d be killing the elderly if we didn’t. In September, Fauci defended his initial guidance against mask-wearing stating, “The feeling was that people who were wanting to have masks in the community, namely just people out in the street, might be hoarding masks and making the shortage of masks even greater. In that context, we said that we did not recommend masks.” Context? It wasn’t about context. Fauci knowingly lied to the American people, which based on his own statements quite possibly resulted in deaths that otherwise might have been avoided.
Such deceit by scientists has been around for decades, unfortunately. In 2009, hacked emails from scientists at England’s East Anglia University were published in what became known as “Climategate.” The messages showed that the scientists had been suppressing certain information and downplaying data discrepancies that worked against their climate theories and projections. They had their storyline on what was happening with our climate, and data that conflicted with that storyline was problematic. Similarly, former Vice-President Al Gore had a bevy of highly touted climate scientists on hand during the production of the movie An Inconvenient Truth, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize and widespread adoration from the Left and their media. Within a few years, it became clear that most of Gore’s climate predictions were wildly inaccurate, and a British High Court actually ruled that any teacher in the U.K. who wanted to show the movie to students must preface the viewing with a disclaimer explaining the film is political in nature. “Just a warning class before we watch this movie; it was made by an American political buffoon with help from his non-scientific scientists.”
Opposing leftist views is not anti-science, it’s quite the contrary. Leftism itself is often anti-science. Science tells us that men are men and women are women, but that notion seems confusing to leftists. Science tells us that a fetus is a human being, and to destroy a fetus is to destroy a human life. Science tells us that issues such as COVID and climate change are extraordinarily complex and require honest, sophisticated, and non-political approaches. The issue isn’t science; the issue is those who hide behind science as they try to force feed us their leftist agendas.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including American Thinker, the Western Journal, and Human Events. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen, and on Twitter at @pf_whalen.