How the US war on science has hindered its response to coronavirus

The decision to not follow scientific advice and the consistent war on science by the Trump administration may have contributed to the current crisis. This is according to experts who have analyzed the US response to the spread of the virus.

Data from John Hopkins University’s coronavirus database is painting a grim picture of the spread of coronavirus in the US. The data shows the US already has more than 215,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. A further 5,112 have already succumbed to the virus, with the US now being the epicenter of the virus with more cases of the virus recorded than anywhere else in the world.

How did the US find itself in such a position to begin?

Two months ago, when President said the cases in the USA were just 15 and soon they would be zero, it would have been hard to imagine the current situation in the US. However, earlier expert warnings about the spread of the coronavirus in the US may have been ignored.

However, in the coming weeks, the cases would exponentially rise to raise fears that the spread of the virus will result in a pandemic in the USA. Each passing day affirmed the gravity of the situation the US is dealing with and in mid-March, the pandemic was declared a national disaster and the government started taking the virus seriously.

War on science

Professor Sackett, a Nebraska-born astronomer, warned that the politicization of experts and war on science might have contributed to these big numbers. She argued that how the US responds to this crisis has ramifications to the rest of the world.

The professor who has dual citizenship for both the US and Australia knows all too well about the inability to control the virus in the US. Australia has recorded the highest number of imported cases as having come from the US.

The Trump administration has come under scrutiny for its war on science and ignoring the opinion of experts during this pandemic. One area of criticism was the disbandment of the pandemic task force, which was put in place during the Obama era. The task force was disbanded in 2018 and many experts have argued that it would have done a tremendous job in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Contrarian views from experts

President Trump was also criticized for saying the country would get back to work by Easter. This was contrary to what the experts were saying at the time with Dr. Fauci expressing doubts that the US would be able to return to normal by Easter. The date which has already been pushed further to 30th April upon consultation with an expert was an example of how the decision of top scientists was not being taken into considerations.

The Trump administration was not the only institution having contrarian opinion with the experts. The Texas Lt. governor expressed similar views about the abandonment of social distancing measures. During an interview with Fox News, he stated that he was one of the seniors who would sacrifice himself to die of coronavirus if that meant the country going back to work.

He continued by saying many elderly people would also be willing to break the social distancing to help the US continue with its economic success. These utterances were also contrary to what the scientists were saying at the time and a direct war on science by a high profile figure in the US government.

The question remains if the US would still be in a similar position had it taken the advice from experts seriously, not disbanded the pandemic response team or taken measures to address the coronavirus early on.

 

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