Trust the science — including the virus vaccine
Trust the science.
That’s the lecture we have been getting for eight months regarding the coronavirus.
Based on that, an economy was shut down – much of it is not yet reopened – masks have become a debate topic and dilemmas over public gatherings and business operations have become political litmus tests.
And we’ve been told to stand down on the thought of normalcy until there is a reputable vaccine to arrest this virus.
Based on that, an unprecedented partnership was formed between the private sector and the government’s disease control and drug regulation arms.
The result is, eight months after a task force was formed, we are nearing a vaccine that would be a significant step toward normalcy’s return. There also has been progress made regarding a battery of medicinal remedies that have significantly cut down the percentage of hospitalizations and deaths from the virus, even as the frequency of coronavirus-positive tests persists.
Good news, correct?
Not so fast.
Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris, seeking a position that puts her a heartbeat from being leader of the free world, said recently she will not trust the vaccine because of the president — Donald Trump — under whom it is being developed. The inference was that the president would strong-arm medical and disease control personnel into pushing an ineffective and dangerous vaccine on the American public.
Forget for a second the obvious politics of the statement.
Consider the rest of the explosives being hurled.
The suggestion is that you should not take a vaccine that everyone has been touting as your life raft. She is discouraging you from taking your medicine. If elected to the nation’s second highest office, what will her advice be should the vaccine be ready by January, which is highly possible?
Will it then be a viable vaccine because she is in office? Or, if she is elected, do we scrap all the vaccine work done to date and start all over?
Are we to believe Trump — fighting the virus himself the past week — has been messing with the beakers and scientists and forcing them to come up with an illegitimate, dangerous, premature vaccine?
Does she really think that little of the integrity of these scientists, who are performing at a miraculous pace?
Since March, large segments of the media and political opposition to this president have designated him as wholly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, despite orders to close travel from China Jan. 31 — it was termed xenaphobic by presidential candidate Joe Biden — and shutting down the nation’s best-ever economy on advice from science members of the coronavirus task force.
Recommending rejection of a potentially life-saving vaccine seems to bring with it a much closer cause-and-effect connection to death. The same can be said for Nancy Pelosi’s invitation for people to come to a Chinatown celebration, the recommendations of New York’s mayor and New York’s governor to live normal lives and the mixed messages from experts regarding masks at the onset of the crisis.
The reality is that no one — scientists, doctors, political leaders — had all the answers in the beginning. That’s still true to a degree now.
But a private business person turned president did what comes naturally to him. He marshaled leaders in the pharmaceutical industry and married them with the government’s disease control specialists in a warp-speed ramp up to a vaccine. Both groups benefitted from research already done on vaccines nearly developed to fight similar viruses in the past decade.
And Harris, who has spent her life in the public-political sector, did what comes naturally to her. She assumed there has to be something clandestine happening to develop a vaccine faster than what is custom for the bureaucracy.
Does she really think any pharmaceutical company would commit the economic suicide of producing an illegitimate, possibly deadly vaccine, and putting it in the public realm to help the president’s re-election chances?
I don’t know.
What I know is this. Trump is an outsider to the bureaucratic, political clique that consumes Washington and keeps this nation from progressing as quickly as it potentially can.
Any achievement even indirectly attributable to Trump exposes this dirty little secret and melts the myth foisted on us for decades — only they and their mainstream media apostles can solve our problems.
Add in Trump’s personal shortcomings and you have craziness that allows a vice presidential candidate to recommend you reject a vaccine that could save you from a potentially life-threatening virus and get away with it.
Put your politics aside, pray for a vaccine to beat this virus, and take your medicine, friends.
In other words, trust the science.
David F. Troisi is retired as editor of the Sun-Gazette.