In an ongoing effort to not get caught in any ideological bubbles, I like to take a look every now and then at what the haute conservatives are saying. (By "haute conservative", I mean those who present themselves as reasonable and well-educated. Their arguments typically seem coherent as long as you don't look too closely.)
Someone in our household accidentally got subscribed to Imprimis
, a newsletter put out by the conservative Hillsdale College
. I know I can count on it for a good counterfactual spin on whatever current event might be used to further their agenda. This time around, of course, it's COVID-19:Thoughts on the Current Crisis - Imprimis
As I write, I am not confident that I know whether all of the current economic shutdowns in the United States are necessary to stop the virus. Every hour I read some authoritative person saying yes, and the next hour I read some authoritative person saying no.
I'd like to know exactly which authoritative people are saying this is unnecessary. As far as I know, no medical authority in the US or elsewhere thinks we're doing too much, and the consensus in the medical community is and has always been that we're not taking this seriously enough.
I suspect that the "authorities" to which he refers are right-wing politicians and businesspeople -- who are probably basing their opinions on arguments like this, in the usual "conservative" anti-epistemic circle-jerk.
What I am confident about is that we were not prepared for this pandemic, and yet we spend an enormous amount of money on a centralized bureaucracy that now operates top down from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other agencies to Hillsdale, Michigan, and tens of thousands of other communities.
I can't tell if this is willful ignorance or deliberate deceit -- but the rest
of the world understands that underfunding of those various agencies, and disbanding of task forces which could have helped handle the crisis, are direct causes of the severity of what we are now dealing with. ...and yet this guy thinks we need more cuts.
The rest of the article makes me want to strangle the author, repeatedly, so I'll stop there...
...but this is just a small part of the machine which has a small yet loud minority behaving like this:'What are we doing this for?': Doctors are fed up with conspiracies ravaging ERs
"I left work and I felt so deflated," one doctor said about an effort to counter misinformation he saw on Facebook. "I let it get to me."