by Victor Davis Hanson
The scientific method used to govern much of popular American thinking.
In empirical fashion scientists advised us to examine evidence and data, and then by induction come to rational hypotheses. The enemies of “science” were politics, superstition, bias, and deduction.
Yet we are now returning to our version of medieval alchemy and astrology in rejecting a millennium of the scientific method.
Take the superstitions that now surround COVID-19.
We now know from data that a prior case of COVID offers immunity as robust as vaccination—if not better.
Why then are Joe Biden’s various proposed vaccination mandates ignoring that scientific fact? Dr. Anthony Fauci, when asked, seemed at a loss for words.
Is this yet another of the scientific community’s Platonic “noble lies,” as when last year Fauci assured the public there was no need for masks? He later claimed he had lied so that medical professionals would not run out of needed supplies.
Fauci also seemed to throw out all sorts of mythical percentages needed for herd immunity, apparently in an attempt to convince the public that it will never be safe until every American is protected from COVID by vaccination only.
And why was it that hard for the scientific community to postulate a likely origin of COVID-19?
Instead, some of the very scientists engaged in gain of function research oversaw an investigation with Chinese authorities. They all confirmed the predetermined conclusion that the virus likely had little to do with gain of function engineering. And they saw little proof it was birthed in the Wuhan virology lab.
Yet the preponderance of scientific opinion, emerging data and evidence, and basic logic have suggested just the opposite.
How can the government hector citizens that they have a moral duty and soon a legal obligation to be vaccinated, when it does not ask vaccinations of unvetted refugees flying in from Afghanistan?
How can the government medical community remain largely silent when an anticipated 2 million foreign nationals will cross illegally into the United States in the current fiscal year—almost none of whom are vaccinated or tested for active cases of COVID-19?
Where did this obsession originate that the media and government blame particular races for the delta variant outbreak on grounds that collectively they were insufficiently vaccinated?
And if we are to be so racially obsessed, why would not our government and health care officials simply follow their own data and science and urge the Latino and black communities to be vaccinated as quickly as possible? Data shows that both groups have a higher percentage of the unvaccinated than do the Asian and white populations.
Are woke political agendas discrediting science and losing public health?
We saw just that in early June 2020 when over 1,200 “health care professionals” signed a petition demanding exemptions from mandatory lockdowns and quarantines for Black Lives Matter protestors marching en masse. And they concocted medical excuses such as “vital to the national public health,” to insist that violating quarantines was less unhealthy than not pouring into the streets
Why did both candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris warn the American people on the eve of the vaccination rollouts that a Trump Administration inoculation could be unsafe—thereby at the very outset undermining confidence in mass vaccinations?
Why was the medical community largely silent about such dangerous sabotaging of a new vaccination, but months later became vociferous in warning the public that any prior doubts about the safety of these Operation Warp Speed vaccinations were scientifically misplaced? Was there a medical breakthrough on January 20, 2020 to alter their consensus?
When a Yale-licensed psychiatrist tele-diagnosed the former president of the United States in absentia as mentally ill and in need of an intervention, did medical professionals object to such a perversion of science and medical ethics?
If such pop diagnoses are the new Ivy-League medical norm, will they insist that Joe Biden take and pass the Montreal Cognitive Assessment in the fashion of Donald Trump? Or do the medical findings of competency depend on ideology?
From rewarding wokeness in medical school admissions to the peer reviewing of scientific papers, the anti-scientific mania has polluted scientific endeavors.
“Critical race theory” would preposterously tell us that we need racism to fight racism.
“Critical legal theory” ludicrously claims laws have no rational basis but simply reflect power inequities.
“Modern monetary theory” defies millennia of evidence and basic logic in stating governments can simply print money without worrying about balancing expenditures with revenues or inflating the currency to ruination.
Corporations are asked now to substitute a new woke agenda theory—”Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)”—in lieu of market realities, rules of investment, and economic data.
Science is dying; superstition disguised as morality is returning. And we all will soon become poorer, angrier and more divided.
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Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won and The Case for Trump.