March 6, 2020


The Trump administration 'brain drain' is impeding the coronavirus response: Efforts to address the outbreak risk are being undermined by an exodus of scientists and a leader who regularly distorts facts (Oliver Milman, 6 Mar 2020, The Guardian)

[T]he efforts to address the outbreak risk being undermined by three years of a Trump administration that has seen an exodus of scientists from a variety of agencies, the scrapping and remodeling of scientific panels to favor industry interests and a president who regularly dismisses or distorts scientific facts - from the climate crisis to whether the moon is part of Mars - in public.

"The US is badly positioned; the federal government isn't up to the task," said Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "When I learned more about this virus my heart sank because I know the Trump administration doesn't value basic science, it doesn't understand it and it tends to reject it when it conflicts with its political narrative."

Enck said that Trump "doesn't seem to understand what a clinical trial is", a reference to a White House meeting with pharmaceutical executives and public health officials on Monday where the president urged the attendees to release the anti-coronavirus drugs they are working on. "So you have a medicine that's already involved with the coronaviruses, and now you have to see if it's specifically for this," Trump said. "You can know that tomorrow, can't you?"

In the meeting, Trump wondered aloud why the flu vaccine can't just be used for coronavirus. When told by Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, that it could be up to 18 months before a vaccine is available to the public, Trump responded: "I mean, I like the sound of a couple months better, if I must be honest."

At a political rally in Charlotte later that day, Trump told the crowd that a vaccine will be available "relatively soon" before adding that there are "fringe globalists that would rather keep our borders open than keep our infection - think of it - keep all of the infection, let it come in."

The fringe being Americans.
Posted by at March 6, 2020 8:11 AM