Monday, Tucker Carlson recounted several examples of policymakers guided by politics over science when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Tucker Carlson recounted several examples of policymakers guided by politics over science when dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carlson told his Fox News Channel audience that skeptics were justified in having questions about the coronavirus vaccine, even if those in the media and elsewhere say otherwise.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: A year ago, just a year ago, most Americans understood that social distancing was a form of punishment. It’s not good for a man to be alone. That was one of the very first observations in the book that forms the basis of Western civilization. And we’ve lived accordingly apart from the death penalty, the harshest things we do to criminals in this country, including separating them from other people.
Prisoners have chosen lethal injection over solitary confinement. That’s how badly human beings need to be close to one another. So when they told us to stay far apart from each other last spring in the name of public health, it was an enormous sacrifice whether or not we understood it at the time.
But because this was a trusting and law-abiding country, we obeyed that order. We barely grumbled about it. We assumed they knew best. Six feet from each other. That was social distancing. It was the law, and most of us followed that law.
But where did that law come from? Who did the scientific research that determined six feet was the safest distance apart from other people that you could be? Somebody should have asked that question last spring. But as far as we know, nobody did ask it.
It turns out the research that formed the basis of that law came from a German hygienist called Carl Flugge. It was Flugge who decided that six-foot separations were necessary to slow the spread of pathogens.
The CDC went with Flugge’s judgment. What the CDC didn’t tell us was that Carl Flugge had been dead for a hundred years. His research on social distancing was published in the 19th Century before most Americans had electricity or indoor plumbing.
So why is that research still guiding public health policy in this country in 2021? It’s a good question. Experts don’t seem to have a good answer.
Last year, one of the top aerosol scientists in Australia, a woman called Lidia Morawska, likened social distancing regulations to a cult ritual, quote: “The dogma was born. Like any dogma, it’s extremely difficult to change people’s minds and change the dogmas.”
So dogma posing as science. It was all just faith-based, and had massive consequences. Millions of American schoolchildren have not been educated for a year, because the CDC turned century-old German theories about tuberculosis into a kind of modern state enforced religious faith.
Think about that. It’s enough to make you feel sick. Yes, our authorities are just that mediocre.
But the most infuriating part of it all, it’s not that they were wrong, but that they won’t admit they were wrong and apologize for it.
Watch Tony Fauci pretend as if six feet apart was some kind of unquestioned universally recognized physics principle like gravity or photosynthesis, six feet apart, everyone knows that it’s just science.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: And in everything around here, one way or the other points to physical separation, whether it’s no crowds, whether it’s six feet.
Go out, wear a mask, stay six feet away from anyone.
When you’re outside, stay at least six feet apart from someone.
I think if you stay six feet apart with masks, you can do whatever it is that you need to do.
Every aspect of that ending the COVID outbreak in 30 days has some aspect of it of physical separation, whether that’s avoiding crowds, whether that’s staying six feet away from people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: If you stay six feet apart with masks, you can do whatever it is you need to do. Of course, it sounded so simple. And that’s why every elevator you get into, every airport check-in line, you see, every convenience store has on the floor six feet apart on stickers.
It’s not hard, just change every part of your life, every interaction you have with another human being and it’s totally fine. It’s not a big deal.
In the State of Washington, high schools tried their best to comply with Anthony Fauci’s pronouncements. Here’s how one school adapted its band practice to conform to German germ research from the 1890s.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Wenatchee High School finding a socially distant solution to get the band back together. These so-called pods set up in the band and choir rooms, individual students getting inside, zipping themselves in and then removing their masks to play their instruments or to sing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Getting less oxygen is good for you, so get inside your little plastic pod, like freeze-dried people. It’s dystopian. The morning show presented it in some chirpy way, like, isn’t this great? It’s not great. It’s horrifying.
But the kids had no choice. The science was settled. That’s what we were told.
Well, was settled until last Wednesday, when The Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases found that the law of six-foot social distancing isn’t actually real. It’s not a law. It was a guess and it’s wrong.
Researchers looked at coronavirus case rates in the State of Massachusetts, the school districts there, schools that required six-foot social distancing and compared those with school districts that required only three feet of social distancing, and there were some.
Researchers found there was no statistically significant difference in coronavirus cases between the two and it wasn’t just for students, it was also true for adult staff members.
The study also controlled for coronavirus rates in the surrounding communities. It was not shoddy research, it was real. And here’s the conclusion, quote: “Lower physical distancing policies can be adopted in school settings with masking mandates without negatively impacting student or staff safety,” end quote.
So this has massive implications, but mostly for people like Tony Fauci, people who spent the last year assuring everyone that the science is clear. So if you had spent the last year saying that, insisting that 19th Century German hygiene research was the last word on social distancing, if you’d staked you’re rapidly diminishing credibility on that fact, wouldn’t you apologize now that the fact turns out to be a lie?
But Tony Fauci didn’t apologize for the fake science he has imposed on the entire country. He just nodded and kept going.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: There’s this new study from researchers in Massachusetts, just out this week. It found no significant difference in coronavirus spreading in schools where there was six feet of distancing versus three feet of distancing.
But that six-foot requirement, that’s one of the main hurdles to reopening schools.
TAPPER: Does this study suggest to you that three feet is good enough?
FAUCI: It does, indeed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Yes, it does. Not a big deal, just kind of kept an entire generation of kids from learning anything. We’ll just move forward with the new science.
Now, the charitable interpretation of the clip you just saw is that maybe Tony Fauci is finally learning something about science because despite what they tell you, science is never final or absolute. There is no settled science, that’s an oxymoron.
Real scientists adjust their conclusions based on the evidence, which is always changing. They ignore partisan considerations.
But Tony Fauci didn’t. If he had, he would already have known this, because the study in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases was not the first study to reach this conclusion.
In fact, back in June of last year, one of the leading scientific journals in the world, The Lancet, not a small publication, came out with a study on social distancing, and it found this quote: “For the general public (that would include schools), evidence shows that physical distancing of more than a meter is highly effective.”
Oh, so three feet was enough in June. They just didn’t tell us that. Other medical experts were saying the same thing. In fact, last summer, Dr. Mark Escott, the Medical Director for the Austin Public Health System, put it this way, quote: “I know that at three feet there’s about an 80 percent reduction of the transmission of the disease.”
So it’s not actually new information. It was ignored information. And we made policy on the basis of bad information, on the basis of science, on the basis of lies justified by 19th Century research into tuberculosis.
So why are they telling us this now? Well, here’s one reason. The political balance of the country has changed. With Joe Biden in charge, Fauci’s party wants to see the schools reopen because the public wants it. Parents are upset and they should be.
So all of a sudden, they’re changing the so-called scientific recommendations. If that seems too cynical to be real, keep in mind they’ve done it before.
Last summer, dozens of public health experts exempted BLM from coronavirus restrictions, not because science demanded that BLM get a pass, but because they personally supported BLM.
The so-called scientific community signed a letter that will live forever in infamy. Claiming, quote, “The risks of congregating during a global pandemic shouldn’t keep people from protesting racism.”
“The scourge of white supremacy, “the letter said and we’re quoting, ” … is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.” Oh, it contributes to COVID-19. Oh, so you thought it may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, that was in part funded by the U.S. government with the knowledge of Tony Fauci.
So maybe Tony Fauci and the government of China might have something to answer for, but now we learn from the scientific community that your racism caused COVID. Okay, well, that makes sense.
In June, Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, Jennifer Nuzzo declared, quote, “In this moment, the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.”
Again, it’s hard to believe that a so-called scientist could write something like that on paper and not be held accountable for it. This is not the first time we’ve read this on this show. We should do it every single day as a reminder of just how insane a country can go and no one says anything.
That same month, the Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, praised the BLM riots that broke out after the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Yes, there was a mandatory stay-at-home order in New Jersey and a public health emergency, of course, that justified it.
But Phil Murphy wasn’t bothered. He said the rioters were, quote, “Taking to the streets peacefully to create a better future for our entire New Jersey family.” Phil Murphy wrote that even as his official Twitter page contained the command, “Wash your hands. Stay at home.” End quote.
So to restate, if they can justify a riot on the basis of public health, it is healthy to burn stores down, to loot retail outlets, if they can claim that’s a public health matter. What can’t they justify? What aren’t they justifying?
Our leaders and public health experts are clearly guided — some of them anyway — by politics. It’s hard to digest that because it’s monstrous, but it’s clear and what’s also becoming clear is how little these experts actually know about some of the topics they claim to be expert in.
Even in the absence of any obvious political considerations, it is just very hard to know what this virus is going to do. Viruses are hard to understand. This one is new, but no one will admit it.
And so out of nowhere, news stories pop up that seemed to have no explanation. Here’s one example, South Africa, the most affluent country in Africa, epidemiologists there predicting a surge in coronavirus cases this year.
Vacationers were returning from around the world. South Africa was still not under a strict lockdown. There was a new strain, remember that, of the coronavirus. And there was no vaccine for it for most people in South Africa.
So it seemed like the perfect place for what Tony Fauci might call a super spreader event, a disaster. But that’s not what happened.
Since mid-January, coronavirus infections in South Africa have plummeted from more than 20,000 a day to about a thousand a day. Less than five percent of coronavirus tests administered in South Africa are now coming back positive.
The question is why? What is going on in South Africa? And the answer is we don’t know. And that’s fine, because science is designed to answer questions to what you don’t know the answer.
The problem is when the people in charge of our public health systems won’t admit that they don’t know.
So all of this should prompt some pretty tough questions for our public health experts in this country. And one of those questions is how effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine?
Don’t dismiss those questions from anti-vaxxers. Don’t kick people off social media for asking them, answer the questions. Especially now, the administration would like you to take this vaccine, Joe Biden told you last week. If you don’t you can’t celebrate the Fourth of July.
But it turns out there are things we don’t know about the effects of this vaccine, and all vaccines by the way, it’s always a tradeoff. But in this specific case, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, these are not third-world countries have just suspended the distribution of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. They’re saying it could be linked to deadly blood clots.
A month ago, The New York Times reported that the FDA and the CDC were looking into reports that Moderna and Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccines could be causing blood clots as well. The paper reported that one 56-year- old physician called Gregory Michael developed a severe case of a blood disorder, platelets in his blood dropped three days after taking the vaccine.
Now without those platelets, his blood couldn’t clot. He died of a brain hemorrhage after two weeks in the hospital. So should this scare you? We don’t know. But the rest of us deserve an answer.
Instead, our leaders are acting once again as if the science were totally settled and you’re not allowed to ask questions.
You look at the vaccination rates in certain states and it’s pretty clear that some people are not taking the vaccine on purpose. If you want them to take the vaccine, don’t berate them. Don’t issue more commands. Calm their fears by rationally explaining the benefits and the risks of taking the vaccine. That’s how you deal with adults.
But instead they’re telling you, if you want to see your grandparents ever again, you’ll shut up and take the shot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: If you and a friend or you and a family member are both vaccinated, you can have dinner together, wearing masks without distancing. You can visit your grandparents if you have been vaccinated and they have been, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So instead, they just lecture us like there are our parents, which they are absolutely not. If you do what we say, you can visit your grandparents. You can have dinner together with a friend or a family member.
The patronizing never stops. As Joe Biden has told us, it’s possible that you can cook a hot dog in your own backyard in July, if you’re obedient.
They tell you this is all about protecting the elderly and flattening the curve. The party of Andrew Cuomo wants to know that actually, keeping senior citizens alive is highly important.
The question is in real life, what happens if you are an older person and you don’t know obey? Well, we have an answer to that.
A 65-year-old woman in Galveston, Texas learned on March 11 what happens when you don’t obey. Now, this was one day after the Governor of Texas lifted that state’s mask mandate and reopened Texas.
That woman apparently believing news reports that it was a free country walked into a Bank of America branch. That’s when to keep her safe, Texas police officers violently attacked her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You’re taking away people’s human rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. Let’s go outside. Let’s go outside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, you’re going to shoot me, people. Is he going to shoot me for trying not to breathe?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cool.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, dude.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don’t. Don’t do that. Oh, no.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not touch me. Who do you think you are?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty ten, one —
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh that cop — that cop has some old lady getting handcuffed here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ma’am, put your hands behind your back. You don’t — stop resisting. Stop.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to — is anybody going to like get real here? Really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one is going to get real?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So just to be clear, she wasn’t trying to rob the bank. She didn’t pass the teller a note saying she had a bomb or a firearm. She just wasn’t wearing a mask in a state where there is no mask mandate. “Is anyone going to get real here?” She asked, she screams, so she is thrown to the ground by the police.
But they did it though to keep her safe. She was under the impression she could go into a Bank of America branch in full compliance with state law without being thrown to the ground. Texas could be in trouble.
But to be fair, if that woman had read more CNN articles, she know that actually she had it coming. CNN just tweeted out this piece today, for example, it was called, “Why you should wear a face mask even if your state doesn’t require it.” Why? Well, according to CNN, “Facemasks,” quote, “are a sign of respect.”
Oh, no mention of respecting people who don’t wear facemasks, they’re not worthy of respect. But wearing a facemask will quote, “Help the U.S. return to normal” because it is totally normal to shield your face from the people around you. That’s not weird. It’s always been this way.
The science on decency is settled now. Wearing your mask is a sign of respect, and if you don’t do it, you’ll be beaten in public for your own good.
And as our media will tell you, it’s not just banks that mandate this new sign of respect. Over at NBC News, a similar piece is now advertising readers on how they ought to behave at the gym unless they too want to get thrown to the ground, quote: “Instead of taking your mask off to drink from a water bottle, slip the straw under the chin of your mask. If you need to shower at the gym, shower as quickly as possible and only remove your mask when your face and head is going to get wet.”
So NBC News is not telling you how long you’re allowed to shower and how you’re allowed to drink your water with your mask on.
But whatever you do, don’t for a moment think they’re making this up as they go along. This is science. Don’t dare question the competence of the people who told you never to wear a mask just a year ago. That would be disrespectful to our public health experts.
And you know what happens when people show disrespect to our public health experts.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor