The scientific response to the pandemic

One of the most depressing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the massive propaganda campaign by the media/Big Tech/medical establishment to convince the public that there is only one way to respond: by panicking.

One medical health professional in my ward pointed out to me recently that the lockdowns and the various government mandates are new and unproven approaches to a pandemic and the burden of proof should be on the promoters of these approaches, rather than the other way around. In past pandemics (and there have been many in the last 100-plus year), people have understood that the vulnerable should be protected but that most people in society should continue life as normal, and the government should certainly not mandate any specific type of behavior. As the Church has pointed out, wearing masks and taking vaccines should be voluntary.

Elder Packer rejected fear-mongering in this 2004 talk:

When I was a boy, childhood diseases appeared regularly in every community. When someone had chicken pox or measles or mumps, the health officer would visit the home and place a quarantine sign on the porch or in the window to warn everyone to stay away. In a large family like ours, those diseases would visit by relay, one child getting it from another, so the sign might stay up for weeks.

We could not blockade ourselves inside our homes or stay hidden away to avoid those terrible contagions. We had to go to school, to employment, to church—to life!….

…Encourage our young people. They need not live in fear (see D&C 6:36). Fear is the opposite of faith.

While we cannot erase wickedness, we can produce young Latter-day Saints who, spiritually nourished, are immunized against evil influences.

The most prominent (and unfortunately successful) propaganda campaign has been to convince many people, including many otherwise very intelligent people, that “the science” is on the side of the new approach rather than the way things have been done in the past. This is why you see people like Dr. Fauci claiming that he represents science, as if one person could stand for science. And, yet, so many people seem to fall for the propaganda.

The good news is that, below the radar and censored by the media elites, there are thousands of epidemiologists and health professionals who are indeed challenging Dr. Fauci’s claim that his approach is the only one that is scientific.

Despite what the media may attempt to tell you, these people are some of the most respected people in their fields. Thousands of them have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which says that the approach to the pandemic has been all wrong. The approach should be to protect the most vulnerable but otherwise encourage people to go about their lives as normal. Any mask wearing or taking of vaccinations should be voluntary.

I encourage all readers to take a look at the Great Barrington Declaration and examine the credentials of the people who put it together and who have signed it. I want to repeat this point: these are thousands of the most qualified and respected epidemiologists and health professionals in the world, and they oppose our current approach to the pandemic.

The good news is that the great governor of the great state of Florida this week appointed one of these respected health professionals as the surgeon general of his state.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (left) introduces Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s new surgeon general

I want to spend some time on Dr. Ladapo’s credentials because the propagandists want you to believe that Dr. Ladapo and the others who signed the Great Barrington Declaration are somehow conspiracy theorists, which is a hilarious claim given that just two years ago virtually all of these people were among the most respected health professionals in the world.

Dr. Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine. Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) caring for hospitalized patients. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Dr. Ladapo also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The doctor is an immigrant from Nigeria, where his father was a respected microbiologist.

Can you feel the cognitive dissonance rising up among the fear-mongers? Here you have a long list of some of the most respected people in their fields, and they all oppose the government mandate approach of Dr. Fauci and the health establishment.

So, what did Dr. Ladapo have to say at his press conference this week?

I will quote at length because Dr. Ladapo said exactly the things I have been writing about for the last 18 months. (If I do say so myself).

“The first point I want to make is that Florida will completely reject fear” as a response to the pandemic. “Fear is done.”

I have written two posts about rejecting fear. “Ye Shall Not Fear” and “Ye Shall Not Fear Part II”

Dr. Ladapo continued:

We need to be explicit about the differences between the science and our opinions.  People have been taking the science and misrepresenting it.  You will know when we are talking about data, and when we are talking about our opinions of the data.

We should never lose sight of the fact that public health is not about one thing.  Is not only about the number of cases of COVID.  All of you know that this is how public health has been treated over the last year and a half.  That goes for schools.  We’ve brazenly pulled children who need the structure of school out of school.  We’ve done that for all kids, including kids with disabilities. 

Scientists took the science and are misrepresenting it.  Vaccines we will treat like any other preventive issue.  People will make their own decisions related to personal health.  We will be about education.    After lockdowns, overall mortality increased.  Lockdowns are bad. 

I would like to remind readers of other posts I have written on this subject:

We Should Speak Out Against Deadly, Authoritarian Lockdowns.”

“Political Science,” regarding how science during the pandemic has been politicized.

Dr. Ladapo continued:

Vaccines are up to the person.  There is nothing special about them as preventive measures.  The great things about the vaccines?  They prevent serious illness.  But people get to make a choice about their own health.  The state should be promoting good health, and vaccination is not the only path to good health.  It’s been treated almost like a religion, and that’s just senseless.  There are lots of good pathways to good health.  We support measures to good health.  That’s vaccination, that’s losing weight, it’s exercising more, it’s eating more fruits and vegetables. We support it all.

Another post from me: Losing weight is a great way to fight the virus.

Speaking of the great state of Florida, and the great governor DeSantis (my second favorite politician after Ron Paul): how are things going there with COVID? Well, as many of us predicted, the normal summer surge for viruses began to wane a month ago. Kids are going back to school, and cases are still way down, and so are hospitalizations. So, the fear-mongers and ghouls who were hoping Florida would turn into a graveyard are going to have to move on to the next state.

I look forward to Florida’s science-based response to the pandemic, rather than the fear-based response we have seen in most place up until now.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

5 thoughts on “The scientific response to the pandemic

  1. My husband is a chemist He has been involved with science, the scientific method and all sorts of research for over 25 years. He always says the true test of “science” is if you can make some thing or build something from it. He also is very quick to point out that much of the “science” that is driving Covid propaganda is “dry labbed” meaning, they start out with the conclusion in mind and work the research backwards. In the real world we call that cheating. So much cheating.

  2. A few commenters have asked about my point that the Church believes in voluntary masking and vaccines. This seems like a strange question to me, but let’s work it out. The Church has asked us to *voluntarily* wear masks at Church and in other places where you cannot social distance and just this week has asked us all to wear masks to the temple. The announcement regarding the temple pointed out that this is a temporary measure similar to measures that were taken for other pandemics. The Church has also asked members to get vaccinated. The Church has never asked the government to mandate masks or vaccines. There is a huge difference between a private institution voluntarily asking members to do something and a government mandate, and this is the strange part for me: apparently people do not understand this. I have no problems with an institution asking people to voluntarily do something, but I have a big problem with a government mandating something.

    In practice, what does this mean? Well, it changes from location to location. In Colorado where I go to church, about one-third of the people wear masks to church, and two-thirds don’t. That looks voluntary to me. Nobody in the bishopric is asking me about my vaccination status. I have always thought that wearing a mask to the temple made sense because many of the patrons and workers there are older, and this is the population most at risk. If you don’t want to wear a mask, just wait a few months and I am sure that eventually the mask request will be withdrawn. Nobody is going to take away your temple recommend if you don’t go.

    So, yes, the Church believes in *voluntary* compliance with its recommendations. I have written this before, but I will write it again: several prophets have over the years spoken out against the use of birth control, yet the majority of Latter-day Saints (including my wife and I, btw) used birth control. So, it appears the Church still believes in teaching the correct principles and letting people govern themselves, which is a very wise principle indeed.

  3. Panic implies not taking reasonable precautions. Every guideline given by government authorities have been within reason, and as a way to show a path through the problem at hand. It certainly has not been to panic because there is no hope.

  4. Jader3rd, everybody sometimes writes things without thinking, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one. You wrote: “Every guideline given by government authorities have been with reason.” I am going to guess you meant, “most” or “the majority” not “every.” I would disagree with the statement that the majority have been within reason, but at least that is a defensible proposition. But “every guideline?” There is no way you really believe that.

    Fifteen minutes from my home, the police were redirected from arresting criminals to go to the local trailheads in March 2020 to PREVENT PEOPLE FROM HIKING. If there is anything we have learned about the virus, it is that it does not survive well outside, so people should be encouraged to go hiking, not prevented from it. But the measure was an example of pure panic and obviously not reasonable. I could cite dozens of other examples off the top of my head, from people being arrested for walking on the beach in California, to people being beaten up by cops in Australia for not wearing a mask, to two-year-olds being forced to wear masks when they are at a near-zero risk from COVID. But I am assuming you meant to write something other than “every guideline,” so I will let it go for now.

  5. In my opinion most data on the pandemic is GIGO and the analyses are wanting. In a lot of these charts, I think the main driver is seasonality more than anything: e.g. FL/southern states are dropping cases, but northern states will pick up soon and then next season/year they’ll flip again (and vaccines won’t matter!).

    I don’t think we can really attribute any of the success/failure to any particular policy or response because of this, so… let’s just get on with living life, which is good policy that FL is doing.

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