Perspective: Trust The Scientists

Apr 16, 2020


The disaster movie starts and when bad things start to happen, a scientist always warns the people to change course. But the people never listen. That’s the gist of a mordant Facebook post circulating among scientists as they, along with the rest of us, have watched this frightening scenario play out in real life.

 


The pandemic moved so fast and was so vicious that it’s no mystery why people insisted it couldn’t happen here. After all, we’re not Italy, or China.

 

Scientists knew better, and in January, warned that it was going to happen here. Trump called them alarmist. In February, health experts were sure the virus had been lurking in communities for a while and was spreading fast.

 

Precious weeks passed and the federal government failed to take charge. Against scientists’ advice, Trump urged those with the virus to take an untested drug. What have you got to lose, he said.

 

In the meantime, governors scrambled to prepare hospitals, issue stay-at-home orders, and figure out testing. This has led to inconsistencies across states, with a stubborn few Republican governors yet to issue stay-at-home orders. We’re not New York, they say, with inexplicable confidence.

 

Scientists tell us that until there is a vaccine, the disease will continue to plague the world. The race is on and early reports are promising. History is on their side. After all, vaccines have nearly eradicated smallpox, measles, and polio. Trust the scientists. What have you got to lose?

 

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.