Science Denialism - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1719754

Science Denialism

“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead” — Thomas Paine.

In just over three years, the Trump administration has decisively diminished the influence of science in its priorities and policies.

Throughout his time in office, Donald Trump has proposed sweeping budget cuts at a variety of science-based federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, among others.

In 2017, he cut Health and Human Services funding, which oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 18 percent. Already considered “woefully” underfunded by many, CDC funding has been cut every successive year.

In 2018, he shut down the National Security Council’s Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security Office, which was charged with preparing for when, not if, another pandemic would hit the nation. The elimination of this office, along with Trump’s proposed budget cuts for the CDC, suggests that he saw the fact-based pandemic threats as not worth his attention.

He shut down the National Guideline Clearinghouse, which informed the nation’s health care system on current medical advances along with science-based practice guidelines.

In 2019, he ignored a joint HHS/FEMA/DHS exercise termed “Crimson Contagion Simulation,” which anticipated gross health care infrastructure preparedness problems, shortages of medical supplies, overwhelmed hospitals, and economic deterioration.

Three months before COVID-19 went global, Trump ended the Pandemic Early Warning System (PREDICT). In January and February alone, he was warned over a dozen times by researchers of a potential global pandemic and ensuing national security threat.

He calls the pandemic the “Democrat’s new hoax” … “It is what it is” … “It’ll just go away” … “We’re in great shape” … “Don’t believe what you see!”

Meanwhile, Trump abruptly dismissed Nancy Messonier, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, for declaring the immanent dangers of COVID-19, and then demoted Dr. Rick Bright, one of the nation’s leading vaccine specialists, from the National Institutes of Health. Their critical messaging, heralding science for the common good, clashed with Trump’s myopic political and economic priorities.

Our country is sorely reeling from this administration’s astounding and dangerous ignorance and incompetence. To date, over 175,000 Americans have fallen to COVID-19, largely due to failed, if not absent, leadership.

Last April, Trump announced de-funding the World Health Organization. We still have no national testing plan, no protective equipment distribution plan.

Trump’s science denialism reflects on this entire Republican Party. All GOP candidates supporting this ruinous administration are accountable and should be definitively removed from office.

We need more science and expertise in government.

Vote Nancy Goroff, Ph.D., to replace Lee Zeldin (R).

James Ewing

Water Mill

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