Central to his 2020 campaign pitch, presidential candidate Joe Biden repeatedly vowed to "shut down the virus, not the country."
Biden also claimed that — unlike Donald Trump — he had a plan to do so. A year later, we're still waiting to learn what he has in mind.
The entirely unexpected deadly and continuously morphing coronavirus pandemic has led to enormous public confusion regarding how best to minimize mortal risks to ourselves, our loved ones and those most vulnerable.
So, Joe said his new idea was to "follow the science."
But what is that "science"? Who can be trusted to decide that?
Caught medically off guard with this new ever-evolving virus strain, reasonable people shouldn't have expected "experts" to devise and implement immediate solutions.
Joe Biden had no basis for promising to do so, nor for failing to credit Trump administration progress in mobilizing Project Warp Speed development of vaccines that he now fervently attempts to mandate as his sole centerpiece strategy.
The only scientific agenda should be to get facts right; to explain what is known and provable, and what is not; and to clarify replicable testing methodologies that apply a tried-and-true "scientific method" to advance building blocks of understanding.
Inexcusably, some key individuals claiming to be scientific experts haven't been straight with us regarding what they know to be true based upon best evidence versus what, for various reasons, they wish us to believe.
Let's begin with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who brazenly claimed, "a lot of what you're seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly are attacks on science."
Fauci certainly wasn't exhibiting an exemplary high standard of scientific integrity when he lied repeatedly to Congress last May that NIAID has "unequivocally" never funded gain-of-function research at the Chinese Wuhan laboratory broadly suspected of being the source of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A letter to Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., from the NIH's principal deputy director, Lawrence A. Tabak, clearly says otherwise.
About $600,000 in NIH funding had been funneled to Wuhan through a New York-based nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance run by Dr. Peter Daszak, one of the most vocal opponents of the "lab leak" theory who has asserted that the virus probably emerged spontaneously from the wild.
Dazak, who is deeply conflicted on the question of the origins of the pandemic, was nevertheless chosen by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only representative from America to take part in its fake investigation of the Wuhan lab overseen by Beijing in February 2020.
In March 2020, the U.S. government's so-called top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told "60 Minutes" that "There's no reason to be walking around with a mask." A month later he reversed that determination.
When asked about that change of opinion, Fauci admitted that he first disingenuously stated that masks were ineffective in part because there was a shortage and wanted to preserve the limited supply for medical workers who needed them most ... hardly a scientific or honest position.
Fauci's medical opinions regarding social distancing apparently take special political health risk factors into account.
Whereas he referred to Trump's Rose Garden ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court appointment as a "superspreader event" and called Trump's campaign rallies "troublesome," he has had virtually nothing to say regarding social distancing problems during months of public protests and riots in predominately Democrat-controlled cities or in scandalously crowded immigrant camps along America's southern border.
Tony Fauci led attacks against the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a COVID-19 treatment after President Trump suggested that it showed promise as a potential "game changer."
A large-scale July 2020 retrospective analysis of 2,541 patients published by the Henry Ford Health System across its six hospitals found that 13% of those treated with HCQ alone died compared to 26.4% not treated with HCQ.
Another 2020 peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents found that there were 84% fewer hospitalizations with patients given an early-stage cocktail of a treatment containing HCQ than a placebo group.
Dr. Fauci has instead fawned over the therapeutic COVID-19 treatment benefits of remdesivir, a drug manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc., lauding it as a breakthrough "in diminishing time to recovery" and predicting it "will be the standard of care."
Pricewise, remdesivir bills out at more than $3,000 over a course of treatment, versus about $10 per course for HCQ.
Yet according to studies cited by WHO, "There is currently no evidence that remdesivir improves survival and other outcomes in these patients." Instead, they note, "The evidence suggested no important effect on mortality, need for mechanical ventilation, time to clinical improvement, and other patient-important outcomes."
WHO concluded that remdesivir offers "small and uncertain benefits" outweighed by the "possibility of important harms," and recommends that doctors avoid using the drug altogether.
And although Dr. "Follow the Science" Fauci previously discredited the Trump Project Warp Speed COVID-19 vaccine timetable as unrealistic, he presently supports federal programs that promote injections of the still-experimental drugs into arms of every American, including those who have already gained natural immunity through infection, work from home or have religious or medical reasons for refusal.
Moreover, why should those experimental vaccines be pushed upon young children with extremely low COVID morbidity risk, and yet also with no possible data to assess documented, and potentially even greater, long-term inoculation health consequences?
On top of that, the Biden administration has also issued broad federal rules requiring that tens of millions of workers be vaccinated or regularly tested along with a mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which applies to private companies nationwide that have 100 or more employees.
Recall that a year ago, Biden pledged that he "wouldn't demand" that a vaccine be "mandatory," and in July, the White House stated it is "not the role of the federal government" to force Americans to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, there is solid data to show that if Biden and Fauci truly do have some secret plan to "shut down the virus — not the country" it clearly isn't working.
Recall that during his 2020 presidential campaign, Joe also slammed Trump in a debate, saying: "Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America."
Yet despite a head start when taking office with two in-use vaccines, U.S. COVID death numbers during the first year of the Biden administration are already exceeding and continually rising over the 400,000 under Trump's.
Biden now seems to admit that there really never was a plan, but nevertheless, none of this is really his fault anyway.
On a Dec. 27 call with governors to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, the self-blameless president said, "There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level."
And as for following the science, maybe it's also a good idea to follow the money to clear up confusion about where and how those many billions for COVID research and treatment get spent.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 11 books, "Beyond Flagpoles and Footprints: Pioneering the Space Frontier" co-authored with Buzz Aldrin (2021), is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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