The Public-Health Establishment Has Diminished Its Credibility

Demonstrators march during a protest against the death of George Floyd in Manhattan, June 5, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
It has allowed political ideology to distort its ability to provide coherent risk assessment.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE M ere weeks ago, public-health experts worried about transmission of coronavirus sternly warned against large, crowded gatherings. That was before the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25.

From that moment on, many epidemiologists and public-health officials have justified people congregating to demonstrate against police brutality. On June 2, for example, Dr. Tom Frieden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and former health commissioner of New York City, tweeted, “People can protest peacefully AND work together to stop covid.” That same day, a senior epidemiologist

Sally Satel, M.D., is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a visiting professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center.

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