The Corner

Coronavirus Update

How Our Federal Overseers Do Science

Dr. Francis Collins holds up a model of coronavirus, during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing in Washington, D.C., July 2, 2020. (Saul Loeb/Reuters)

Phil Magness, that irrepressible foe of statism, managed to obtain emails between White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci and NIH director Francis Collins in which they hatch an attack on the Great Barrington Declaration. (The GBD was authored by three well-known epidemiologists, arguing that the best approach to COVID was not locking down, but targeted protection for the truly vulnerable.)

Dissent from the federal government’s chosen strategy was quite unwelcome. “There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of its premises,” Collins wrote in reference to the GBD. Real scientists would investigate the premises first, then decide if the declaration should be subject to a “takedown,” but no such thing ever happened. The authors were disparaged, their motives impugned, their conclusions ridiculed, but one looks in vain for anything like a scientific counter-argument.

It’s enough to make you suspect that the real objective of Fauci and friends was expansion of government authority rather than protection against disease.

(Hat tip: Don Boudreaux)

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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