The Corner

Science & Tech

Lancet Medical Journal Goes All In for Progressive Politics

I have written here and elsewhere of how the world’s most respected science and medical journals have become pushers of progressive ideology on cultural and political issues often unconnected to the furtherance of scientific knowledge.

Now, one of the oldest medical journal in the world, The Lancet — which hails form the U.K. — has joined the club with a jeremiad editorial clearly aimed against reelecting Donald Trump. First, the editorial decries the election of Warren G. Harding in 1920! From, “The US Election 2020:”

Presidential candidate Warren G Harding expounded that “America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy”. He offered the public a nostalgic balm in contrast to the progressive and internationalist vision of outgoing President Woodrow Wilson. The juvenile nation was moved to turn inward, retreating from the League of Nations and the global stage. Harding won in a landslide. On Nov 3, 2020, the US will again choose whether to continue to look backward, or to take brave steps towards a new future.

Methinks that “new future” would be an international technocracy–rule by experts–such as promoted by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who urged in Cell that the WHO and UN be strengthened toward the end of “rebuilding the infrastructures of human existence.”

The Lancet editorialists grumble about Republican attempts to dismantle Obamacare:

A crucial acknowledgment that should be made is the absence of comprehensive health infrastructure. Without it the USA is at great risk. Despite this fact, conservatives continue to attempt, out of ideology and opposition, to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Americans need equitable individual access to quality health care that is supported by efficient and autonomous public health governance, both as a matter of health security and as a matter of human rights.

At least that has a nexus with medical issues. But much of the rest is just typical progressive politics:

The USA in 2020 continues to experience unrest borne out of these still-open wounds: violence against people of colour, vast income inequality, immigration restrictions, and gender barriers, as well as a continuing devaluation of science. Under the banner of making America great again, the Trump administration has pursued regressive nationalist policies, rolled back protections for individuals, labour, and the environment, and withdrawn from international agreements and multilateral organisations, such as WHO. Led by a relentless agenda of deregulation and dysregulation, America has retreated from its once prominent position of leadership and abandoned its beneficence. With the election, Americans have the power to address these issues, both at home and around the world, by eschewing the falsehood of nostalgia.

Who cares what a medical journal from across the Pond thinks about our regulatory and immigration policies? And what in the world does that have to do with the practice of medicine? More pertinently, editorializing about pure politics is well outside The Lancet’s area of expertise.

Even more disturbingly, the editorial implies that it might support a post election approach disturbingly similar to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s call for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to give evil Trump officials their due comeuppance:

It is not normalcy that the USA needs but a renewed national mission. To restore confidence in the federal government, the first priority will be simply to provide accountability to the American people. The US federal government must take ownership and responsibility for its domestic failures and limitations. In order to foster trust, there must be transparency and a commitment to facilitate the involvement and self-determination of Americans. Finally, there must be representation that reflects the composition of the American people—for all of those who have been excluded or silenced, it is essential to give them a voice.

We are continually told, “Follow the science!” That requires trust that “the science” is not ideologically founded or selected.

The Lancet’s foray into pure politics materially threatens the public’s perception that the journal will be an objective conveyor of accurate and pertinent medical information. Physician, heal thyself!

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