Undark Magazine, March 22, 2020: Corporate-backed science denialism has long been deployed by the tobacco, fossil fuel, chemical, and mining industries to fight public health and environmental regulation
A March 22, 2020 Undark article is entitled: “Opinion: Paying the Price of Science Denialism … Again: President Trump’s bungled Covid-19 response has been shaped by the GOP’s history of corporate-backed science denialism.”
An excerpt reads:
President Trump’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has followed a trajectory similar to the Republican party’s response to the dangers produced by the tobacco, fossil fuel, chemical, and mining industries, but telescoped over weeks instead of years: Scientists’ concerns about significant harm are met with skepticism and denial, then acknowledgement and government action only once the truth becomes overwhelmingly clear, illuminated by disaster and tragedy. The president initially rejected the scientific evidence about the transmissibility and spread of Covid-19; only when the facts became indisputable have President Trump and Republican leadership, followed by their allies at Fox News, right-wing talk radio and think tanks, accepted the truth. But these several weeks of denial and delay in mounting a comprehensive federal response may prove to have catastrophic results.
I am reminded of two things.
First, I’m reminded of a March 15, 2020 post, entitled:
At a previous post I’ve described an account from an emergency room physician (the term in use in North America) describing the COVID-19 situation in hospitals in Northern Italy.
A subsequent March 13, 2020 post highlights a CBC interview with Dr. David Frisman, an infectious disease physician and professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
In the latter interview, Dr. Fisman notes there are places in the U.S. – “a lot of blind spots” – where testing capacity appears very limited.
“It’s a very big, very heterogeneous country and it lacks effective public health leadership right now,” he notes. “It’s not just a problem for the Americans, it’s a problem for us too because we’ll import those cases.”
I’m reminded as well of an April 12, 2020 post entitled:
An April 11, 2020 New York Times article is entitled: “He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus: An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.”