Oh my, what a disappointing Senate hearing…

Are these scientists just making things up as they go along?
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I watched or listened to practically all of yesterday’s Senate hearing on the coronavirus.

Bottom line: My heart sank faster and deeper than the real-time stock market ticker.

On balance, I thought the  the Senators did a pretty good job.  With a couple of exceptions (think: Sanders and Warren), there was less political venom than I expected and more reasonable, relevant questions.

Unfortunately, the format worked against the hearing.

Just like it’s easier to say mean things to someone in an email than it is to mean-speak face-to-face. the virtual-remote environment minimized “constructive tension” between the participants.

And, as usual, the 5-minute time limits precluded deep-probe closure on any issue.

For example, Sen. Romney had an exchange that caught my attention:

image

Time ran out before Romney could ask the logical follow-up question:

“Well, Dr. Fauci, then who is responsible?”

My bet: The answer would certainly have been revealing … one way or another.

Let me explain…

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Romney probably would have gotten some Irwin Corey-like science-speak garble that would have evaded the question and run out the clock.

That alone would have been telling.

Or, there’s an off-chance that he would have gotten an unvarnished truthful answer:

“Thank you for your question, Senator Romney. Truth be told, we in the scientific community are responsible.”

“Tell me more …”

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The documented story would have shocked most people … and pulled back an Oz-like curtain.

Back in March, an investigative news source published a report titled:

“The road not traveled: How Big Science skipped clinical trials after past coronavirus outbreaks.”

For details and links, see our March 28 post In 2005, scientists bet that the next pandemic wouldn’t be a coronavirus …

The short story: Scientists have been stymied by coronaviruses. No cohesive theory-of-the case has withstood either stress-testing research or next-instance empirical evidence.

Said differently: For more than a decade, the need for a coronaviral vaccine has been known, but none has emerged from academic, government-run or commercial laboratories.

The science has been challenging and elusive .. and,  the economic prospects (for pharmaceutical companies) hasn’t been motivating.

So, we in the “big science community” have focused our efforts on more solvable problems … that might have more commercial value.

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Follow that storyline to it’s logical, generalizable conclusion:

“We’re making this stuff up as we go along … and just trying to cover our butts”

That was the message I took away from the hearings yesterday.

They had a certain “weather at 11” feel to them.

If you’re a weatherman and you’re not sure, tell folks a hurricane is coming.

If it does come, at least you can say “I warned you.”

If it doesn’t come, folks will give you a pass because — big picture — their house hasn’t been reduced to rubble.

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Bottom line: If the scientists are just making this stuff up as they go along … does it make sense to religiously follow the meandering scientific trail?

One Response to “Oh my, what a disappointing Senate hearing…”

  1. Our slant on last week’s COVID-19 news | The Homa Files Says:

    […] Oh my, what a disappointing Senate hearing… Are these scientists just making things up as they go along? […]

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