Listen to the (need for) Science, 5/29
Replace epidemiologists with actual scientists
Jacob Siegel and Sean Cooper report,
In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the United States’ primary agency for public health research—only “diverted a small fraction of its budget to COVID-19 research” (totaling just 2% of its budget to the effort), according to a recently published study in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ Open. Finding that the small amount of money took an average of five months before awardees had the funds on hand to conduct their research, the report found that future health emergencies “will require research funding to pivot in a timely fashion and funding levels to be proportional to the anticipated burden of disease in the population.” While the report didn’t cover the social costs of its findings, one of its lead authors, Martin Makary, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins University, wrote on Twitter, “NIH’s failure to fund rapid research on the big Covid questions early (Airborne vs surface, cloth vs quality mask, distancing, nat immunity, etc.) resulted in an evidence void. Opinions filled that vacuum, resulting in Covid policy guided by groupthink opinion rather than science.”
I complained about this very early on. Remember when we were afraid to touch a doorknob and we washed all our groceries? Not once did anyone in the “public health community” suggest putting the virus on a surface and seeing whether it could actually infect someone.
If we are going to be able to deal effectively with a pandemic in the future, we are going to need science, not bubbameise. We need public health authorities who think in terms of the experiments we need to conduct and how to get them quickly conducted.
“In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the United States’ primary agency for public health research—only “diverted a small fraction of its budget to COVID-19 research”…
The UK’s Common Cold Research Unit closed down in 1980 after 50 years researching respiratory virus, looking for preventatives/cures. It discovered, among other things, the 4 Human coronaviruses that cause 10% of Common Colds and published over a thousand papers. It concluded cures/vaccines for respiratory virus were not effective.
Most other Countries had decades of similar research.
CoVid = coronavirus disease = Cold/‘flu-like symptoms.
SARS CoV 2 means there was a SARS CoV 1 and several previous SARS, well researched.
The UK, along with most other developed Countries, had an Epidemic Plan based on a century of research and experience.
What further research was necessary?
We knew respiratory virus are transmitted by aerosols not water droplets and therefore surgical/medical masks could not be effective; we knew they were not transmitted by fomites (surfaces); we knew RNA virus evolve so quickly vaccines are effective (limited) only against the original, that they will be ineffective against subsequent versions and may promote transmission and dominance of new variant; we knew infectious people should not be brought into contact with non-infected people, but that is exactly what they did admitting cases into the general hospital population.
Just how much more is there to know?
The problem was, the ‘experts’ and political goons ignored everything we had learnt and knew, and did the exact opposite to what good practice demanded.
I agree with you. It has been much worse than anybody thinks today. Two years ago I started a big project to assess how Chileans responded to the virus, the disease, and the pandemic (I have been studying Microbiology to understand "the experts"). My basic hypothesis was that their responses were determined mainly by the information and knowledge they were getting from foreign sources and how they were transmitted/communicated first to the government and then to private organizations and ordinary people. Last week I stopped my project because there was too little abroad that could be considered uncertain but serious information and knowledge --yes, I failed to find reasonable inputs for Chileans' beliefs about the virus, the disease, and the pandemic. It'd have been "too easy" to approve/reject the government's responses by choosing some tentative ideas and rumors discussed abroad (domestic public and private organizations that could have helped are not transparent enough to rely on whatever their official say today). Don't be surprised we learn nothing from what happened in the past 2 years.
BTW, my final decision to terminate the project was heavily influenced by how U.S. "experts" had been manipulating information and knowledge about the monkeypox shock in the past two weeks. Science has always being unsettled but now it's being intentionally destroyed by the same barbarians that have taken over the U.S. government.