The useless, stupid fight over whom to blame for Covid-19

I think I can speak for many Americans when I say that we are sick to death of one side blaming the other for the coronavirus pandemic and the Covid-19 illness it causes.

Especially specious and tiresome is the argument that things would have been different and markedly better, depending upon whom is in the White House.

Sure Trump said stupid things, but he initiated  a travel ban that slowed the spread, provided emergency help to cities and states that needed more hospital beds, set in motion an unprecedented collaboration of government and private sector to find a safe vaccine in record time, and more

Sure Biden’s “plan” is ap uld do” Trump already is doing. But he’s not wrong to point to how Trump stumbled around at first.

Can you guys just shut up during the next week before the election, and give America a break from the threadbare blame game? Especially when scientists themselves need to accept some of the “blame.”

Truth is, so many scientists didn’t know what they were doing or should do. And these were/are the people who are advising the government officials and politicians about what they should be doing. What is a politician to do when he gets conflicting or incorrect advice from his medical and science advisors?

Despite all the scientifically incorrect, overwrought and methodologically challengeable studies, some scientists have stumbled on correct answer. Many others haven’t. I believe that all acted in good faith.But if the partisans who want to use selected science to prove their argument can hold up for just a second, they might honestly have to admit that despite our ignorance, we have come along way. Some solutions will be more credible then others; I’m not calling for an end to public discourse over the relative merits. If the discussion can be rational and calm.

Still, to see just how puzzled we are, consider this article, “How many scientists does it take to write a COVID-19 case report?” in Accountability in Research:

The ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has triggered a flurry of associated research publications, numbering to ~137 papers a day since February 2020. This rate of publication appears to be exceptionally high, when compared to research papers published on other similar topics.

It’s a deluge, according to another Accountability in Research report:

As of August 2020, i.e. 6 months after the first COVID-19 publication was released, more than 40000 articles have been published in Medline, the 1552 being indexed as case reports (COVID Group). During the same period, a Medline search for case reports about infectious diseases excluding COVID-19 (ID Group), identified 496 publications.

Then comes this warning from the same site, “An alarming retraction rate for scientific publications on Coronavirus Disease 2019″:

Searches of COVID-19-associated publications on PubMed and Retraction Watch Database indicate that the retraction record appearance rate for COVID-19-related research is also exceptionally high compared to other related research topics in viral epidemics/pandemics and surpasses the basal level of about 4 in 10,000 papers. This finding serves as a reminder and caution against any lapses in the standard of work, peer review, and publication of COVID-19-related research. (All emphases added are mine.)

For the exceptionally curious, here is a list of studies retracted or withdrawn, as of this writing.

Who can realistically say when and how this pandemic will end? But we’re not helping ourselves by spiraling down into a snakebite of denunciations and accusations that increase our suffering.


Filed under: Health, Politics

Tags: blame game, COVID-19


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  • Your article is another example of a false equivalency. You're giving the impression that Biden is somehow responsible for the abysmal response to Covid-19. He isn't president.. Donald Trump is and it is he who failed to implement the National Emergencies Act in its fullness to effectively deal with the pandemic. No one else. BTW, Jared Kushner's on tape admitting that Trump's deferring to the governors to handle the pandemic was all part of a political strategy to avoid taking the blame if it got out of hand.

  • How do you come up with this? " impression that Biden is somehow responsible for the abysmal response to Covid-19" And, I haven't absolved Trump of his mistakes.

  • You're awesome at throwing FUD and trying to hide your true intent. You make it seem like you are citing two different articles when really citing one. Then, you make it seem like there is a huge list of retractions, when the list you point us to includes less than 40 out of 40000. You quote someone who states that the retraction rate exceeds the baseline of 4 in 10000, but your data seems to imply less than 1 in 10000.

    Nice work. You must be proud.

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