Mendastasizing mistrust in science

It started out with “noble” lies:
The CCP virus is not much threat to Americans
(the Chinese say no evidence it’s airborne, and they’re still sending flights out of Wuhan);
masks are unnecessary for the public
(well, that’s wrong, but the public can’t be trusted with the real reason);
the virus was not engineered
(at a lab leading the world leader recombinant coronavirus, to which Americans transferred the technology, and which partnered with the People’s Liberation Army… who strategized about weaponizing it);
the idea the virus escaped from that lab is not remotely credible
(even though it wouldn’t have been the first time, and the Chinese are obviously hiding data);
herd immunity is an ever growing percentage of the population
(gotta keep the plebes motivated).

Dr. Fauci has admitted many of these statements were intended to manipulate Americans. It gradually became plain none of it was based on science. These were political acts. In some cases he said things he knew to be false, in others he assured us of things he knew to be uncertain.

If you criticize him for this, he calls it an attack on science. Au contraire. Public policy making by deceit is not the action of a scientist.

This mendacity has caused outcomes opposite of his central plan. At the low consequence end it surely contributes, for example, to vaccine hesitancy. Not that he didn’t have help on that from the President and Vice President calling it the “Trump vaccine,” and hypocritical Governors ignoring their own mandates on masks*, lockdowns, and travel.

*And, uh… others:

July 2020

At the high impact end, he’s damaged the idea that our scientific institutions actually practice scientific methods. He’s mendastasized disrespect for science. See also, Michael Mann.

Now, defending himself with word games, Fauci expects to be believed in asserting his agency ever provided any funding for gain of function research in Wuhan. His personal stake in this matter does not make him more believable.

In fact, these dots can all be connected by assuming he was covering up the funding from the first. He approved waivers for it. His actions all are consistent with a desire never to be associated with it. He can’t be blamed for wishing the pandemic wasn’t real, but that is not what we pay him for. We pay him for applying the scientific method.

For all the ill effects of his haphazard, self-aggrandizing interference in public policy, the long term damage he has done to science is worse. THAT is the attack on science. Worse, he is not alone in this playing of politics by those who call themselves scientists.

Here comes Richard Feynman on “What is Science?” (1966). Read it. It’s funny, profound, humble, a defense of free thinking. It explains that words matter, but that a definition is just a label. It demonstrates that science is grounded on the idea of falsifiability. Which necessitates humility.

It is a paean to his father. An education in 10 minutes. I want you to read the whole thing, but I will provide one snippet:

[T]he importance of freedom of thought; the positive results that come from doubting that the lessons are all true. You must here distinguish–especially in teaching–the science from the forms or procedures that are sometimes used in developing science. It is easy to say, “We write, experiment, and observe, and do this or that.” You can copy that form exactly. But great religions are dissipated by following form without remembering the direct content of the teaching of the great leaders. In the same way, it is possible to follow form and call it science, but that is pseudo-science. In this way, we all suffer from the kind of tyranny we have today in the many institutions that have come under the influence of pseudoscientific advisers.

We have many studies in teaching, for example, in which people make observations, make lists, do statistics, and so on, but these do not thereby become established science, established knowledge. They are merely an imitative form of science analogous to the South Sea Islanders’ airfields–radio towers, etc., made out of wood. The islanders expect a great airplane to arrive. They even build wooden airplanes of the same shape as they see in the foreigners’ airfields around them, but strangely enough, their wood planes do not fly. The result of this pseudoscientific imitation is to produce experts, which many of you are. [But] you teachers, who are really teaching children at the bottom of the heap, can maybe doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

When someone says, “Science teaches such and such,” he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach anything; experience teaches it. If they say to you, “Science has shown such and such,” you might ask, “How does science show it? How did the scientists find out? How? What? Where?”

It should not be “science has shown” but “this experiment, this effect, has shown.” And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments–but be patient and listen to all the evidence–to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.

In a field which is so complicated [as education] that true science is not yet able to get anywhere, we have to rely on a kind of old-fashioned wisdom, a kind of definite straightforwardness. I am trying to inspire the teacher at the bottom to have some hope and some self-confidence in common sense and natural intelligence. The experts who are leading you may be wrong.

I have probably ruined the system, and the students that are coming into Caltech no longer will be any good. I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television–words, books, and so on–are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science.

Finally, with regard to this time-binding, a man cannot live beyond the grave. Each generation that discovers something from its experience must pass that on, but it must pass that on with a delicate balance of respect and disrespect, so that the [human] race–now that it is aware of the disease to which it is liable–does not inflict its errors too rigidly on its youth, but it does pass on the accumulated wisdom, plus the wisdom that it may not be wisdom.

It is necessary to teach both to accept and to reject the past with a kind of balance that takes considerable skill. Science alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers of the preceding generation.

Feynman is probably spinning in his grave because of the adulation we give to people who pretend they are scientists. Spinning in his grave would come as quite a surprise to him.

I miss his brilliant humility.

For me, I haven’t yet got a grave to spin in. So I just weep.

Semantigans

I do not watch television news, but I suspect the story of Senator Rand Paul’s questioning of Dr. Anthony Fauci, if covered at all, is generally of the form “Ignorant Senator smears Hero Doctor.” An alternative headline would be “Practicing MD challenges career bureaucrat.”

The exchange itself was rancorous and somewhat confusing. Dr. Fauci ended up replying (less charitably, you could say he seized the deflection opportunity) to an implication that NIH funding was directly related to the CCP virus pandemic. This would also require that some form of the lab leak hypothesis is true; or worse, it was deliberate. Three weeks ago we weren’t allowed to speak of a lab leak, but even the Biden Administration is changing its mind.

A lab leak is possible, and unproven. Paul did walk it back. But, by that time, Dr. Fauci was off on the tangent.

Senator Paul should have been more circumspect, his main point is beyond rational contention. To wit: Fauci’s repeated and absolute denial the NIH ever funded gain of function research at the Wuhan lab depends on semantigans worthy of Bill Clinton’s question about what the word “is” means.

In challenging Fauci, Paul referred to a 2017 Wuhan lab research paper linked next. It credits NIH with funding recombinant experimental work on coronavirus and infectivity testing against the human ACE2 target. One author, Shi Zhengli, is known as the “Bat Woman” at the Wuhan lab.
Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirusPLOS (Public Library of Science) Pathogens

This work was jointly funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (81290341, 31621061) to ZLS, [etc. etc.]… the National Institutes of Health (NIAID R01AI110964)…

Using the reverse genetics technique we previously developed for WIV1 [23], we constructed a group of infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones with the backbone of WIV1 and variants of S genes from 8 different bat SARSr-CoVs…

The HeLa cell line was kindly provided by Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO (Geelong, Australia). HeLa cells expressing human ACE2 were constructed as described previously [17]. HeLa cells expressing human ACE2 and Vero E6 cells were cultured on coverslips in 24-well plates (Corning) incubated with the newly isolated or recombinant bat SARSr-CoVs at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) = 1.0 for 1h…

HeLa cells expressing human ACE2 were inoculated with WIV1, Rs4874, WIV1-Rs4231S, and WIV1-Rs7327S at an MOI of 1.0, and were incubated for 1h at 37°C…

There is no question NIH funded research in Wuhan. There is no question at least one so funded research project involved modification of bat coronavirus. There is no question those modified viruses were tested on human ACE2 receptors.

Dr. Paul is not alone in his opinion that this is GoF research:

Dr. Roger Ebright, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University and biosafety expert… claims that the work being conducted at the WIV, using NIH funds originally granted to Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, “epitomizes” gain-of-function research under the definition HHS provided in its guidance, and is the exact kind of research that led the Obama administration to conclude that gain-of-function was too dangerous to continue domestically.

The only remaining questions, then, are the definition of the phrase “gain of function,” and the meaning of the word “we.” Dr. Fauci insisted “that paper” Rand used as his proof had been carefully examined “up and down the line” and it was not gain of function research. According to the NIH.

Dr. Fauci also added that it was biologically impossible for those particular viruses to be implicated in the pandemic. That last, of course, is irrelevant.

Under the Obama Administration gain of function research was paused using this definition:

U.S. Government Gain-of-Function Deliberative Process and Research Funding Pause onSelected Gain-of-Function Research Involving Influenza, MERS, and SARS Viruses

Gain-of-function studies, or research that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease,
help define the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions…

New USG funding will not be released for gain-of-function research projects that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity and/or transmissibility in mammals via the respiratory route. The research funding pause would not apply to characterization or testing of naturally occurring influenza, MERS, and SARS viruses, unless the tests are reasonably anticipated to increase transmissibility and/or pathogenicity.

See also: The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This is interesting for what is described in the title, but it also speaks directly to the funding question.

The media’s big mistake on the covid-19 ‘lab leak’ theoryWashington Post Even the WaPo is willing to consider what they once dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theory.

Fauci’s only other possible defense is that “we” (the NIH) were not doing the funding. As we’ve seen, Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded a at coronavirus study grant to the EcoHealth Alliance, which subcontracted the research to the Wuhan lab. Fauci insists that the money did not support gain of function research. But as Nicholas Wade points out, that is exactly what the Wuhan institute was doing. The grant proposals from Shi Zhengli — (aka “Bat Woman”) are a matter of public record. She said she planned to use the money for gain-of-function research.

Dr. Fauci claims that NIH “categorically did not fund” GoF research in Wuhan. But, he cannot know that. His boss is Dr. Francis Collins:

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) that researchers at the Wuhan lab “were not approved by NIH for doing “gain of function research” before adding “we are, of course, not aware of other sources of funds or other activities they might have undertaken outside of what our approved grant allowed.”

So “we” never approved it. And “we” didn’t monitor it. And “we’ve” never heard the word “fungible.”

And, it’s not as if Fauci never funded such research on other viruses. Here is a statement from NIH on gain of function signed by Dr. Fauci in early 2013. Emphasis mine:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has worked in a transparent and collaborative fashion to develop a framework for reviewing funding decisions regarding research that might increase mammalian transmission of HPAI H5N1 viruses by respiratory droplets.

Does Dr. Fauci have a different definition for each virus?

Here is further discussion from NIH on gain of function
Gain-of-Function Research Involving Potential Pandemic Pathogens

A definition used by the Obama Administration and another used by NIH seem to contradict whatever definition Fauci is using. One is left with the idea that the NIH created such a definition, after the fact, which has not been shared, to avoid their own oversight mechanism during the pause in funding. If Dr. Fauci wants us to believe him, he should point out exactly when and why an apparently much more complicated definition was created, and what precisely excludes the older definition from his own agency from applying. I believe he would be embarrassed by it, and that’s why we have not seen it.

The “Public Health” version of the 1st Amendment

There’s a vacillating post at Areo, titled The Promotion of Ivermectin: A Free Speech Edge Case, arguing that some modified limited hangout version of free speech should at least be considered when public health is the question.

On the facts, and given the performance of the ivermectin prohibitionists, it’s as near the free speech edge as Omaha is near an ocean.

The article’s case depends on a critique of the paucity of ‘gold standard’ Randomized Controlled Trials conducted on ivermectin. This is the only acceptable methodology for the CDC, FDA, and Dr. Fauci. The essential question is posed as “What if some people resist vaccination because they become persuaded ivermectin is an alternative?” Before we examine the precursors to the social media ban on discussing ivermectin at the behest of the gold standard exclusivists, let’s note that they have refused an opportunity to conduct a human challenge trail.

The boots-on-the-ground clinical evidence for Ivermectin is significant. There are very well respected practicing clinical physicians recommending it in their treatment protocols. The broad empirical data from Peru and India strongly suggest calling let’s-try-ivermectin proponents conspiracists is irrational. Nonetheless, that is our situation with government approved protocols and in Big Tach political interference.

Our “public health” apparatchiks might have a more acceptable case for prohibiting experimental use of a safe drug such as ivermectin in the midst of a pandemic if anyone still trusted them. If they hadn’t started out telling us CCP virus wasn’t a problem for the US; fumbled the specification, preparation, approval, and distribution of test kits; lied about masks, mandated masks, and then lied about lying about masks; insisted the virus couldn’t possibly have escaped from a lab with a sketchy safety history, that researched bat viruses, was at the epicenter of the outbreak, erased records, refused to cooperate with investigations. And to which they had supplied funds for gain of function research.

Meanwhile, they usurped power. For example, where is it written that the CDC has authority to order payment of rents suspended? Why wouldn’t we laugh out loud at practicing bureaucrats claiming they are very embodiment science?

If all this bullshit hadn’t been combined with a lofty display of their superiority, vaccination resistance would be much less a problem.

As if that performance is not enough to make reasonable people nervous, combine it with a Twitter/Facebook/Amazon political conspiracy to prevent us from talking about anything those same bureaucrats told us was ‘settled science,’ and what do you expect will happen?

People will take ivermectin doses manufactured for horses, because their doctors are prohibited from giving them appropriate safe doses. It’s less risky than following the ‘science.’

Ivermectin, say the name

Why Has “Ivermectin” Become a Dirty Word? Read that article, then decide if you will spend the time watching a two and a half hour discussion between Bret Weinstein and Dr. Pierre Kory. The video was banned by YouTube. The copy below is found on Vimeo. For now.

COVID, Ivermectin, and the Crime of the Century DarkHorse Podcast with Pierre Kory & Bret Weinstein
Skip the first 5 minutes of music.

This is information, from impeccable sources, you probably have not heard about Ivermectin. The evidence that doctors should be allowed to use Ivermectin to treat patients with CCP virus is overwhelming, as is its prophylactic property.

Every bit of evidence is insufficient if those who insist on thinking for us don’t approve it, or of its proponent’s speech: Scientist Backing Probe Into Wuhan Lab: We Waited Because We Didn’t Want ‘To Be Associated With Trump’

You can argue that nobody died because some doctors, the MSM, bureaucrats who funded gain of function research in Wuhan, and interest conflicted NGO poobahs supported the CCP in flatly denying there was evidence for a lab leak. The same cannot be said about the suppression of information on Ivermectin.

One cause of the Ivermectin suppression is Trump Derangement Syndrome. If Trump suggested something, say the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis or hydroxychloroquine, it isn’t just wrong – decent people must not discuss it.

And how did that lab leak story work out?

Question the elite narrative on Ivermectin and you’re Trump and a conspiracy theorist. “There’s no evidence because only a double blind, random clinical trial will suffice. And we’re not gonna do that.”

You have to wonder if there is a second reason. Ivermectin isn’t under patent. Any new oral medication for the CCP virus will be.
A Pill To Treat Covid-19? The US Is Betting on It

Bloody handed little weasel

Nice short summary of Fauci Fraud.
Fauci In 2012: Gain-Of-Function Research ‘Worth Risk Of Lab Accident Sparking Pandemic’ | ZeroHedge

In which he is quoted in response to questions from Rand Paul:

“We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he added. No matter how many times you say it, it didn’t happen.”

This kind of word play is best left to Bill Clinton. He knew succinct misdirection ‘is’ better.

I mean, “this virus?” Makes you wonder which ones he did fund. It may have been unnecessary embellishment.

Fauci knew he had to phrase his response carefully, since he is on record saying gain of function research is more important than the risk of a pandemic, and he’s about to insist vehemently that Senator Paul is a liar. Let’s just unpack that one reply to Senator Paul:

“At one time my agency did fund gain of function research in the US. But, we had to stop because of unsciency moral objections from the Obama administration. They did not understand the precautionary principle only applies to fossil fuel.

To continue GoF research we were forced to fund a third party NGO. This gave us plausible deniability, since the funding destination was almost certain to be a lab in Wuhan, China.

Since US dollars are fungible, this may or may not have probably funded GoF research at a Chinese lab specializing in coronavirus, headed by a woman nicknamed “batwoman,” who wrote a paper in 2015 about adding a spike protein to bat coronavirus enabling its attachment to human ACE2 receptors. She had long “openly participated in gain-of-function research in partnership with U.S. universities and institutions”.

Her lab was widely considered to have substandard safety protocols, in a country well known to care little for civilized norms and whose military is known to have speculated about coronavirus biological warfare. Which country obfuscated and obstructed the WHO investigation whitewash of the CCP virus origins, having earlier blamed the US Army for it, and after having delayed providing information to the world public health community at the beginning of the outbreak. In Wuhan. China.

Finally, the person who transferred US taxpayer dollars to the Chinese lab on behalf of my NIH was one of the WHO investigators. He anonymously authored a letter denying it was possible the virus was man made prior to the conclusion of WHO’s investigation. The letter, to which he adduced 27 actual signatures, concluded by stating: “We declare no competing interests.” That, of course, is not the same as not having any. I should know.”

In Fauci’s case the “it” that ‘didn’t happen’ is a matter more important than Bill’s torturing of the word “is.”

References & further reading:
The doctor who denied COVID-19 was leaked from a lab had this major bias

Statement in support of the scientists, public health professionals, and medical professionals of China combatting COVID-19

EXCLUSIVE: COVID-19 ‘has NO credible natural ancestor’ and WAS created by Chinese scientists who then tried to cover their tracks with ‘retro-engineering’ to make it seem like it naturally arose from bats, explosive new study claims

The origin of COVID: Did people or nature open Pandora’s box at Wuhan?