COVID-19 Medical and Science Policy Disconnect and Subversion

The challenges to societal argument faced by limitations or shortcomings in our scientific interpretation of COVID-19. 

This may be due to flaws in the virus's natural or social science analysis, or a combination of both. In, we look at a particular collection of issues that are often impediments to justifiable civility. The first is concerned with a lack of direct contact between politicians and the research community (even though solid scientific data is available); the second is concerned with issues relating to science politicization, subversion, and corruption. 

The first issue has been labelled a flaw of the so-called "science-policy interface." 

The science-policy interface is a shorthand summary of the mechanism by which the best scientific expertise and guidance is given by the most competent agencies and specialists, acted on by key decision-makers in government, and made available to the general public. 

Many of the failures were caused by government weakness, but there were also failures by research organizations and advisors who understood the threat but were unable to rally support for prompt and successful intervention. 

Other considerations, we believe, can obstruct the smooth transfer of scientific results from the latter to the former, in addition to policymakers' incompetence and scientific community failures. 

The manner in which scientists express their results to politicians, in particular, may have a significant impact on how they are viewed. Take, for example, the case of Fauci, which was previously addressed. Fauci's realistic style, which is marked by an apolitical, non-ideological, and goal-oriented attitude, is likely to have led to his willingness to affect US Presidents and other important political leaders for many decades.

 Furthermore, the politeness with which scientific findings are shared may also affect the uptake of scientific findings by politicians (and people in general). 

That is, respectful interactions will aid absorption, demonstrating the importance of politeness as a "social lubricant" as discussed in the previous post. When sharing scientific information during a pandemic, when pressures between people and politicians are always high, exhibiting caution and adhering to politeness standards will help promote the uptake of the evidence by those in charge of policy-making, resulting in measures that are more in line with public rationale. 

This further shows an intriguing synergy between civility in the sense of politeness and justifiable civility. 

The unwillingness of scientific data to lead to the collective rationale of policies during COVID-19 may be due to policymakers' politicization, subversion, and misuse of research, in addition to the breakdown of the science-policy interface. 

These phenomena can manifest in a variety of ways. Politicians may make false scientific claims, such as when Trump claimed that "[t]aking hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 is safe and reliable," a claim he maintained even though the scientific community questioned him. Trump's argument was based on a statistically inaccurate French analysis. 

This example also highlights another issue: policymakers can mistakenly believe that their views on what is clinically feasible and useful in addressing the health crisis are on line with evidence-based policies. Following Trump's assertion, Fauci replied, "[t]he response is no" when asked whether the drug hydroxychloroquine is successful in preventing coronavirus. President Trump then returned to the podium to respond, saying, "It might work, it might not work." It makes me happy. That's all there is to it; it's just a thought, right, smart guy?' '[y]ou know the word, "[w]hat the hell do you have to lose?"' he said. 'I've been right a lot, let's see what happens,' he reasoned. 

This argument demonstrates that Trump used a faulty approach in promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, namely, appealing to his emotions rather than conclusions focused on sound science methods. 

Drawing on emotions about faulty research will intensify justificatory incivility because public justification and justificatory civility require claims to knowledge based on sound science in favour of legislation. In other contexts, policymakers can use scientific evidence selectively, citing research that is sound but incomplete. 

When Trump quoted low rates of contagion and mortality among children in July to defend his support for reopening schools, he ignored crucial facts about community spread, especially among the elderly, who are much more susceptible to the virus. 

We've often seen lawmakers misrepresent or misapply sound science findings throughout some cases. 

When Trump learned that COVID-19 kills quicker in the presence of sunlight and humidity, and that bleach or isopropyl alcohol would destroy it in minutes, he speculated that the virus might be cured by exposing patients to UV light or injecting disinfectant into their bodies. 

Scientists, on the other hand, immediately rejected his ideas. Although Trump's assertions were based on solid science facts in theory, he made a severe epistemic mistake by assuming that the efficacy of sunlight and disinfectants at destroying COVID-19 outside the human body mean that these "treatments" would be successful inside the human body as well, and by ignoring the serious damage that these "treatments" could cause the body in the process. 

Aside from the faulty or selective application of factual data, another impediment to science's commitment to justificatory civility is its politicization. 

When science's results are strategically troublesome, policymakers often make blatant attempts to discredit it. Under pressure from different business sectors, Trump declined to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDCP) -page draught guideline for reopening the US, stating that he prefers pre-COVID-19 opening regulations to the CDCP's more conservative guidelines. Beyond the decisions of individual politicians, the politicization of science will have a broader impact on society. Individuals' perceptions and responses to experimental findings about COVID-19 may be influenced and distorted by partisan divisions. 

For example, in the United States, people's attitudes about factual findings about COVID-19 have been highly divided along political lines, with strong gaps in opinions about simple information about the pandemic. Most individuals, according to some commentators, are trapped in "alternative worlds." 

There is also proof that Republican supporters in the United States are more critical of scientific evidence relating to COVID-19 than Democrat supporters. Science's politicization may have far-reaching consequences. 

For example, collective bodies that otherwise refrain from endorsing particular politicians may see the scientific affront as a reason to take political positions. For example, in, the popular science journal Scientific American openly supported a presidential nominee for the first time in its -year history, claiming that ‘Donald Trump has seriously harmed the United States and its people—because he denies facts and science.' 

This kind of reaction could widen the chasm between certain policymakers and the science community, weakening the latter's acceptance of scientific facts. Finally, the presence and dissemination of conspiracy theories, such as the belief that "the COVID-19 pandemic is part of a scheme devised by global insiders — such as Bill Gates — to carry out vaccinations with monitoring chips that will later be triggered by G, the technologies used by cellular networks," will threaten science's commitment to justifiable civility. 

What should be said to fix these issues? 

We will need to use ethical mechanisms in addition to teaching people about scientific evidence knowledge and appraisal. We've already seen how these mechanisms can aid politicians in navigating challenging ethical dilemmas, particularly when balancing competing political ideals, rights, and liberties. They can, however, provide guidance on how to perform and communicate clinical experiments during a pandemic.

You may also want to read more analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic here.