Stephen C. Meyer writes in The Federalist (abridged):
President Trump and 50 governors now face a critical choice. Since March 16, 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
So what to do? How many more weeks, months, or even years should current sheltering-in-place orders continue?
The administration’s virus taskforce has recommended only a gradual lifting of stay-at-home orders. Yet Trump also insisted that even though “some people [will] be affected badly. . . and there will be more death,” “we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”
Many in the media condemned this statement as “risking more death to save the economy”.
Blue-state governors who have refused to reopen have similarly cited “the science” to justify their decisions to extend stay-at-home orders.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, President Trump has relied on a small group of scientists within the federal health establishment.
With the formation of his task force on reopening the economy, the president has pitted the advice of economists against the advice of medical scientists.
These economists have warned of irreversible economic consequences of continuing the shutdown. Yet the president has not yet recruited skeptical medical scientists who can challenge the advice of his current medical advisors. Consequently, his policy has remained captive to a singular, and quite possibly scientifically flawed.,.
Trump and governors can escape this dilemma by embracing a different concept of science—one that prizes open argumentation and evaluation, and constant reevaluation, of competing hypotheses, models, and evidence.
He needs immediately to recruit a new set of medical advisors from outside the federal health bureaucracy to challenge, although not necessarily to replace, his current team.
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