What does it mean to graciously disagree about COVID?

With a lot of respect for Dr Collins I was saddened to hear in an interview between Dr Jordan Peterson and Dr Jay Bhattacharya that Dr Collins did everything he could to SHUT DOWN open and gracious dialogue regarding alternative approaches to Covid which now appear to be more appropriate than those taken by our government in part led by Dr Collins. Wikipedia is obviously not a perfect resource but it does appear to back up exactly what Dr Bhattacharya said-
In October 2020, Collins criticized the Great Barrington Declaration’s “focused protection” herd immunity strategy, calling it “a fringe component of epidemiology. This is not mainstream science. It’s dangerous. It fits into the political views of certain parts of our confused political establishment.”[50] In a private email to Fauci, Collins called the authors of the declaration “fringe epidemiologists” and said that “There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises”. Francis Collins - Wikipedia
I hope that at least Dr Collins has made a public statement asking for forgiveness for his attack on all of those who signed the Great Barrington Declaration.

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What makes you think that the Great Barrington Declaration has ever been borne out as warranted? It was a politically motivated piece of propaganda. It’s still considered fringe, harmful, and unrepresentative of mainstream science.

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Hi, Fenn - and welcome to the forum!

I’m not sure I would trust Peterson’s perspectives on this as I think he’s really gone down the rabbit hole of how evil everything Fauci or Collins must be. So any reality that doesn’t fit that narrative will be left completely out of those circles. That said, I’m curious what grains of truth are in it, so if others know more about that specific situation want to chime in with any updated details, I’ll read with interest.

One possible partial defense of Collins in this is that he (like anybody else) was just doing the best he could with the data available at the time. So if something looked dangerously fringe (with the potential to harm a lot of people with its misinformation), then I wouldn’t be so sure his response was inappropriate for the time. I’ve heard Collins say things to the effect of … This or that could have been responded to differently and better now given our hindsight.

What I would be surprised (and very disappointed to learn) would be anything that would amount to intentional malice or conspiracy to line his own pockets. If the right has any actual evidence of malfeasance on his or Fauci’s part, that would probably be an utterly new thing. Until I see something like any actual evidence, though, it sounds like verse 50 of “everything that tribe does is always evil believe it because we say so.”

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I’d be utterly shocked if that came out, not so shocked if it comes out with the drug companies.

As time goes on, we should have a better idea of what happened and who interpreted the data better.

Read the “critical commentaries” part of the Wikipedia article he linked:

Collins is in good company with all the other people pointing out the declaration is libertarian Social Darwinist economics, not sound epidemiology.

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Sounds like some more Gracious Dialogue. Another surprising and disappointing response.
And what part of mainstream science has NOT already been proven wrong? Masks, Vaccines- will prevent you from getting or giving Covid to others, Covid originated in a wet market…

Florida’s response which put kids back in school was better off in hindsight.

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What did the lockdowns actually accomplish, except to cause great harm to our children, the poor and society as a whole in our country and throughout the world without protecting the elderly who were most vulnerable to Covid.
I am probably, just some nut case follower of Christ, but I have lost all respect for Dr Collins and his cohort of collaborators and the mainstream media that helped push an agenda that has caused so much collateral and irreparable harm. Thanks for the Gracious Dialogue.

Just when I was taking you seriously :face_with_peeking_eye:

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https://www.instagram.com/p/Co7nMRipQku/

Here is a good post that breaks down what we know about masks.

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I’m sorry you have been fed so much disinformation. I’m not going to try to argue with it, but there is nothing about the rules for “gracios dialogue” that implies you must soberly entertain conspiracy theories and pseudoscience in order to be kind.

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All I know about masks is that when I put one on it only takes a minute or two to make me feel the heat and humidity of my exhale being trapped in it and that is the air I end up (re)breathing. I have no idea of which science is right on the subject, but i do feel that something isn’t quite right about wearing one all day long. That’s just my experience, minus anything even related to empirical scientific evidence.

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The long experience of those who have worn masks all day for work, as well as a host of scientific evidence, shows that wearing masks does not harm one’s health (with the possible exception of the irritation caused by the straps).

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Quite a lot of it, in fact.

Initial statements that masks don’t work were indeed wrong, although they didn’t really represent the conclusions of ‘science’ since the evidence was not clear at the time. Subsequent study has shown that high quality masks do indeed provide substantial (although certainly not perfect) protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2, especially if worn by all parties (the recent dreadful Cochrane report notwithstanding).

That was largely true in the months after the vaccines were introduced. Nothing wrong about the science there. What changed was (a) the virus, as it mutated to evade immunity, and (b) people’s immune systems, since it turns out that immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection wanes over a period of months. You might note that scientists had in fact pointed out this possibility before any vaccine was approved, and also that the vaccines were designed to prevent severe disease (which they do very well), not prevent infection or transmission.

The scientific evidence for the origin of the virus in humans is now strongly in favor of the wet market. Initially, it was pretty much a toss-up.

You seem eager to attack scientists. Is this how you think gracious dialogue is supposed to work?

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That was a good article. Thank you.

I would like to add in my Thank You to all the Doctors, Nurses, Health Care Workers, and Research Scientists who have made their best effort to help us through this pandemic.

The sad social climate around this must be demoralizing sometimes.

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No one if feeding me disinformation. I have taken in both sides of the discussion- which is what we all should do- hear the multiple views on an issue and then make an informed decision based on that information. But, alternative views weren’t even allowed to be discussed in a supposedly free country, where open and vigorous debate helped make us such a great country.
What I found and was actually surprised by was both liberals and conservatives who broke ranks from the accepted narrative. I listened to their perspectives along with the main line arguments and my own firsthand experiences and to me it’s very obvious that the accepted Covid narrative and actions weren’t even close to true and actually caused much more harm than good.
The following is an interview with Dr Jay Bhattacharya. I am not saying everything he says is true, but he certainly seems like a knowledgeable and thoughtful person (not some fringe lunatic libertarian Social Darwinist - he’s actually a Christian) with some important insights to consider as part of an overall approach to Covid. Take a listen and tell me if he seems illogical and extreme-

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Sound and appreciated thoughts. Hindsight is usually pretty clarifying. I agree that everyone was doing their best to come up with the best solutions. But to me the biggest issue was Dr Collins using his power to shut down alternative thoughts and perspectives that prevented honest open public debate that could have led to a better overall outcome for our country and the world as a whole.
And again this is not a conservative only perspective.
And to be honest this is exactly what the Political, News and Social Media powers did- “everything that tribe does is always evil believe it because we say so.” And that is my biggest issue.

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I think one of the key phrases Covid highlighted was, “the” science. Is there really a “the” science? I think it fair to say that some science went one way while other science went another, often polar opposite, way.

I also find it significant that the science that went against mask wearing and vaccination was usually suppressed by the media, including social media sites. One must dig deeper to find anything that went against the accepted narrative, i.e. that masks and the vaccine were effective in reducing the risk of contracting Covid. But when one does look at the opposite scientific evidence, it sure looks like science, thus making me wonder about the existence of “the” science.

So is there really such a thing as “the” science, which term was bandied about with much vigorous regularity? I don’t know. All I know is how I felt when wearing one, and it just didn’t feel right. I might mention that I only wore masks when required in stores and I did not get vaccinated. I don’t know if I got Covid or not, but I never did get sick and, being 72 years old, I guess I was/am in a high risk category. I did thank God often for keeping me healthy. I understand that is not even close to empirical evidence of anything, but there it is.

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Speaking generally, it varies quite a lot. Some scientific conclusions are so well-tested that there is virtual unanimity. From there, it’s a continuum to cases where it’s pretty much just a bunch of people making (sometimes poorly) educated guesses. Different claims about covid fall at different places along this spectrum. The usefulness of mask-wearing was originally pretty close to the ‘just guessing’ end, but a lot more information has been generated this then, including about the differences between kinds of masks and the importance of a good fit.

When it comes to vaccines, there are still gray areas but there is no doubt at all that if you are, say, over 50 and have not been infected, the risk/benefit calculation is overwhelmingly in favor of being vaccinated. Not many people are still in that category, but this is one area where there really is an answer from ‘the science’.

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I got you.
I do respect him and the work he has done, but I did lose a lot of respect for him by the way he used his power to shut down open dialogue from people with a different perspective trying to help deal with Covid in the most effective way possible. Not even that the other perspective was completely right or wrong, but the discussion helps us get to a better outcome.

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