Murphy’s Reliance on a Fallible Medical Profession and COVID-19: School Graduation Edition –DeSeno
They answered, as they took their fees, ‘There is no cure for this disease.’ Hilaire Belloc, 1870-1953
By Tom DeSeno
This is not to dethrone doctors from their rightful lofty place in society; it is to dethrone them from an even higher place, so high that they don’t deserve it. They don’t deserve to be seen as infallible, nor do they deserve the power to usurp the decision making of the people’s representatives in government when it comes to public policy. In particular, referring to the public policy of not allowing live graduation ceremonies.
Medicine is an inexact science. That is why it is regularly referred to as “medical arts.” While biology is a pure science, virology in particular is the applied science that makes use of the biologist’s library of accumulated knowledge.
Add to the inexactitude of the medical field that doctors are human and errable, it’s clear that medical arts are no cousin to Papal Infallibility. Doctors make mistakes. A John Hopkins University Study found that 250,000 people a year die from medical errors, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
There is a tendency to think of doctors as being so reliable that we can remove our own common sense from the matter and afford them complete control. One need to look no further than American courtrooms to see that as fallacy, and I don’t mean malpractice cases. Look instead to general personal injury cases from all causes. In each, there is a doctor for the plaintiff who diagnoses an injury and a doctor for the defense who has a totally different diagnosis. Both doctors are deemed experts by the Court. In each case, one doctor is right, the other is wrong. That is a 50% fail rate.
How does a jury of lay people decide which doctor is right and which is wrong? The Court instructs them to use their common sense and human experience to decide which doctor is more likely than not correct.
It’s time for Governor Murphy to employ his own common sense and human experience. Stop this hero worship of doctors. Stop letting them call all the shots in public administration.
We’ve seen the fluid nature of scientific opinion posing has fact with COVID-19. Going down in history will be that we were first told we were silly to wear a mask to the grocery store, then suddenly we were the victims of full on virtue signaling and claims we didn’t care about people dying if we didn’t wear a mask to the grocery store. The facts never changed – the imperfect doctors changed their minds.
Public administration is not medicine. It is a different field with varied considerations. It requires the balancing of many interests. It is no less important than medicine.
That brings us to this year’s graduation season.
Be it 8th Grade, High School or College, students work their entire lives for that moment where they get that diploma, that recognition of achievement in both scholastics and sport, some achieving as high as valedictorian. Their parents paid a fortune for it. They deserve the pomp and circumstance. They deserve the ceremony. It’s an important American cultural marker.
For some reason, folks with names like Fauci and Birx and their counterparts in state government are smart enough to devise social distancing policy in certain places, but completely inept to tackle it in others.
They have determined that the virus will leave you be while you mingle with people at Home Depot to buy a lawn chair, mingle with people at Walmart to buy a bathing suit, mingle with people at WaWa to buy chips, mingle with people at the liquor store to buy beer, mingle with people at the laundromat to pick up your shirt, mingle with people at the pet store to get your poodle a collar, mingle with people at Staples to buy a pen, mingle with people at Verizon to get a phone, mingle with people at the bicycle store to get a new seat, mingle with your realtor to look at a house, mingle with people to pick up your takeout pizza, mingle with people at the Post office to get your lousy $600 supplemental unemployment check and mingle with people at the bank to deposit your lousy $600 supplemental unemployment check.
You can do all those things EVERY DAY, you can do them ALL DAY, you can do them 7 DAYS A WEEK, and the virus won’t touch you because you are 6 feet apart and wearing a mask.
Yet for some reason the combined, extraordinary brainpans of the likes of Fauci, Birx and their counterparts in state government can’t seem to negotiate the same deal with the virus to leave you alone ONE TIME, for two hours, at an outdoor graduation ceremony. Suddenly 6 feet and a mask are ineffectual.
That’s just absurd. That’s not science. That’s not medicine. That’s horrific public policy.
We don’t allow a weatherman to usurp all of public policy in a hurricane, nor should we let a virologist control our lives completely during COVID-19.
Just as a jury of lay people is told to find which doctor is right and which one is wrong by employing common sense, it’s time for Governor Murphy to wrest power back from “experts” and assume the role of the people’s representative, by employing a little common sense.
Let graduations happen.
Tommy De Seno is a lawyer, political writer, and currently resides in the Smithsonian as the last conservative from Asbury Park.