To the editor: We now have clear evidence of what happens when experts are ignored. Health scientists have been aware of the developing COVID-19 crisis since December, but their concerns were dismissed as being unnecessarily reactionary. The U.S. has been slow to recognize the gravity of the problem, but now that the stock market has crashed, it’s clear that not only is the economy being threatened, but it’s likely to affect elections. Only now the medical experts are being brought forward.
Had government leaders reacted when medical experts first came forward, the U.S. would be ahead of the curve rather than behind. The White House reduced the size/significance of the National Security Council directorate in 2018, the unit that was created to prepare for future pandemics in the U.S., something that’s been anticipated by the medical community for years. Had it been fully functional, we would have gotten a heads up and perhaps would have had testing kits available sooner and might now see a diminishing numbers of cases.
So much misinformation has been presented downplaying the gravity of the crisis that many folks are dismissing the problem as being overblown. If everyone were to self-isolate for two weeks for all but critical needs, the virus would die out because it needs new hosts. But because a percentage of the population is ignoring the issue, the problem is growing instead of diminishing.
There is another group of experts with decades of science bolstering their claim that global warming is not only real but that we are mostly responsible. These scientists are being dismissed as being politically biased and self-serving. While the COVID-19 crisis is on a relatively short fuse, the global warming issue is longer term and so is being ignored. Having ignored the medical experts at first on this virus, a lot of people will die, but ignoring the climate scientists will drastically change the future viability of human life on Earth. Having and listening to experts is important. Listen to the experts!