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Letter: Scientific controversy over COVID-19 has't been given proper due

Had the conversation been given due course, COVID-19 would not have the power it has
opinion

“True scientific controversy is healthy and involves disagreements over how data should be interpreted, over which ideas are best supported by the available evidence, and over which ideas are worth investigating further. This sort of catalyst sparks careful examination of the data and additional research and so can help science move forward.”  Source: https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/_0_0/sciencetoolkit_08

Media bias, the decline of academic freedom of speech on university campuses, censorship on platforms like YouTube and Facebook and the politicization of science have been growing over many years.  This has become ever so much more obvious this last year with the COVID-19 “crisis”.

In March of 2020, before we had any scientific idea of how this virus would affect the world, many places did what they thought was necessary and placed restrictions on movement, behaviour, and basic freedoms.  Prudent action based on what we didn’t know.

Fast forward to March 2021. We have much more data, yet those restrictions remain in place in many places.  Many doctors and scientists, experts in their fields, say this is the way it should remain. Governments, following only those recommendations, have kept those restrictions in place.

But, what about the hundreds of thousands of other experts asserting just the opposite? Those who have acknowledged COVID-19 is real but not the threat we have been led to believe? Why have they been silenced? Why are doctors, nurses, scientists, and statisticians threatened with sanctions by their professional associations for speaking their interpretation of the data? Why is their expertise not valid?

Had the conversation, generated by scientific controversy, been given due course, today would be a much different world. COVID-19 would not have the power it has. Economies would not be in jeopardy, mental health would be far better, rates of suicide, drug overdose, child and spousal abuse would be far lower.  The outcomes would have been considerably different.

Dr. Scott W. Atlas, a professor and chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center said in a speech delivered on February 18, 2021:

“First, I have been shocked at the unprecedented exertion of power by the government since last March- issuing unilateral decrees, ordering the closure of businesses, churches, and schools, restricting personal movement, mandating behavior, and suspending indefinitely basic freedoms. Second, I was and remain stunned- almost frightened – at the acquiescence of the American people to such destructive, arbitrary, and wholly unscientific rules, restrictions, and mandates.”

Replace “American” with “Canadian”, “Australian”, “English” . . . an ongoing list.

Dr. Atlas says further: “Numerous studies, including one from Stanford University’s infectious disease scientists and epidemiologists Benavid, Oh, Bhattacharya, and Ioannides have shown that the mitigating impact of the extraordinary measures used in almost every state was small at best and usually harmful.”
This opinion is shared by hundreds of thousands of other experts. Why are we not hearing their voices?

Because scientific controversy has not been given its proper due.

Cindy Tippe, Rhonalyn Carpenter, Dan Harder, Connie Harder, Beth Wiens, Gary Wiens, Deanne Trewin
On behalf of Mountain View Freedom