There is a reason we have experts on various topics. It’s because nobody can know everything; therefore, most of us specialize in an area or two and offer our opinions on those subjects.
When we offer our opinions on subjects in which we aren’t experts, we base our opinions on facts provided by those who are experts.
For example, we wouldn’t ask a plumber to perform heart surgery any more than we would ask a heart surgeon to change the transmission in our car. There is nothing wrong with trusting the opinion of an expert. This is how things work.
This also is why the rift between President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci is so concerning.
Fauci has years of experience as an infectious disease specialist, having great success at curbing the AIDS epidemic by expanding research on treatment and clinical trials. Some activists who have worked with him have said his skills are perfectly matched for managing an epidemic.
But in the last few weeks, Fauci hasn’t been seen or heard from much, many say, because he and the president are on the outs. Fauci has disagreed with Trump and has, at times, tried to gently correct him or get the accurate message to the public via other routes.
Still, many don’t trust Fauci.
For example, former television game show host and Ashland native Chuck Woolery recently tweeted “everyone is lying” about the coronavirus, included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trump retweeted the comment, apparently unaware Woolery is not an expert on infectious disease but simply a game show host. Woolery’s opinions about television and game shows might be rooted in fact and very insightful, but his take on the coronavirus shouldn’t be trusted.
Another example: Director of Trade and Manufacturing Police Peter Navarro blamed Fauci for doubting the drug hydroxychloroquine is effective at treating coronavirus. From all indications, Fauci hasn’t lied about the COVID-19 situation in the United States. We haven’t detected a lie from Fauci yet, and detecting lies is an area of expertise for newspapers. So, while Fauci isn’t known to be a liar, he is known to be an experienced and effective epidemiologist. He would be the expert to listen to on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19, not a trade adviser.
In no way is the pandemic political. It is a public health crisis that encompasses the globe. There is no place for politics when fighting a pandemic. The pandemic is an arena for scientists. They are the stars of this show and the leaders against this virus. They are the experts equipped to solve the problem and they must be trusted for guidance, not persecuted for making truthful statements that are in conflict with political leadership.
Questioning authority is a good thing. In the media, that’s what we do. When the facts and the experts hold up under questioning, it’s likely a good move to trust their advice, even if it isn’t in harmony with one’s political party affiliation.