‘Follow the Science’ is a line Joe Biden, American President, used on the 2020 Presidential campaign stream and has returned to many times, including in nationally televised comments after taking office on Jan.20 and in March to staffers at the U.S. CDC, particularly when addressing the climate change or COVID-19 epidemic.
Once elected, Mr. Biden declared that he would add the nation’s first Cabinet-level science adviser. But grumblings over the mantra started even before he assumed office.
Branko Marcetic, Jacobin’s (an American socialist quarterly magazine) staff writer, wrote in a December essay for Jacobin, arguing in favor of a countrywide lock-down order, that after winning the November 3 election on a “listen to the scientists” message, Mr. Biden is actually rejecting the global scientific consensus on how to tackle the epidemic.
— The Recount (@therecount) May 6, 2021
He cautioned there are already disturbing signs that the incoming government’s epidemic response is going to rely on science likewise the Democrats rely on science when it comes to climate change, as a useful bit of branding to set them apart from their opposition, but something to be mostly overlooked if they feel the solution is too politically unpalatable.
The U.S. President followed the science when last week the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its face-mask-wearing directions, prompting criticizers to complain that he followed the science too abruptly.
On Thursday, the Obama-time CDC Director, Tom Frieden, told the Washington Post that this guidance might be pretty suitable as individual guidance, but it isn’t appropriate as direction for community action. Moreover, there was no urgency to modify the face mask guidance. That should have been done in a more organized approach.
Why U.S. President thinks pipelines and jobs in the United States are not good while pipelines and jobs in Russia are good?
On January 20, American President announced the Keystone XL pipeline suspension, which was planned to carry 0.8 million barrels of oil a day from Alberta (Canada) to the Gulf Coast of Texas, by route of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
Martin Durbin, the President of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute (GEI), disagreed at the time, declaring in a statement that the move had nothing to do with science and would cost America thousands of jobs.
He said that the pipeline, the most studied infrastructure project in U.S. history, is already under construction and has cleared numerous legal and environmental complications. Moreover, stopping construction would also impede oil’s efficient and safe transport and unfairly single out production from one of their closest and key allies.
Fast forward to this week, Joe Biden waived sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, an action Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) bashed as a favor to the Kremlin that would hurt US’s European allies.
On Saturday evening, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz said that by canceling the Keystone Pipeline only to give Vladimir Putin a multi-billion-dollar gift by waving mandatory American sanctions to allow Russian Federation to build Nord Stream 2, it makes us wonder why does U.S. President think pipelines and jobs in the United States are not good while pipelines and jobs in Russia are good?
Joe Biden also faced criticism on the matter of re-opening of schools, and whether the government has adhered to its ‘follow the science’ mantra over the previous three months.
Back in Dec. 2020, American President pledged to American families. He committed to re-opening the majority of schools by the end of his first hundred days in office. In the weeks that followed, his government maintained to move the goalposts to accommodate political posturing instead of the educational necessities of children.
The truth behind the admin’s arbitrary goal is that there are still sixteen million children who aren’t attending their school full time, including nearly 2M who have gone a whole year without stepping foot in their classrooms.
Immunization of teachers isn’t a pre-requisite for the safe re-opening of school
Rochelle Paula Walensky, U.S. CDC Director, told the media in February that the COVID-19 vaccine wasn’t a condition for getting teachers back in the classroom. Walensky stated during a news briefing that there is growing data to suggest that schools can safely re-open and that safe re-opening doesn’t mention that teachers need to be inoculated. Inoculation of teachers isn’t a pre-requisite for the safe re-opening of schools.
Yet the government scaled back its aim of reopening schools within President Biden’s first 100-days in office. According to Politico, the goal became the majority of schools, so over 50 percent, as Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary put it at the time.
Psaki also defined ‘open’ as hosting at least 1-day of in-person learning.
As of 16th May, according to a data aggregating site, Burbio, only 68.6 percent of U.S. students attend a district that offers a return to a traditional classroom setting. And that does not mean all of them have necessarily finished accordingly yet.
School re-opening approaches are still an issue; Kevin McCarthy, a House GOP Leader, called Joe Biden’s most significant failure so far after leaked emails showed the U.S. CDC had corresponded with the country’s largest teachers’ union as it hashed out the re-opening guidance it released in February 2021.
A New York Post report on the emails states the teacher’s union discouraged the government from the entire re-opening plan and even influenced some of the wording in the national health agency’s February 12 declaration of its guidelines.
Kevin McCarthy wrote in a 6th May blog post that how many kids were kept from school because the Biden government allowed the SCIENCE to be manipulated by special interest groups? Moreover, how many parents were forced to pass up on income for their families because the U.S. CDC failed to follow the science? He continued, it is well past time they follow the SCIENCE and re-open the schools.
Science is every so often evolving as new data emerges, and following it stringently might require an about-face, resulting in political pressure on President Biden. Then he has the choice of staying the course on his policy goal line or adapting them based on new data to ‘follow the science.’