Editor, News Watchman,
After the Coronavirus pandemic crisis is over, a Blue Ribbon committee of experienced investigators will do A COMPREHENSIVE postmortem examination of what happened with regard to the outbreak, its spread, and its ultimate containment.
I believe that the majority of cable talking heads and major US newspaper OP-ED writers are SCIENCE ILLITERATES. Many of these people have NO IDEA why people like me cringe when their often baseless statements are made during the REAL TIME of an unprecedented Public Health emergency.
In the past, I've been involved in much less complex investigations, and I was repeatedly frustrated by having to field questions from otherwise well-meaning people – who should have taken the hint that they weren't helping the process. One of the very worst things that an investigator has to deal with are those who have air time or column inches to fill – yet who have utterly no idea how to fill this space.
The Blue Ribbon committee investigating our national response to the pandemic will have brilliant men and women from all walks of life on it. The net result is that there will be PROFOUND LESSONS LEARNED about our pandemic response resulting from this investigation – and others like it.
My analogy is to our improved response to Category 5 hurricanes in the aftermath of Katrina. After this catastrophic storm, we now do a much better job before, during, and after Mother Nature's wrath has subsided. Whenever our next horrific pandemic occurs, we'll have a clear set of response plans – rather than the present ad hoc responses on (for example) when we'll be getting back to work.
It is sad that these cable talking heads and major US newspaper OP-ED writers can be politically biased and ignorant on a fundamental point – the monster storms generally do damage in a region, whereas a pandemic does damage everywhere. ALL COUNTRIES AND REGIONS are impacted. This is also why for the first time in American History, all 50 states have been declared Federal Disaster Areas.
These are historical human, not political, events. It is sad that such facts must be explained to them.
David M. Manuta, Ph.D., FAIC
President, Manuta Chemical Consulting, Inc.