Columnist needs to cite evidence, not just give his opinion

What should President Trump have done differently in regards to the pandemic?

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The column “Reflections on 14 months of COVID-19”, published June 21, 2021, is an elegant example of the anti-intellectual pandemic sweeping our country and our world. It is characterized by dependence on narrative rather than facts. When the central narrative is challenged it’s practitioners cite additional narrative, rather than data, as proof. It is most frequently utilized by political agents posing as serious voices but without much interest in journalistic integrity.

In the example at hand, the author raises three tired narratives for which he does not provide hard proof. Firstly, that Trump mishandled the pandemic causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. That is a charge of historic gravity; show me the detailed proof – not more narrative please. He cites Woodward’s article but neglects to mention that Trump’s rhetoric was driven by the advice he received from public health leadership that dismissed the threat at the beginning. The historical record shows that the president followed the advice of Fauci/Birx, at al, both explicitly and completely.

Importantly, the mortality rate among most Western democracies (apples to apples) is essentially identical with the notable exception of Germany. What does the author believe Trump should have done differently?

Secondly, he says that reactions to the pandemic fell along partisan divides. There are 330 million Americans each of whom had a unique opinion. Proof again please – not your opinion. My friends and family of all political stripes had wildly different reactions. It sounds like confirmation-biased thinking to me.

Thirdly, that it was unfortunate that some questioned the “science” and “experts”. That’s what science does – it asks far more questions than it answers. The public should have been a part of that debate. The powerful who are still censoring open debate on social media should be wearing tin hats for life – ironically, they are the luddites but don’t realize it!

The author’s assertions suggest a misunderstanding of the complexity of not only SARS-CoV-2, but more importantly of human nature and interaction. Let me give you an example from the game of chess to illustrate. A chess board has 64 spaces on which 32 pieces move. One would think that would produce a finite number of variables. But check this out. After each player has moved one piece there are more than 400 potential board positions. After two moves there are 72,000 possibilities, after three moves more than 9 million and after four moves more than 288 billion possible board positions. No kiddin’ — pure math!

Consider the number of variables that heads of state, public health officials and individual citizens worldwide have faced in the last year. The potential outcomes are infinite. Any of us who would publicly purport to understand how changing a variable here or there might have changed outcomes would be engaging in fantasy.

Brian DiNielli

Enumclaw




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Time for Dunn to go

Better candidates exist on housing, hate crimes than the current King County Councilmember

Letters to the Editor
Remind your children of natural consequences

Failure to hold criminals accountable only reinforces bad behavior

Letters to the Editor
If George Floyd’s family got financial payments, so should his victims

Victims of 2007 home invasion deserve justice too

Letters to the Editor
Worried about opening up without vaccine requirements

Vaccinations, and proof of them, will light the way to a safe reopening

Letters to the Editor
Columnist needs to cite evidence, not just give his opinion

What should President Trump have done differently in regards to the pandemic?

LtE bug
My gun stocks are doing very well

Every time a Democrat becomes president, my portfolio grows.

LtE bug
Evidence of anti-police bias

In my opinion, that BLM does not care about black lives — just a narrative.

LtE bug
Comparing Jan. 6 riot to BLM protests apples to oranges

Antifa/BLM protests are a response to a vastly unequal system of justice; the Jan. 6 riot was fueled by a “big lie”.

LtE bug
If you’re pro-police, you should be against the Jan. 6 riot

The riot laid bare some of the hypocrisy of the right.

Most Read