I spent a decade living in New Zealand as a member of the NZ Skeptics. We would mock those who believed in alternative medicine, UFOs, anti-vaxxers, you get the idea. To say I’m a big believer in empiricism and scientific medicine would be an understatement. I even used to say that medical doctors made the best university Vice Chancellors because at least they believed in the Western canon and in transmitting the great works of culture to the next generation in a way that didn’t portray all things from the West as worse than all things from everywhere else.
In other words, medical doctors seemed to me, back then, to have a love of the old Arts curriculum that you don’t readily find in today’s university Arts faculties.
I preface this piece in that way because I have to confess to having lost most of my trust in the doctorly caste since the start of the pandemic. I now see cowardice; an unwillingness to stand up to the cancel culture mavens. There are next to no defenders of those who go against the current orthodoxy (and such defending of iconoclasm is even more important coming from those who disagree with the heretics, apostates, and iconoclasts).
Let me trace out my dissatisfaction or disgruntlement with this caste through the lens of Covid vaccines.
My main complaint is that epidemiologists and doctors (I generalise, you understand) have either been pushing lines we now know are wrong, or they knew these lines were wrong for some time but have been unwilling to speak up.
Go back a year and a half and recall that virtually all politicians and many public health types were selling vaccination as the near guarantee against infection. Here is a clip of President Biden saying the vaccines would stop everyone from getting infected. And here are wildly differing quotes from White House Covid response coordinator Deborah Birx in December 2020 versus July 2022.