Yesterday [13 May 2021], the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] effectively acknowledged it had fallen behind the scientific evidence: Even though that evidence has not changed in months, the C.D.C. overhauled its guidelines. It said fully vaccinated people could stop wearing masks in most settings, including crowded indoor gatherings.
The change sends a message: Vaccination means the end of the Covid crisis, for individuals and ultimately for society. If you’re vaccinated, Covid joins a long list of small risks that we have long accepted without upending our lives, like riding in a car, taking a swim or exposing ourselves to the common cold.
The announcement also sends a message to the unvaccinated (who, the C.D.C. emphasized, should continue wearing masks in most settings): Life is starting to return to normal, and a vaccine shot is your best protection against a deadly virus.
A health care CEO responded: “I’m ecstatic about this news! It’s evidence-based and it’s bold. I hope that the updated guidelines incentivize more people to get vaccinated.” – Morning Newsletter, The New York Times [edited]
Visitors to the AAAS website discover that the site has been taken down, replaced by a splash screen announcing the closure, and that its home office in DC has been sold to lobbyists for the Keystone Pipeline and other fossil-fuel energy providers. A similar announcement has been posted to LinkedIn. All other social media accounts are dark, with no posted explanation.
A former AAAS staff member spoke with API on condition of anonymity. “The CDC announcement was the last straw”, she said, visibly angry.
“Any authentic scientist knows that ‘months’ of data amount to nothing. Especially given the piddling amounts of money given to the scientists to collect those data. And heaven help the scientists should those ‘months’ of data be in error. Do you have any idea how much it burns to discover that the very same environmentalists and environmental organizations that slammed nuclear power in favor of the continuation of fossil fuel energy consumption, and have slammed scientists for decades for daring to suggest that the nuclear energy risks were overstated, now are clamoring for nuclear energy as the safest option available in the context of the climate change that their activism has helped to bring about?!?
“For the CDC to suggest ‘an end to the Covid crisis’ when the data tell us that the daily increase in cases, and deaths, is at its highest level ever, is telling science to sit on it and spin. Oh right, most of those new cases are in India. That’s way over there, and dark people. We don’t care, now do we?
“Speaking of deaths. Three million of them, boo hoo. Does anybody bother to mention that those deaths have offset a whole two weeks of human population growth since the beginning of 2020? So that instead of having 125 million more people on the planet now than we did in January 2020, we now have ‘only’ 122 million? Covid-19 has always been a ‘small risk’ on the scale of global pandemics through history, and this has been clear to scientists from the get-go. But try saying anything about this, try putting this in the context of population biology. And see what thanks you get. So we shut down the world’s economy. Apparently, for nothing.
“And now we’ve set up badges to identify people who can safely be persecuted. And for why? To keep pharmaceutical companies committed to actually making medicines instead of fun pills? So their executives can continue to enjoy their personal Dreamliners? Have we learned nothing …?
“Never mind. We’ve finally recognized that greed, fear, and the Harvard Law dictate human behavior, and in such a world, science has no place, except as a slave and a target. We are shutting down, and we recommend that our membership, and others who have claimed the ‘scientist’ mantle, likewise shut down, and occupy themselves in activities that society values. Like dressing up as superheroes and going to the movies. And may Apollo protect you.”
The response to the AAAS closure has, to date, been silence. Among the few comments was one from a Venezuelan known only as “Chavez”. “The very name of the AAAS”, Chavez tweeted, “has helped perpetuate the idea that the only peoples in the Americas who matter are those in the United States. Good riddance to the idea, and the organization.”
Law enforcement in DC has neither interfered with, or assisted, the departure of AAAS staff from their former headquarters, nor have they engaged with the building’s new owners and occupants. They are, however, closely watching the tipis and their occupants that have begun to appear on adjacent sidewalks.
* API: Amoeba Press International. All the News That’s Fit to