effective public health is built on trust

lying, treating people like idiots, and bullying them is counter-productive

if you would lead free people, you must inspire them. you must inform them. you must treat with them as collaborators and citizens, not dissemble to them as benighted idiots and dictate to them as serfs. you must engage them in open and honest dialogue about costs and benefits, not derange them with fear to divorce them from their sense and senses.

that’s what leadership is. it’s not about shouting orders, it’s about generating order and among a free people, this comes from the bottom up, not the top down.

it’s a common conceit among the intelligent and educated that others could be made better off is they would just shut their pie holes, surrender their liberty, and do what their betters tell them to. i am smart, i am a subject matter expert, you should let me make your choices for you. society should shape itself as i demand because i know what is best for it.

this is not just arrogant. it’s stupid.

it’s the special kind of stupid that only smart people with educations and certifications can be.

you assume there is some thing called “the collective good” and that you happen to know what it is and that because of your special insight it is a benefit and a duty to impose that vision upon the grubby commoners “for their own good,” a good they are too dimwitted or illiterate to grasp on their own.

this assumption is always and everywhere wrong.

you cannot possibly know this. there is simply too much information you cannot have including the truly vital information like “what others actually want.” measuring relative values or general welfare in a coercive system is impossible. all the signals that demonstrate true preference are lost when one removes the right to say “no.”

but as we have seen all pandemic, this does not stop the determined would-be dictator, benign or otherwise, from presuming to impose upon us by force that which they conceive that we need.

when the limits of these diktats are reached, they get angry, hectoring, and dishonest. the temptation to “overstate the facts so people will do the right thing” becomes enormous. “if these peasants would just do as they are told, i would not have to lie to them” is not much of an ethical system nor a basis for trust.

but boy is it common.

fauci has lied so many times i’m not even going to try to keep up here. he lied about lockdowns, masks, and china. hell, he even lied about lying about masks. for our own good.

then you get caught and now no one trusts you anymore.

the CDC has lied over and over about masks.

then they got caught and trust falls apart.

the FDA smears cheap, effective treatments and then rams though remdesivir, a drug proven to do nothing, by literally moving the endpoint of the trial right before it read out. they cherry-picked and p hacked the data. 7 of the people on the panel that did this were paid by gilead. none recused themselves. even the WHO now recommends against it.

and people wonder why there is no trust…

public health officials and politicians railed against re-opening and called those seeking to do so “neanderthals.” then there was zero disease spike from going back to life and dropping masks.

and now this is and ever shall be the meme: (press play. you’ll be glad you did.)

these people who are supposed to be health officials just look foolish, churlish, petty, and vain. worse, they just look plain wrong. worst, they feel inclined and even righteous about lying to us.

they get busted changing policy to appease teacher’s unions.

and now, they wonder why no one trusts them when they yammer about vaccines in clearly dishonest fashion?

it’s manifestly clear that no one who has already had covid should get the vaccine. there is zero demonstrated benefit to offset risk and cost. yet they speak of mandates, targets, and try to brand those seeking to make cost benefit based decisions as “anti-vax” or “vaccine hesitant.”

these are liar’s framings. they are the language of propaganda, not science.

yet they keep pushing them and rushing vaccines into kids and soon pediatric, two populations that had near zero risk anyway. they even start moving the goalposts on risk standards in preparation. (thanks to gatopal™ eli klein for this)

they, of course, also did the same thing when the WHO dropped “recovered from disease” from their “herd immunity” definition. this is clearly absurd and has no basis in fact, much less science.

i mean, seriously, how is any reasonable member of the public supposed to have any faith here?

and now we land here:

people do not trust health agencies on covid vaccines anymore and vax programs are winding down in terms of uptake.

one might easily argue that this is rational. disease is dropping like a rock and the resistant community looks to exceed HIT if one adds in recovered on top of vaccinated.

yet instead of celebrating this or opening up a dialogue, the knee jerk reaction is “fools! ignore the data! do what i say!” and an endless cavalcade of MOAR FEAR based on “variants” not a single one of which has panned out so far. it’s just more lies and more erosion of credibility and trust in motives.

at a certain point, listening to public health agencies on covid starts to sound like buying a timeshare from darth vader.

pretty much nothing they can say at this point is going to sway people. all this messaging and nagging and vilification is entirely counterproductive.

they broke the trust of the people and the people have now broken with them.

becoming ever more shrill and manipulative will only make matters worse.

rule 1 of getting out of a hole is “stop digging.”

they could fool some people sometimes, but the truth gets out and word gets around and the fruits of long-term dishonest manipulation are bitter indeed.

what could have been a productive dialogue turned into an adversarial rampage and what could have been an effective response turned into a parody of science as arrogance subsumed rationality and decency alike and fueled the most expensive and pointless peacetime public policy in human history.

at this point, they need to stop. just stop. go home. stop speaking. you blew it and not only did you blow it, but you literally destroyed all public trust in health agencies and squandered a century of goodwill.

you cannot yell and lie your way back into the public trust and you have literally reached the point where people are going to do the opposite of what you say.

you do not instill confidence, you engender suspicion. so enough already. stop trying to manipulate us and appease your crony constituents and political masters and focus on fixing your own cultures because they are rancid and one day, we might need you.

a public health agency no one trusts is the worst of all worlds. it’s far worse than having none at all, and frankly, the case for getting rid of all of you and your phony baloney jobs, regulatory capture, and rampant cronyism has never been easier for the general public to see. and you did that. it’s not ignorant peasants, it’s the harvest reaped by he who sows lies.

you thought you could fool us, but instead, you fooled yourselves and now your reign is ending.

for the good of everyone, go quietly and quickly to the exits. let the agencies you have destroyed try to get the salt you plowed into the fields out before it sinks any deeper.

let them restore some modicum of public faith or the damage you’ve done will carry through into the next issue and the one after that.

the best way forward for public health is a wholesale firing of the public health officials.

there is no coming back from what you did.

public health runs on trust and the trust is gone.