Alex Berezow is not optimistic:
My colleague, Dr. Chuck Dinerstein, wrote about a new study that showed that politicians on Twitter could be identified as Republican or Democrat with 70% reliability by an algorithm that analyzed the text of tweets. For instance, Republicans tended to use the words “China” and “coronavirus,” while Democrats tended to use words like “public,” “health,” and “crisis.” It’s almost as if each side was given a script to use. (They probably were.)
This phenomenon isn’t new. It’s just worse and a lot more obvious now than before. The allegedly non-partisan “March for Science” was nakedly political, as is a group called 314 Action, whose goal is to elect scientists into public office, but only if they’re Democrats.Alex Berezow, “Political Partisanship Is A Scourge On Public Health” at American Council on Science and Health
The situation poses a threat to science itself. For example, politicians act as though COVID-19 restrictions only matter for some people, not others.
COVID-19, trust us, does not care if you are a virtuous Black Lives Matter protestor or a deplorable Trump rally attendee. It is looking for live human cells to destroy, that’s all. If you’re there and you’re alive, well… you’re at risk. How much of a problem that is seems to depend on your age and health but not your virtue.
It’s almost as if we have gone back in time to a prescientific age when everyday life was thought to be directly controlled by good and evil forces. So masks and social distancing only matter when the forces of Virtue and Science say they do. Otherwise they don’t matter. And no conclusions are to be drawn from the outcomes in any situation except that we ought to be ever more respectful of the forces of Virtue and Science.
Sure, that’ll work. About as well as it did in pre-modern times.
See also: COVID-19 and fading respect for Big Science. It’s not the uncertainty that is the problem. It’s the demand for belief and obedience to a variety of conflicting claims in the face of such uncertainty. Sooner or later people begin to doubt whatever they hear, even in matters about which there is considerable certainty. And Big Science is bringing that on itself. It isn’t the “enemies of science” who are doing it.