McKinley query is illuminating

Political realities, not science, too frequently guide government’s response to challenges such as the COVID-19 epidemic. U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., is playing a key role in reminding us of that.

McKinley’s effort was spotlighted in a commentary on the epidemic, published July 1 by the Wall Street Journal. The piece, written by UCLA Associate Professor Joseph A. Ladapo, cited a June 23 House hearing. One of the witnesses was Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci has earned the title of national COVID-19 “czar” for his role in battling the epidemic.

In February, Fauci was among officials who told the public there was no evidence use of face masks helped reduce the spread of COVID-19. Now, he is an outspoken proponent of mask use.

McKinley asked the obvious question: Why the change? In reply, Fauci “claimed the initial guidance was motivated by concerns about medical supply shortages — not doubts about mask effectiveness,” the WSJ commentary reported.

In other words, Fauci was speaking in February as a politician, not a scientist. One wonders why Americans should accept other pronouncements from him as being based on science, not politics.

Obviously, the same can be said of many in government, regardless of what titles they may hold. Being referred to as a scientist is no guarantee a person is speaking as such.

Good for McKinley, for asking a critical question that received widespread exposure. It is not the first time he has taken a leadership role on matters of importance not just to his West Virginia constituents, but to the nation as a whole.

In terms of having good representation in Washington, McKinley has been all anyone could ask for — certainly an effective advocate for our state.

Clearly, with politics so often masquerading as science, we need all the McKinley-style leadership we can get.


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