DAVE ROSS

Should politicians or doctors be making policy on COVID-19?

Oct 26, 2020, 1:51 PM | Updated: Oct 27, 2020, 7:39 am
Dr. Anthony Fauci, doctors politicians...
Dr. Anthony Fauci. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Who to listen to and what constitutes an expert has been an ongoing element of coronavirus and coverage of it, with politicians and scientists sometimes saying different things. When it comes to the experts, who do we believe? Mercer Island MD Dr. Gordon Cohen joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss.

“Actually I was thinking about it, and the first question is, why should anyone listen to me?,” he joked. “I think it all has to do with your approach and outlook. So for me, I see this very much is a public health issue, and I try very hard not to let any of the political biases that have unfortunately become part of COVID-19 influence what it is I’m saying.”

“When I look at information, I try to not come up with policy opinions,” he added. “I try to look at what’s being said by the other experts and sort through the data and come up with whatever logical conclusions based on the information that’s being presented to us.”

The difficulty in developing immunity to COVID-19

With regards to Dr. Scott Atlas, added to President Trump’s coronavirus task force, Dr. Cohen says it’s important to see past the politics of it.

“He’s a senior fellow with Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, but previously when he did practice medicine, he was not just a professor, but he was the chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University for about 14 years,” he said.

“A lot of the things that Dr. Atlas has been saying, people are criticizing and saying that he’s spreading bad information. Dr. Atlas was criticized by 78 of his former colleagues at Stanford for spreading falsehoods and misrepresentations of science,” Cohen added. “But I think we need to keep in mind — I actually looked this up — there’s actually 1,096 faculty members in both medicine and science at Stanford, so really, it’s a very small number of people, and I think it represents politics more than anything else.”

Should Facebook and Twitter be deciding what’s truthful?

With Dr. Fauci, his expertise is well documented, but his recommendations don’t always consider the greater societal implications.

“As far as Dr. Fauci goes, he’s a brilliant guy. He’s been a leader. He’s the country’s lead infectious disease specialist, and I think a lot of the things he says are correct … Unfortunately, being an evidence-based scientist doesn’t mean that you have necessarily taken into account all the implications from a financial, or economic, or even societal point of view in terms of other secondary and unintended consequences,” Cohen said.

As Dave noted, some Republicans have said that in fact that politicians do have to be the ones to make these decisions, because the medical experts know the science, but it’s the politicians who have to balance the impacts of, for instance, keeping schools closed down or keeping a business closed for this long.

“I actually do agree with that … I just don’t think we can close down society in its entirety and expect people to be healthy and happy,” Cohen said. “I think the implications are going to last for decades into the future. I think there needs to be some sort of a structured plan.”

“I think we have to have some degree of normalcy in order for us to exist, because look what’s happening,” he continued. “The depression rate in the country has tripled. The suicide rate has gone up. I mean, people are negatively reacting to the shutdown, so we have to find that balance between medicine and existing in society. And I don’t think this should be a political issue. I think it’s something that everybody should be talking about and working on together.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

(Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Will an influx of new IRS agents audit the middle class, or the billionaires?

Biden hires 87,000 additional IRS employees. Whom will they audit?
10 hours ago
stick shifts...
Dave Ross

Ross: Stick shifts are disappearing, so enjoy car thieves not knowing how to drive them while you can

I love the ways cars have improved in my lifetime, the safety features, the remarkable mileage, the built-in navigation, but as I become more curmudgeonly, I also have to say that it’s become almost too simple to drive.
1 day ago
trump generals...
Dave Ross

Ross: The Mar-a-Lago raid just inflamed 2024’s expected MAGA campaign

If you want a spellbinding read that will keep your mind off the heat, it’s the New Yorker article about Trump and his generals.
2 days ago
(Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Peace and quiet as Seafair show noise ends

Seafair is over, the noise has stopped, and the noise discussion can be mothballed until next year.
3 days ago
housing inventory...
MyNorthwest Staff

Housing inventory on the rise in the Pacific Northwest, most available units since 2019

Alongside increased inflation, mortgage rates have spiked nationally, with July's 5.41% mark the highest since June 2009 (5.42%).
6 days ago
alex jones sad jan 6 stop the steal rally...
Dave Ross

Ross: Alex Jones concedes he is 100% a career liar in Sandy Hook defamation case

Do you celebrate because now, even Alex Jones who made a career out of claiming that everything from the Oklahoma City Bombing to Sandy Hook was staged by the government – that even he at last believes?
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Should politicians or doctors be making policy on COVID-19?