Health Professionals Show What Matters. Hint: It's Not Health
Are the signers unaware of their double standard? Their statement above shows that they are quite aware. The standard is not health, which is supposed to be their area of expertise. No. They distinguish between the April 30 anti-lockdown protest of people in Michigan and the late May protests of people about the treatment of black people based on three things: (1) the race of the anti-lockdown protesters, (2) the fact that some of the anti-lockdown protesters in Michigan were carrying guns, and (3) the issue being protested. My own view, by the way, is that both kinds of protests are justified and important.
For about 6 weeks before the Michigan protest, we were told that we should stay home because it was so crucial for defeating the coronavirus. That actually made some sense. So when the Michigan protesters came along, most of the public health community opposed their being near each other and unmasked because that could spread the virus. That made some sense too, which is why, for the May 1 anti-lockdown protest in Monterey that Lawrence Samuels and I organized, we encouraged people to wear masks and/or socially distance. (Sadly, only about half of the protesters did wear masks, although the social distancing was relatively successful.) To their credit, in the rest of the open letter, the health professionals advocate that protesters do so safely, either wearing masks or keeping their distance. But then why didn’t they say the same about the anti-lockdown protests? Why didn’t they just encourage them to protest safely? The answer is obvious. The health professionals sympathized with one cause and not with the other. Which means it’s not about the health; it’s about the cause.
This is from David R. Henderson, “Health Professionals Show What Matters. Hint: It’s Not Health,” antiwar.com, June 11, 2020.
Read the whole thing, which is not long.