Science Can’t Govern Us | National Review



Of course I should just accept that the following message is a form of virtue-signaling and doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of life, but I find this kind of thing peculiarly annoying.

Today, Colorado and Nevada joined CA, OR, and WA in our Western States Pact.

The West Coast is — and will continue to be — guided by SCIENCE. We issued our stay at home orders early to keep the public healthy. We’ll open our economies with that same guiding principle.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 27, 2020

First, there is the moronic all caps invocation of “SCIENCE” as if science were some kind of oracular authority, rather than the human process for discovering truths about nature through observation.

Second, invoking outside expertise in this way is a form of abdication of responsibility. The governors ought to be informed by science in making their decisions, but the findings and speculations of epidemiologists (and economists) cannot substitute for political judgement, which is the art that Governor Newsom was elected to practice in California. Science cannot tell us how to prioritize the rights and needs of citizens in Western states.

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Finally, the consequence, of course, is that if and when anger over how the Western state governors decide to handle the COVID-19 pandemic is brought to the governors, those governors will have the handy scapegoat to blame. “We just followed the SCIENCE,” they will say, so blame the scientists.


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