For some time now, the truth has resembled more of an elaborate murder mystery than something concrete and tangible. Everyone who peddles misinformation believes everyone else is guilty of it.
The Left had at least some semblance of how to distill correct information, particularly in science. The CDC represented a union of sorts- a collection of unimpeachable scientists working laboriously to test hypotheses and comb over endless data to provide the guidance needed to separate fact from fiction about COVID. There was no separation of the word science from the producers of science in the CDC. We rallied around the chief spokesperson in the voice of Dr. Fauci, plastering him on to shows and podcasts and comedy sketches to communicate the facts on an unprecedented pandemic. We raged in anger about the conspiratorial claims those on “the other side” made about our trusted information system. These rouge politicians and citizens who shared conspiracy theories about Dr. Fauci and the science and the CDC were destroying the very fabric of our country and leading tens of thousands into their unforeseen and untimely deaths.
And then a funny thing happened. We conspiratorialized science in a way eerily similar to those we bludgeoned at cocktail parties and on group chats. The CDC changed its quarantine mandate for asymptomatic persons from 10 days to 5 shortly after receiving a letter from Delta’s CEO urging them to do just that. The memes and posts on the Left went nuclear, all but directly indicting the CDC of having been corrupted by corporate pressure to push capitalism and get the citizens of the United States back to work quicker.
There are consequences unassumed in this theory that the Left has yet to reckon with. When you convict the very organization you point to as the baseline for science, you condemn it holistically. Once you assert that an institution has molested its values, you render that organization obsolete and cast doubt on its decisions historically. There is a difference between criticism and conspiracy. Those on the Left are asking no questions here of the CDC; only conclusions that science has been co-opted for capitalism. Whether you like it or not, science in this country is the CDC and the Left has been entrenched in that position as clearly as any policy or platform rallied behind for the past three years. Suppose the institution that we consider “science” in this country has been a sham swaying in the breeze of corporate interests. In that case, we have no platform to stand on for pushing mask-wearing or booster shots or vaccinations. What we are doing is not asking critical questions of an institution we trust. We are accusing them of the most heinous of crimes in our day- prioritizing personal interest over standing with and for the truth. For this infraction, your authenticity never bounces back. To whom do we now turn to for science?