The pandemic has long been a mess in terms of messaging, with shifting standards, narratives, and definitions. Things that were accepted science months ago are blasted out of the water, and you could find yourself in trouble today for saying things that were commonplace earlier.
The best example of these double-or-non-existent standards involves the story of Senator Rand Paul being suspended from YouTube for allegedly delivering misinformation regarding the Covid virus and masks. For this to happen you have to ignore the fact that Paul is himself a doctor, and he has been flagged for saying things other doctors have been saying — while not getting targeted for silencing.
This week CNN had on epidemiologist Micheal Osterholm, to appear on CNN Newsroom with Erica Hill. His comments and those prior are crucial to illustrating this whole fiasco. This visit was done for Osterholm to correct himself and avoid the banishment of cancel culture.
While the focus should be on getting all eligible students and teachers vaccinated as school starts up again, infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm says, N95 and KN95 masks are the best masks to help protect against Covid-19. https://t.co/KTSWi6Hlpr pic.twitter.com/VHqurQ5zdc
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 11, 2021
Now here is where the distinctions come into play. There are 3 quotes of note in this scenario.
- RAND PAUL – “Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection.”
- OSTERHOLM 8/2 – “We know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out, either you’re breathing out or you’re breathing in.”
- OSTERHOLM 8/11 – “We know that facecloth coverings can reduce the amount of virus you may inhale.”
The first two quotes are all but identical, yet after Rand Paul’s banishment suddenly in just over a week, we see the epidemiologist altering his position, based not on science but on getting in trouble. He does not tell Erica Hill there was anything behind his subtle shift in position on the matter.
This is the type of cross-recommendations that is throwing so much of the pandemic narrative askew.