Do you know anyone who would take medicine away from a sick child?
Take a close look at the powerful opinion piece in today’s Times by Baylor College of Medicine physician Peter Hotez. He warns that because of the new U.S. administration’s view of science, 2017 is “looking as if” we will “see a reversal of several decades in steady public health gains,” and “[t]he first blow will be measles outbreaks in America … one of the most contagious and most lethal of all human diseases.” (My emphasis.)
Hotez’s point is that sickness and health is about more than just bugs and disease, it’s also about how we choose to fight disease. We can come at disease with all we’ve got, i.e. rely on the best available science or, as Hotez argues we’re beginning to do, rely on “pseudoscience” and “myth.” And that if we opt for this junk science approach then understand that the consequence will be lethal and personal: more of us – children and the elderly, especially, because of their weaker immune systems – will get sick, suffer, and die, inevitably.
And if that is the case then let’s be completely honest: the analogy drawn in the first sentence above isn’t quite right. It should read, instead:
Do you know anyone who would take medicine away from sick children across the country?