Dr. Vinay Prasad on COVID

“What I find most concerning is that we [in the medical field] were a bit dishonest in saying we had more confidence than we really did,” says Vinay Prasad, a practicing hematologist-oncologist and associate professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. Communication around certainty is the most problematic aspect of pandemic response. It is actually a lot less uncertain than it seems.

Prasad is a persistent and outspoken individual criticHe views the American public healthcare establishment’s incompetent and censorious response to the COVID-19 pandemic as overly intrusive. This is why he hosts the podcast Plenary SessionThis covers both medicine and policy in health. He was interviewed by Reason The pandemic caused a major loss in trust in science, public health, medicine, and the medical profession. They insist that Americans “trust science blindly.”

Prasad says it is more complex than the science. It’s science and values, as well as the preferences of the people. My concern is with scientists who have in their heads a particular policy conclusion they desire. They overstate science’s certainty to get the policy result they want. That is the scientist invading the political position, taking away the value and preference of the society. As citizens, they can replace the existing values and preferences with their own. [that doesn’t mean]Their privacy and values should be the guiding principles.”

Prasad who talked with Reason Concerning the inability to lockdown, enforce overzealous vaccine and mask mandates as well as unscientific school closings and restraints on children. This is because “groupthink” overtook medical institutions early in the pandemic. It’s something doctors, scientists, and public health officials must overcome if they are ever to win back the trust of the public.

“TPrasad states that those who claimed cancel culture was problematic for all areas of human life were really onto something. Prasad says, “I am 100 percent certain that many scientists who could comment on COVID-19 are self-censored.” These people are only a small fraction of the scientists who actually do science. The average scientist’s thoughts on masking 2-year-olds and vaccinations for 5-year-old mandates are not known. Their silence is a result of their inability to express themselves professionally. They have only professional disadvantages.”

Prasad states that doctors must be braver and more honest if they wish to build trust in the community and prevent future harm to the young generation.

Prasad says that there are many people who study the early years of life, as well as social economics and disparities. “If you are silent on school closure…masking kids and these issues, this is the greatest issue in your career, in your lifetime. It’s going to be a thousand times, 10,000 times more impactful…If you’re in this business because you want to make a difference, this is the issue. This is where you can make a real difference. This issue is not going to be solved in five years.

Interview with Zach Weissmueller, edited by Adam Czarnecki.