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Does transparency matter without accountability?
People who are actual professionals are accountable through licensing or malpractice liability. Physicians, architects, dentists, and civil engineers, for example, are accountable for the quality and fitness of the services they deliver. Plumbers, electricians, auto service techs, and roofers are all subject to implied or express warranties and bond requirements.
In stark contrast, the entirety of federal policy and law enforcement is now the product of increasingly unaccountable people. The operant theory, that elected officials controlling funding and appointments will provide accountability and protect the public interest, is no longer the reality. Civil service protection, the cult of experts, the replacement of shared ethical values with partisanship, and the sheer size of the Leviathan has created a new reality.
Our national COVID-19 policy was produced by academics and bureaucrats who were not only immunized against career loss but could count on the expanding consortium of mediocrity to punish and silence the competent. The virologists who prostituted their credentials to deny the rather obvious origin of COVID-19 have not been banned from social media nor drummed out of the profession. The sheer idiocy of masking toddlers, closing schools, and the rest of the unfounded mandate mentality has not resulted in mass firings of the perpetrators. Idiots are about to reimpose mask mandates without first having to account for the irrefutable statistical truth that masking did not work to reduce spread anywhere nor required to explain why it will work this time.**
Shouldn’t the entire world be able to bring a malpractice action against the irresponsible attention addict Neil Ferguson, whose model overestimated likely immediate COVID-19 deaths by multiples and terrified the US and the UK governments in drastic, costly, futile actions? The model was considered suspect by qualified people at the time. Not content to get it wrong from jump, Ferguson later produced a model which said that lifting lockdowns would result in an enormous death rate even though lockdowns and all other NPIs were having near zero effect. He was removed from his undeserved government advisory position not for being spectacularly wrong but because he failed to observe social distance with a married woman.
Ferguson and Fauci are poster boys for the credentialed class that let us down yet somehow has gathered unto itself the power to make accountability and criticism out of bounds. We are not even at the phony Janet Reno mode of accountability. Washington oohed and ahhed when she said she took full responsibility for the Waco catastrophe—but did not resign.
The overt corruption at the highest levels of government, from the brazen abuses of Lois Lerner to the outrage of Russiagate to the global embarrassment of the Hunter Biden fix, has resulted in temporary bad PR but zero personal consequence. Not only should Weiss and Garland be out of a job, but there should be a serious examination as to whether they get to keep their law licenses. Instead, both will likely be welcomed with partnerships in prominent firms or highly paid positions on the faculty at Georgetown.
We need something like a Thomas Andrews standard. He designed the Titanic and was on the maiden voyage. When the iceberg ripped the hole and he realized the bulkheads would fail, he got as many as he could to lifeboats and remained on board while it sank. Those who design a policy Titanic should be prepared to have careers go down with the ship. There should be an expectation of honorable resignation and accountability, the larger the policy impact, the greater the implicit guarantee. If honor cannot be re-instituted, then there must be formal applications of pain. Lots of pain.
**If you want to dispute that, first show that you understand that the reference baseline is the regional seasonality curve, then produce a jurisdiction with stricter controls whose case curve differed from the rest of the region. Or else simply explain how it was possible for Germany and Sweden to have identical rates of infection and identical case curves despite Germans deploying the tightest masking requirements in the world and Swedes doing none of that. I’ll wait.Published in