Justin Feldman – Medium


  • A year in, how has Biden done on pandemic response? | by Justin Feldman | Jan, 2022 | Medium

    Constat d’échec. La fin concerne les militants de gauche critiques :

    The final point I’d like to make for those of us who are critical of Biden’s response is that we need to understand and learn from our own failures. There has been a failure of various social institutions — the media, the political left, scientists, and unions, to pressure the Biden administration into a course of action that would better prevent mass death. In some other countries, scientists banded together to form organizations like the UK’s Independent SAGE that counters government policy with its own, more precautionary policy recommendations. This has not happened in any substantial way in the US, where scientists have made statements only as individuals or in informal, ad-hoc groups. To the extent they have weighed in, American unions have been narrow in their demands for the pandemic response and have not called major strikes over it. Progressive members of the Democratic Party have not put pressure on Biden over pandemic measures except in narrow ways, such as Bernie Sanders calling for an extension to unemployment programs or Cori Bush demanding the Biden administration fight for an extension of the eviction moratorium. Leftist groups like the Democratic Socialists of America have not developed a pandemic response platform, and to the extent they have politicized the pandemic, it has been to talk about long-standing policy goals like Medicare For All.

    Instead, the loudest voices in civil society have largely supported Biden’s approach to the pandemic or pushed him to reject non-pharmaceutical interventions more fervently. This select group of media pundits, public health scientists, and economists has been in direct dialogue with White House officials. The administration has cited their opinion pieces in speeches, coordinated messaging on regular phone calls, and promoted these views on social media (one need only look at the Twitter timelines of Ron Klain, or communication staffers like Ian Sams or Ben Wakana).

    Those of us who see ourselves as concerned scientists or leftists, or otherwise imagine ourselves to be part of an engaged civil society, should learn from this failure to respond to a crisis, particularly since we do not know how long this one will last. And we can only expect more crises on a 4-degree-warmer planet.