Everyone is not a COVID expert

When it comes to an illness like COVID-19, which has killed over 5 million people worldwide, why are you choosing not to listen to the experts?

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Kendra Beard gets a nasopharyngeal swab sample to test for COVID-19 at Roseland Community Hospital on the Far South Side, Wednesday morning, Jan. 5, 2022.

Kendra Beard gets a nasopharyngeal swab sample to test for COVID-19 at Roseland Community Hospital on the Far South Side, Wednesday morning, Jan. 5, 2022.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Too many people buy into mass misinformation and believe COVID-19 is a hoax, or no worse than a cold or flu, or that vaccines have dangerous side effects or cause COVID-19, or that healthy people can’t get it, or those under 60 can’t get very ill or die from it.

So rather than listen to infectious disease experts, people are listening to conservative politicians, talk show hosts and news outlets, or what they read in a 100-character tweet or Facebook post by someone with zero background in science, medicine or health.

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I listen to experts because they are experts, and being an expert means having a broad and deep understanding and competence, like medical doctors, academic scholars and researchers, and scientists.

If there was a putting contest with a million-dollar prize, would you listen to Tiger Woods or your cousin Phil who’s never played golf but read an article on putting? If you’re having a problem with your car, are you going to listen to a mechanic or an online dating adviser who’s never driven a car? If you were on trial, would you get advice from a defense attorney or your buddy who watches lots of lawyer shows on TV?

So, when it comes to an illness like COVID, which has killed over 5 million human beings worldwide, why are you choosing not to listen to the experts, the millions of doctors around the globe and tens of thousands of scientists who are sharing their expertise, like Dr. Anthony Fauci?

Unlike the usual conspiracy theorist, Fauci has a few credentials, like graduating No. 1 in his medical program at Cornell; more than 50 years of medical expertise including in infectious diseases; medical adviser to the last seven presidents; frequently cited in scientific journals; and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

Bruce Handler, Highland Park

The quack act

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, seeking to make points with anti-vaxxersback in Kentucky, has appointed himself Dr. Anthony Fauci’s personal nemesis.At Senate hearings, he repeatedly asks accusatoryquestions of the government’s top infectious disease expert and faults him for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci has served under every president, Republican and Democrat, since Ronald Reagan.He represents hundreds of scientific and medical experts who have pulledout all the stops to make available vaccines that can end this cursed virusand could have saved the lives of thousands of Americans who refused them.

Sen. Paul may have a medical degree, but his antagonism of Fauci and encouragement of anti-vaxxersqualify him for the title of quack.

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

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