The following opinion piece is from James Richardson, one which represents his personal views and not that of the Travelers Rest Tribune. To submit a letter to the editor, please click here.
The opinion piece is in response to the following article, which includes video links to the recorded meeting:
After spending a lot of time watching the recent Sen. Tom Corbin-led SC Medical Affairs committee meeting, I was reminded of a quote from Louis Pasteur, the founder of microbiology and immunology:
“A little science distances you from God, but a lot of science brings you nearer to him.”
I can only hope that the all-Republican medical committee can somehow find it in their collective hearts to open their minds in an attempt to lessen the distance between themselves and God, but I don’t believe that will be the case. It appears they are actively seeking only that which they hope to find, or, more specifically, that which they already believe to be true.
This is a legislative group that allowed a New York-based attorney who in 2021 received over $3 million from an oft-discredited anti-vax group — one that has been repeatedly called out for spreading medical disinformation — to be presented by Corbin as an “expert,” de-legitimizing the word. (Examples: here, here, here, here and here.)
Last May, Siri, who has a vested financial interest in the outcome of hearings such as the one he was now in front of, joined a group of Q-Anon and conspiracy theorists to make a similar COVID anti-vaccine pitch in front of a special committee created by the Republican-led Arizona state legislature. Maybe that’s where Corbin first heard of him?
This is a group of elected officials willing to grant “expert” status to a person who tells me that COVID is not medical but rather it is biblical (and I need to repent to his “god” to be cured).
This is a committee that wants to prove so badly that masks don’t work they are willing to listen to anything and accept it as fact, even if the very words of the study they are quoting contradict what they believe.
This is a group comprised of people whose own expert says he would have given the vaccine to family members, yet they are still seemingly incapable of accepting anything other than their preconceived notions that vaccines, evidently, just don’t work.
In short, this committee represents a group of congresspersons hell bent on a mission to find nefariousness, and it is more than clear they will be damned if they let anything stand in the way of that mission. The mere mention of the “n” word made S.C. Sen. Billy Garrett nearly leap out of his seat, hoping to learn about it more from a woman who has been previously called into question and not taken seriously by any previous group she’s spoken to, evidenced by the fact she said this group could be the first if they did.
The entire charade is laughable, illustrative of what is most wrong with politics today. It’s nothing more than postured back massaging by a group of elected officials who feel the need to placate their fear of anything they don’t understand and find someone –anyone– to validate their beliefs. It is a group that, as Pasteur suggested, knows just little enough about science to keep themselves distanced from God, however much that distancing may keep them from truth.
And just how many times does one have to hear that you can take all the Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine you want and NOBODY is standing in your way despite you thinking there is? Is it so hard to understand that, even though that with all of your heart you want something to be true, it does not change the fact if it is or isn’t? Maybe the legislators can commission a study on whether all the Ivermectin they’ve taken effects the power of comprehension and/or subjective reasoning?
And, for clarification, a “whistleblower” is not someone who voluntarily chooses not to report important findings to easily accessible public officials in a pandemic. Never. Ever. For those keeping score, that’s the opposite of a “whistleblower,” whatever that word may be. More importantly, such a thing would, in a normal world, PRECLUDE that person from being the South Carolina surgeon general, not somehow make him qualified to hold the position, a stance Corbin endorsed.
There does not exist a conspiracy around every corner, and every responsible, God-fearing citizen should be wary of elected officials whose only goal seems to be to find them, irrespective of whether they actually exist or not and irrespective of how badly they want to find one.
And addressing Rep. Long, who “doesn’t trust any science or literature that comes out of [our federal government/Washington]”: Does that include the second amendment to the Constitution? (Asking for a friend.)
It’s shameful when our elected officials all but brag that they come to the table not willing to engage in objective analysis or critical thinking, solely willing to play armchair quarterback in a failed attempt to gain credibility for their seeming credulousness.
And Dr. Buckhaults specifically said he believes the mRNA vaccine platform will eventually be able to cure specific forms of cancer. I wonder if Rep. Long would be willing to allow his constituents to use such a vaccine to get cured, even if it was developed by the federal government. Words matter. Thoughts matter. OBJECTIVE observation matters. Again, it is disheartening to know that we have elected officials seemingly boasting of their incapacity for critical thinking. People who place restrictions on the knowledge they are willing to acquire are the same people I would imagine are scared of science and books as a generally accepted practice.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the eagerness of committee members to mention findings of studies as if they are all equal (Editor's note: They most certainly are not.) and/or omitting key parts of the reports, like the Cochrane report on mask-wearing, which itself says is inconclusive, for God's sake. For those to whom this is unclear, “inconclusive” means you don’t report the findings as generally accepted fact (even if it fits your narrative).
But it wasn’t until the end of the 8+ hour anti-medical establishment-, anti-vax-, anti-government, anti-DHEC, anti-FDA, pro-conspiracy theory- dominated “hearing” (and Ivermectin cheer competition extraordinaire) that I heard one of the most worrisome things I've heard in a while:
"This is just the beginning. We are just getting started. Trust me. This is just the beginning,” Sen. Corbin said, telling folks not to worry, presumably because his committee of non-fact-finders (many of whom seem to suffer from the inability of being able to think critically and objectively, stricken with paranoia and delusion that masks science) was on the case of their self-imposed destiny of protecting us from future pandemics.
Sorry, Tom, but I’m worried…Very. Worried.