In her Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan opines about how the “protected” don’t have to worry about the consequences of economic shutdowns.
“…Since the pandemic began, the overclass has been in charge—scientists, doctors, political figures, consultants—calling the shots for the average people. But personally they have less skin in the game. The National Institutes of Health scientist won’t lose his livelihood over what’s happened. Neither will the midday anchor. I’ve called this divide the protected versus the unprotected. …“
You might be Scientismist if…
…you source-cite frantically to substantiate your views, even if you haven’t analyzed the data or the methods used or considered the limitations of the findings?
…you automatically believe certain sources and dismiss others without reading the original citations.
…you get your science from Facebook ads
…you believe the use of the phrase “scientific study” imparts devine validation to the conclusions.
…assume peer review is a real thing.
…don’t know the difference between a RCT, case-controlled study, cross-sectional study, cohort study, retrospective or prospective study…and don’t want to because it might call into question validity of your narrative!
…assume strong correlation is same as causation…AND don’t care if you’re wrong as long as it helps make your point!
And the #1 clue that you may be a Scientismist… When your favorite saying is, “the NIH says it, I believe and that settles it!”
Publishing a “study” does not bestow validation and data is mishandled as often as not; which is why much of the medical literature is wrong.
Hyperrational arrogance leads to scientism, which is not the same as good science.
Don’t be a scientismist!
If there is a violation, the FDA classifies it in one of two ways: Voluntary action indicated (VAI) means the inspectors have found violations, but the problems aren’t serious enough to require sanction. Official action indicated (OAI) means that the inspectors have found violations significant enough to warrant official action.
Siefe and his assistants used the Freedom of Information Act to request information from the FDA, and supplemented that data with Google searches of the FDA database. They found 57 clinical trials that were directly linked to an OAI inspection.
The misconduct identified by the FDA in these cases included:
- Falsification or submission of false information
- Underreporting of adverse events
- Failure to follow the investigational plan or other violations of protocol
- Inadequate record keeping
- Failure to protect the rights, safety, and welfare of patients
- Use of experimental compounds in patients not enrolled in trials
- Failure to supervise clinical investigations properlyThe 57 trials Seife identified were in turn linked to 78 research articles published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. 96 percent of these articles failed to mention the violations identified by the FDA inspection—despite the fact that in the majority of cases the inspection was completed at least 6 months before the article was published.
The different SFAs vary in their effects on lipid levels; of note, stearic acid is generally excluded from the listings of cholesterol-raising saturated fats.[10,11] However, this thinking is the result of flawed logic, according to Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. “The US view on saturated fats is totally based on the effects on LDL-C, and that’s why we have dietary guidelines to lower our saturated fat intake and why stearic acid is given a free pass,” he noted in an interview with Medscape. SFAs are biologically complicated. “They don’t just affect LDL-C, they affect particle size, they affect HDL-C and triglycerides. It’s not clear which [ones] are better or worse if you look at all of those effects.”
In a meta-analysis of over 60 trials, higher intakes of saturated fat were associated with increases in both LDL-C and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and decreases in triglyceride levels, for a net neutral effect on the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. Although saturated fats increase LDL-C, they reduce the LDL particle number. Total LDL particle number quantifies the concentration of LDL particles in various lipid subfractions and is considered a stronger indicator of CV risk than traditional lipoprotein measures. As for stearic acid, the allegedly non-cholesterol-raising fat, while it appears to lower LDL-C relative to other SFAs, one analysis concluded that it raised LDL-C, lowered HDL-C, and increased the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol in comparison with unsaturated fatty acids. And this is one of the confounders of much nutrition research—observations about a given nutrient are highly dependent on what you compare it to.
It is true that spending for the CDC has dipped ever so slightly since 2011, but the cuts followed years of massive increases. Overall, since 2000, CDC outlays have almost doubled, from $3.5 billion to $6.8 billion in 2014 constant dollars. Moreover, in January, the Republican-controlled House actually passed legislation that increased CDC spending for 2014 by $567 million — $300 million more than was requested by President Obama.
It’s not that the CDC hasn’t had money, it’s that the money has been spent on things that have little or nothing to do with the agency’s mission of protecting Americans from health threats.
As the agency’s mission statement says in part, “Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.” Seems straightforward enough. There is, after all, a reason for the disease in the CDC’s name.
Yet, while the agency still might not have been prepared for an Ebola outbreak, President Obama did restart its push for gun control. Over the last decade, in fact, the CDC has spent much of its time — and money — studying seat-belt use, infant car seats, and obesity. These may or may not be worthy topics, but this focus makes it somewhat harder for Democrats to turn around and blame budget cutting for a lack of attention to the things that the CDC is actually supposed to do — like protect us from contagious diseases.
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