The Left’s anti-science past opposition to epidemic testing
today at 10:30 am
“Testing, testing, testing.” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today, emphasizing the importance of testing for the coronavirus.
So glad that Pelosi and her Democrat and left-wing allies are finally getting around to supporting testing to control a rampaging epidemic.
Democrats and liberals staunchly opposed testing and, as importantly, contact tracing when HIV was rampaging across America and the world.
Their argument was that “forcing” people to be tested and to trace people that HIV-infected people were in contract with was a “privacy” violation.
Even though testing and contract tracing were–and still are–were an essential public health tool to control epidemics. Anyone who urged testing and contract tracing was described as a homophobe. As I was when I wondered in my Chicago Sun-Times columns why we should toss out well-studied and well-document methods to control epidemic, especially when AIDS was then described as certainly fatal.
In other words, to hell with anyone who was “at high risk,” such as partners, spouses, infants, patients who were receiving blood transfusions and drug users.
Originally, the Left even opposed encouraging voluntary testing, because they said it would, ironically, discourage testing. Contract tracing was out of the question. Sadly, the public health profession caved in to the ideological nonsense. It also weakened testing and contract tracing provisions for sexually transmitted diseases.
As HIV and AIDS continued to spread at an alarming rate, the Left eventually softened its opposition to testing, agreeing that encouraging voluntary testing was okay.
How satisfying that today Democrats and the Left are emphasizing the importance of testing and contact tracing. How ironic that they are hammering President Trump for being “anti-science” by supposedly not doing enough testing.
A history of how the AIDS epidemic affected public health policy is found here.
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