Friday, September 25, 2020

Subrealists Were Awfully Quiet About That CDC Aerosol Retraction - SMDH...,

nakedcapitalism |  Basically, WHO and the CDC people have been droplet proponents for a long time, and, since science proceeds by conflict — which is why “Trust the science!” doesn’t work when applied uncritically — they need to be persuaded, or, if worst comes to worst, defenestrated in the usual way: One funeral at a time, as Max Planck said. To be fair to the medical profession, they have proceeded with far greater dispatch than physicists!

So, one explanation for the new CDC guidance being pulled is that, institutionally, the old guard won.
Politically, you know the already congealing narrative. Here is the classiest, least hysterical example of it.

As we have explained at length, “the science” is not always a matter of “facts” but of the paradigms we use to give an account of facts. WHO, for example, does not regard aerosols as the primary transmission path for Covid as a fact at all. Zeke’s embarrassing Neera on this, and he should do better.

Second, I have checked CBS, The Hill, NPR, Politico, WaPo, a second article in WaPo, and the Wall Street Journal. None of them suggest the guidance was “squelched” for “political considerations.” The New York Times says explicitly that it wasn’t:
Experts with knowledge of the incident said on Monday that the latest reversal appeared to be a genuine mistake in the agency’s scientific review process, rather than the result of political meddling. Officials said the agency would soon publish revised guidance.
Of course, one never knows when the blow may fall; anonymous sources could contradict the Times tomorrow. Nevertheless, Occam’s Razor would suggest than when we have an institutional account, we don’t need to invent a political one.

Third, and ironically, if there was, anybody doing the squelching — in today’s impoverished analytical environment — would be able to say “I did trust the science! I checked with WHO!!”
So that is the state of play on the CDC’s aerosol guidance as of today. Let’s see what they come up with!