Speaking at Friday’s Academia’s COVID Failures symposium hosted by the Academic Sanity Consortium at the University of Chicago, Dr. Scott Atlas recounted the dishonesty, hypocrisy, and unethical behavior of the media, government, and academic institutions.
Atlas is a senior fellow of Stanford’s Hoover Institution and an alum of the UChicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.
Bolstering his point, Atlas quoted the following policy from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website as of October 15, 2020: “It is unethical and illegal to test someone who does not want to be tested, including students whose parents or guardians do not want them to be tested.” He highlighted that this policy is no longer available on the CDC website because the CDC removed it.
Administrators at the University of Chicago ignored this. Throughout the 2020–21 academic year, UChicago compelled all on-campus students to test weekly. This policy was on-again, off-again throughout the 2021–22 school year. Without a weekly negative test, students faced disciplinary action and risked removal from housing. Naturally, the majority of students complied. Medical researchers and administrators demanded acquiescence to hastily formulated medical conclusions.
Atlas examined the future of medical and research ethics, given the damage and fabrication inflicted throughout the pandemic. In particular, he attributed such effects to political contamination, citing the shift of CDC policy to match public opinion.
While many have advocated to “forgive and forget,” Atlas adamantly asserted that conversations and criticism must continue to avoid the propagation of academia’s politically expedient narratives and manipulation of data. Such discussion serves as the most effective mechanism for avoiding a future crisis of public confidence.