“We’re going to demand in New Mexico that science guide every decision we make,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in her news conference Wednesday announcing that some restrictions on business reopenings would be loosened slightly – along with a new mandate that everyone wear masks in public places unless exercising, eating or drinking.
Indeed, invoking “science and data” has become the mantra used by every politician and elected official in the country to do what they want to do in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is, of course, some unassailable science underlying the many public health directives now playing out across the United States. It is a novel virus that originated in China and quickly became a global pandemic. It is highly transmissible, primarily via airborne droplets, but also can be picked up on surfaces. It is particularly lethal for people over 65, especially in long-term care facilities, and for those with serious underlying medical conditions.
But in too many instances, “science and data” is a term used by politicians to squelch debate and discussion over policies and their impact. It is “science,” we are told. There is no dissent. Do as you are told.