After masking hindered her son’s language development, Wen begins to embrace an approach we have embraced throughout the pandemic: Personal risk assessment.
Reflecting upon the last 30 months of the pandemic, it would be hard to name the top morally-righteous covid-absolutist.
But if one were to create a list, near the top would have to be The Washington Post columnist and CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen. Who could forget her demand that rights and privileges enjoyed by Americans be explicitly tied to getting the covid vaccine during the mandate push to autumn 2021?
“That if you wish to have these privileges, you need to get vaccinated.
Travel, and having the right to travel in our state, it’s not a constitutional right as far as I know to board a plane, and so saying that you want to stay unvaccinated, that is your choice, but if you want to travel, you better go get that vaccine.”
.@DrLeanaWen: “There are privileges associated with being an American. That if you wish to have these privileges, you need to get vaccinated. Travel, and having the right to travel in our state, it’s not a constitutional right as far as I know to board a plane." pic.twitter.com/eyhEVooV20
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 10, 2021
Even during the spring of 2022, she was still masking her son under certain circumstances.
…I still would want my son to mask when in other indoor, non-school settings. When I take him to the grocery store, when we’re on the train, when we’re in church — in these settings, he and I will still be masking.
Other families will make different choices. For us, the benefit of him going maskless in school outweighs the risk of Covid-19 in that setting. In other settings, we prefer to continue to reduce risk.
In the wake of the more infectious variants, the failure of the vaccine mandate to contain the uncontainable virus, and harm that has occurred to her own children, she has now decided to embrace the idea I have championed since the February of 2020: Personal risk assessment.
I accept the risk that my kids will probably contract covid-19 this school year, just as they could contract the flu, respiratory syncytial virus and other contagious diseases. As for most Americans, covid in our family will almost certainly be mild; and, like most Americans, we’ve made the decision that following precautions strict enough to prevent the highly contagious BA.5 will be very challenging.
Masking has harmed our son’s language development, and limiting both kids’ extracurriculars and social interactions would negatively affect their childhood and hinder my and my husband’s ability to work.
Other families will view these trade-offs differently. Some will maintain strict precautions to protect a severely immunocompromised household member.
…[M]y approach to this school year reflects the evolution of the pandemic and the acknowledgment that avoiding covid-19 cannot be the singular metric of people’s overall health and well-being.
Eventually the truth comes out pic.twitter.com/HFZvmspm07
— 🍁Antonio Tweets 📣 (@AntonioTweets2) August 28, 2022
It’s too bad Wen didn’t appreciate the negatives associated with covid-absolutism before her son’s language development was hindered.
For most of the pandemic, many Americans and most public health officials refused to acknowledge the reality of tradeoffs. In 2021, The New York Times described a phenomenon known as “Covid Absolutism.” It consists of two primary factors:
1. Taking every conceivable step that could reduce the spread of Covid regardless of its actual effectiveness;
2. Downplaying or ignoring the unintended consequences and tradeoffs of these policies.
Here’s hoping Wen’s son suffers no lasting harm and that she perhaps learns an important lesson about promoting narrative over facts.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.