The Daily Dose: Repeal of DACA will hurt COVID response; Fringe logic and the White House

Sign up for Scientific Inquirer’s Steady State Newsletter for the week’s top stories, exclusive interviews, and weekly giveaways. Plenty of value added but without the tax.

Amidst this entire COVID-19 pandemic debacle, we’re resigned to the fact that mixing science and politics is inevitable. Sometimes, it’s by design. Just look at Xi Jingping, Donald Trump, and Boris Johnson. Other times, it’s inadvertent. The damage of both types of events are equally destructive. That’s why the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals has the potential to be so devastating to the American COVID-19 response. “Unimaginable though it may be, that outcome may soon come to pass. In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will render a decision on Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, a case that will determine whether nearly 700,000 individuals protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will remain in the workforce, protected from deportation… If the court strikes down DACA, then every DACA recipient — including 29,000 physicians, nurses, health aides, and technicians — could be forced from the United States within two years. Some could have only weeks.” If someone could explain how that is helpful, we’re all ears.

The political and ideological fringes (Left and Right) subscribe to a form of analysis that runs according to the simplest most superficial logic. For example, on March 22, Bill Mitchell, a Right-wing entertainer, speculated on the link between Italy and New York:

Mitchell has since deleted the tweet. (NOTE: I left in a dose of Laura Ingrahan as an added bonus.) Anyway, the a Trump Administration appears to be applying the same logic to its Wuhan Lab-NIH-Bioweapon theory.

As per Science, “The agency axed the grant last week, after conservative U.S. politicians and media repeatedly suggested—without evidence—that the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, that employs a Chinese virologist who had been receiving funding from the grant. The termination, which some analysts believe might violate regulations governing NIH, also came 7 days after President Donald Trump, asked about the project at a press conference, said: ‘We will end that grant very quickly.’”

That’s not to say, it couldn’t have originated there, only that there’s no proof as yet. And we like proof. It’s a good thing.

Notions of facilitating herd immunity among the general population have been circulating for months. As per STAT, “The idea of controlled human infection trials, as they are also called, for Covid-19 research was first raised in late March in an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Since then, the proposal has gained momentum, with other experts making a similar proposal. Last month 35 members of the House of Representatives wrote to the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services, arguing such trials should be allowed. There is even a website,, set up to encourage people to volunteer to be in human challenge trials or to advocate on their behalf.” The article goes on to explore the advantages and significant disadvantages of controlled human infection trials.

New Zealand has joined the ranks of South Korea in bringing COVID-19 down to negligible levels within their border. The government reacted quickly and decisively in implementing austere measures that prevented the spread of the virus. We’d tell you more but the article is behind a paywall, and, well, nothing stifles information like paywalls. Click or don’t click. Do your thing.

The New York Times has put together a surprisingly clear and concise explanation of how SARS-CoV-2 has mutated since first being discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019. Alongside the Nature graphical explanation of current vaccine strategies we cited yesterday, it is essential reading. The Times has also kept the paywall down for their coronavirus articles, something we appreciate and applaud.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

Words matter. Images matter. The Scientific Inquirer needs your support. Help us pay our contributors for their hard work. Visit our Patreon page and discover ways that you can make a difference.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: