A former commissioner for the US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday described how the CDC’s six-foot social distancing guideline was selected arbitrarily.
Speaking to CBS’s Face the Nation discussing his latest book, Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the CDC lacked “rigor” in effecting its policies.
“And you write, the six feet was arbitrary?” asked Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan.
“The six feet was arbitrary in and of itself,” Gottlieb answered.
“But if the administration had focused in on that, they might have been able to effect a policy that would have actually achieved their outcome. But that policy making process didn’t exist, and the six feet is a perfect example of sort of the lack of rigor around how CDC made recommendations.”
Gottlieb went on to explain the CDC’s six-foot distancing guideline was recommended with little to no science behind it.
“Nobody knows where it came from. Most people assume that the six feet of distance, the recommendation for keeping six feet apart, comes out of some old studies related to flu, where droplets don’t travel more than six feet. We now know COVID spreads through aerosols. We’ve known that for a while, so how operative is that?”
He also explained the CDC simply revised its original recommendation of 10-foot social distancing after the Trump White House pushed back, arguing that kind of distancing could shut down society.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American people have been told to “follow the science.” Yet for a year and a half, they’ve heard contradicting messages from self-appointed prophets of “the science” like Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We learned that politicians who claimed their decisions were science-driven often ignored scientific findings that didn’t fit certain political narratives. We discovered that scientists are fallible human beings, and some would let personal interests and political views cloud their judgment.
Is science itself one of the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic? I asked Dr. Scott Atlas at the 13th annual Freedom Conference hosted by the Steamboat Institute, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization. Formerly a professor and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, Atlas is now a senior fellow in health policy at the Hoover Institution.
Atlas has been under constant attacks by the left and the corporate media since he served as a special adviser to former President Trump and a member of the White House coronavirus task force from August to November 2020. The New York Times and the Washington Post ran hit pieces on Atlas, questioning his qualifications despite his distinguished career and scholarship.
A UK government adviser and former Communist Party member Susan Michie says that mask mandates and social distancing should continue “forever” and that people should adopt such behaviour just as they did with wearing seatbelts.
Michie, who is a Professor of Health Psychology at UCL and a leading member of SAGE, said such control measures should become part of people’s “normal” routine behaviour.
Vaccines are a really important part of pandemic control but it is only one part. [A] test, trace and isolate system, [as well as] border controls, are really essential. And the third thing is people’s behaviour. That is, the behaviour of social distancing, of… making sure there’s good ventilation [when you’re indoors], or if there’s not, wearing face masks, and [keeping up] hand and surface hygiene.
We will need to keep these going in the long term, and that will be good not only for Covid but also to reduce other [diseases] at a time when the NHS is [struggling]… I think forever, to some extent…
Anew study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is challenging major COVID-19 mitigation measures of the past year, claiming the widely accepted six-foot “social distancing” rule is more or less meaningless in indoor settings.
The study, authored by MIT chemical engineering Prof. Martin Bazant and applied mathematics Prof. John Bush, “characterize[s] the evolution of the concentration of pathogen-laden droplets in a well-mixed room, and the associated risk of infection to its occupants.”
Indoor gatherings have been one of the most aggressive targets of COVID-19 mitigation measures over the past year. Health officials have warned that people congregating in indoor settings are at significant risk for COVID-19 infection. Authorities worldwide have mandated both that occupancy limits in public facilities and spaces be sharply decreased and that individuals should maintain strict 72-inch spaces between each other when inside them.
Those regulations have led most notably to widespread closures of schools for more than a year, as well as significantly curtailed economic activity, particularly among restaurants, bars, theaters and live entertainment venues.