On Friday (June 10), Newsweek published two articles strongly criticizing the U.S. government’s response to COVID-19, claiming Americans don’t trust the CDC and recommending the creation of a new means of decision-making in public health.
“People don’t trust the CDC,” wrote Dr. Marty Makary, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor in an op-ed published June 10.
Makary cited the agency’s recent decision to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for children ages 5-11, despite a Pfizer spokesperson admitting its own study of 140 children did not determine the efficacy of the booster in 5- to 11-year-olds.
“That didn’t matter to the CDC,” Makary wrote, adding:
“Seemingly hoping for a different answer, the agency put the matter before its own kangaroo court of curated experts, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. I listened to the meeting, and couldn’t believe what I heard. At times, the committee members sounded like a group of marketing executives.”
“If the CDC is curious as to why people aren’t listening to its recommendations, it should consider how it bypassed experts to put the matter before a kangaroo court of like-minded loyalists,” he wrote.
Austin Stone, whose op-ed was also published June 10 in Newsweek, called the public’s eroding trust in public health officials a “crisis,” citing recent polls commissioned by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation that show only a third of the public trusts insurance groups and pharmaceutical companies, while just 56% trust the government health agencies that are meant to regulate these industries.
“We can no longer give public officials unilateral decision-making power over our public health response,” he wrote.