This is cute. What’s the difference between politicians and scientists?
I have been thinking about how different people interpret data differently. And made this xkcd style graphic to illustrate this. pic.twitter.com/a8LvlmZxT7
— Jens von Bergmann (@vb_jens) March 17, 2021
There are at least two ways to look at that, though. My first assumption was that gosh, politicians are simply innumerate. But another perspective would be that politicians have an agenda and interpret data to fit a desired conclusion.
And then I read all the nonsense about attempts to pin the pandemic on an intentional conspiracy. The latest news is that workers at Wuhan labs were coming down sick before the pandemic hit.
A State Department fact sheet released by the Trump administration in January said that the researchers had gotten sick in autumn 2019 but did not go as far as to say they had been hospitalized. China reported to the World Health Organization that the first patient with Covid-like symptoms was recorded in Wuhan on December 8, 2019.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the intelligence surrounding the earlier hospitalizations.
Importantly, the intelligence community still does not know what the researchers were actually sick with, said the people briefed, and continues to have low confidence in its assessments of the virus’ precise origins beyond the fact that it came from China. “At the end of the day, there is still nothing definitive,” said one of the people who has seen the intelligence.
That last paragraph is the important one. I can believe that people were sloppy, that the labs may have been poorly managed, or that they were secure, but employed human beings who could get sick for reasons that had nothing to do with their work. But I have yet to see any evidence that the disease was engineered. There is no evidence that the workers had COVID-19. There is no reason to think this virus was the consequence of anything other than chance variation.
But that wouldn’t fit the teleological imperative!