With the Centers for Disease Control belatedly coming to the conclusion that fully vaccinated people can ditch their masks (something that’s been obvious to the rest of us for months now), it’s become clear that the only “science” the agency’s been following for months is political science. The mishandling of the agency’s guidance, and the willingness of businesses, blue state politicians, and bureaucrats to continue to adhere to it even when it was clearly overcautious to the point of paranoia is all the reason we need to keep the CDC far away from the gun control debate.
The CDC was prevented from engaging in politically-motivated research into gun control from the mid-1990s until 2018, when money started flowing to the agency for research into firearms once again. In 2020, $25-million was allocated to the CDC and the National Institutes of Health to look into ways to reduce “gun-related deaths and injuries”, and the agency has merrily been dispersing grant money in the months since.
Soon we’ll be able to learn about the “synergistic impacts of firearm access and opioid-related harm on firearm suicide risk at the individual and population levels in the state of California”, the “context, antecedents, and consequences of handgun carrying among adolescents who reside in rural communities in order to inform culturally appropriate and community-specific interventions,” and other fun topics that can all easily be turned into calls to restrict the Second Amendment rights of all in the name of protecting some specific portion of the population.
We also know that whatever talking points come out the CDC regarding gun control, they’ll be eagerly parroted and taken as gospel by many on the Left, who don’t dare dispute anything that comes out of the mouths of the high priests of Science. Again, just look at how Democratic governors responded to the proclamation that Science no longer demands the wearing of masks if you’ve been vaccinated.
After yesterday’s reversal by the CDC, some questioned why their “conservative” refusal to follow science on vaccinations mattered. Tim Walz gave the answer to that question today, announcing the end of mask mandates in Minnesota two months earlier than projected. The only reason they remained in effect this long, Walz explained, was because the state followed the CDC’s guidance:
As my colleague Ed Morrissey at Hot Air points out, even the New York Times is now acknowledging, however obliquely, that the CDC has been “ignoring that science for months in favor of political manipulation.”
For months, research about Covid-19 has pointed to two encouraging patterns. First, the underlying virus that causes Covid rarely spreads outdoors. Second — and even more important — fully vaccinated people are at virtually no risk of serious disease and only a minuscule risk of spreading the virus to others.
But the C.D.C., which has long been a cautious agency, has been unwilling to highlight these facts. It has instead focused on tiny risks — risks that are smaller than those from, say, taking a car trip. The C.D.C.’s intricate list of recommended Covid behavior has baffled many Americans and frightened others, making the guidance less helpful than it might have been.
Yesterday, the agency effectively acknowledged it had fallen behind the scientific evidence: Even though that evidence has not changed in months, the C.D.C. overhauled its guidelines. It said fully vaccinated people could stop wearing masks in most settings, including crowded indoor gatherings.
The change sends a message: Vaccination means the end of the Covid crisis, for individuals and ultimately for society.
That’s not the only message that was sent by the CDC’s change. Vaccine passports are going to be a non-starter in most parts of the country, so from now on the de-facto position is going to be no-mask, not mask-mandatory. Those who are fully vaccinated aren’t going to wear a mask, and many of those who refuse to get vaccinated for various reasons aren’t going to be wearing a mask either.
I think that’s why the CDC delayed its new guidance for so long; by issuing the common-sense rules that vaccinated people could return to normal without a vaccine passport system in place, the Left is now giving up some newly-found control over people, and they’re not happy about it. Heck, some of them, like New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, are even refusing to follow the CDC guidance, now that it doesn’t suit their authoritarian needs.
The CDC has revealed itself to be far too politicized to be trusted on issues of public importance, including gun ownership. Frankly, that’s the same reason the federal government barred the CDC from conducting gun control research in the first place, and it’s why the ban on the CDC’s work in the gun control arena should once again be put in place.