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Manning report farcical exercise in “alternative” truths

Posted on December 7, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

Dear Editor:

Alberta’s UCP government paid Preston Manning $250,000, as part of a $2 million expense, to do a review and report on Alberta’s response to the pandemic. One of Mr. Manning’s recommendations was the province should consider “alternative” scientific theories, as part of a “balanced response”. There are two reasons why that recommendation is absurd.

Firstly, “balance” is a far-right buzzword used to lend an air of authenticity and genuineness to a thing or idea which, viewed objectively, is extreme and absurd, where the extremeness and absurdity are based on mere uninformed beliefs held in the face of best evidence. Folly might have a right to be heard by those in power, but it cannot be allowed to guide political decisions that will prevent sickness, death, and a collapsed health care system. You can’t believe your way out of a pandemic, no matter how much you believe you can.

Those on the far right, like Mr. Manning, generally view government as an annoyance, at best, and many view it as sinister and hostile. Would you consult a medical doctor who believes in voodoo and hates dealing with sick people? Alberta would do better to pay $250,000 to a pyromaniac to do a report on the response and efficiency of our fire departments.

Secondly, what are some of the ideas espoused by those who do not know, but merely believe? Horse de-wormer cures COVID, according to Danielle Smith, who got her Ph.D. in virology and epidemiology out of a Cracker Jack box. Injecting bleach cures COVID, according to Donald Trump, who is a complete and utter stranger to facts.

Mr. Manning’s report also urges the considering of  “…alternative scientific narratives…”. Only the foolish believe that, because science is not a “narrative” – a mere story. It is, and is based on, facts discovered by rigorous observation, rigorous methodology, repeatable experiments yielding the same results under the same conditions, deductive reasoning, and peer review to arrive at the best evidence.

     Health care costs are the largest expense of the Alberta government, year after year, and are over $25 billion annually. Health care and public health decisions must be based on best evidence and science, not on ignorance, quackery and charlatanism.

Yours truly,

Gregory R. Côté, Irvine, Alta.

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