This is too little too late from the likes of Jha.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting this mild corrective from Brown University’s Dr. Ashish Jha on Newsmakers, as summarized in a recent “Nesi’s Notes” column:
“I think we all in public health could have done a better job of communicating with more humility about what we knew and didn’t know. There was a desire by some people to act more certain than they were.” But he also thinks major damage was done by the decision to effectively impose a nationwide lockdown in the spring of 2020, which he blames in large part on a lack of visibility caused by the botched rollout of testing. “The virus was in big numbers here in Rhode Island, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C.,” he recalled. “There was almost none in Mississippi, almost none in Montana. And because we did not know that, we had to do a nationwide lockdown. And people in Mississippi rightly said, ‘Wait, you’re doing all these public health measures — our hospitals are empty, I don’t know anybody who’s got COVID, no one’s getting sick, this makes no sense.’ And that very blunt response actually I think was the basis for a lot of people losing faith in the public-health response.”
Notice two major omissions, though. The first is from Jha, who doesn’t elaborate on how the overreactors will be held accountable. As always, the experts get an unlimited “oops” card.
The corresponding second omission is from Nesi and the rest of the media. Some folks had it right at the time. A healthy media system would be rewarding them for that, now.