Commentary: Wisdom In a Time of Botched Models, Bad Advice, and Deadly Illness

President Trump with Drs. Fauci and Birx

The virus will teach us many things, but one lesson has already been relearned by the American people: there are two, quite different, types of wisdom.

One, and the most renowned, is a specialization in education that results in titled degrees and presumed authority. That ensuing prestige, in turn, dictates the decisions of most politicians, the media, and public officials – who for the most part share the values and confidence of the credentialed elite.

The other wisdom is not, as commonly caricatured, know-nothingism. Indeed, Americans have always believed in self-improvement and the advantages of higher education, a trust that explained broad public 19th-century support for mandatory elementary and secondary schooling and, during the postwar era, the G.I. Bill.

But the other wisdom also puts a much higher premium on pragmatism and experience, values instilled by fighting nature daily and mixing it up with those who must master the physical world.

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White House Coronavirus Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx Forcefully Rejects Doomsday Scenario

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on coronavirus, took a crack Wednesday at scientific models that have projected doomsday scenarios for the coronavirus pandemic, saying the estimates do not take into account adjustments made to stop the spread of the virus.

“And I think the numbers that have been put out there are actually very frightening to people,” Birx said of some of the models that have projected that between 50% to 60% of the population could become infected.

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