Epistemic Trespassing: From Ruby Payne to the “Science of Reading”

academic freedom isn't free

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump has continued his disturbing trademark of self-assurance and bravado in the absence of expertise:

The president – who repeatedly downplayed the threat early in the global outbreak – has this week been hyping an anti-malarial drug, chloroquine, as a possible therapeutic treatment.

“It may work, it may not work,” he said on Friday. “I feel good about it. It’s just a feeling. I’m a smart guy … We have nothing to lose. You know the expression, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’”

As has become a common pattern now, these rash and dangerous claims were tempered by an actual expert in medicine:

Yet Trump’s “feeling”, on which he so often relies, was confronted by science when Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned that evidence of chloroquine’s benefits against coronavirus…

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