The Patient as COVID: The Destructive Bias of Politicized Science - Flashpoints, Obligations and the Burden of Coming Together.

S D Med 2020 Aug;73(8):372-374

Sanford Clinic - Infectious Disease, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Within an unrelenting COVID-19 pandemic, the burden of helping without harming has grown under the weight of destructive political bias which is harming without helping. This pandemic has created three flashpoints surrounding patient, population and policy. As science is further politicized, the coronafication of medicine is now a subset of the politicization of everything and is challenging these obligations. It is not the presence of personal political bias which degrades science, it is the absence of institutional acknowledgment as conflict of interest. Physicians must interrogate in Socratic fashion, seven deadly sins of destructive bias - character assassination, raw animus, cynical omniscience, historical amnesia, false choice, divisive labelling and selective truthing, which undermine our coming together. At a time when public trust is at risk, we must defend the best interest of the patient against politicized science - for this bias has reached the bedside.

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August 2020

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