The credibility of public health officials was shot earlier this year after members of the medical community approved of the months-long protests – i.e. superspreader events – following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Hypocritically, the same "experts" chastised other gatherings and large events that didn't call for defunding police departments or descend into widespread violence and mayhem.
We now know, thanks to scientists who analyzed the genetic code of the coronavirus, that a superspreader event back in February is responsible for around 300,000 cases of the Wuhan virus. The event wasn't a reopening protest or a Trump rally, but a medical conference attended by top health care professionals.
The New York Times reported that researchers analyzing the genetic markers of the virus were able to conclude that between 250,000 and 300,000 cases of the coronavirus can be blamed on a Boston medical conference hosted by drugmaker Biogen.
"In hindsight, many people have criticized Biogen’s decision to continue with its leadership meeting in late February, which was attended by vice presidents from European countries already hit by the virus," The Times reported. "Others in the industry fault Biogen for being too tight-lipped about the outbreak."
"The smartest people in health care and drug development — and they were completely oblivious to the biggest thing that was about to shatter their world," John Carroll, editor of Endpoints News, which covers the biotech industry, told The Times.
According to the report, the conference attendees then carried the virus to at least six states, three different countries and the District of Columbia. The first two cases in Indiana were Biogen executives, as were six of the earliest cases in North Carolina and the first known case in Tennessee. As of Nov. 1, the genetic marker analyzed in the study attributed 51,000 cases in the Boston area to the health care gathering.
"That genetic marker started appearing in other states in early March, being especially prevalent in places where conference attendees returned home," CBS News reported. "Those include Florida, where 29% of the conference-linked cases ended up[, as] well as Indiana and North Carolina. The strain of virus was also found as far away as Australia and Slovakia."
The medical conference is believed to have played a bigger role in the spread of the virus in the United States than other superspreader events, since people who attended the conference "tended to be younger, healthier, and were traveling more, and we found that they went to a lot of different places," Jacob Lemieux, the study's lead author, told CBS. According to Lemieux, these factors contributed to the conference's greater spread and likely greater societal cost.
Of course, there are risks inherent in life. But before the medical experts start telling us which large gatherings are safe (those attended by leftists) and which ones are killing people (those attended by Republicans), maybe the medical community should take a long, hard look in the mirror.