Rogue Resistance

Alt_CDCOne can’t help but cheer the online resistance Fed scientists are waging against the anti-science Trump administration. Among them, Rogue NASA, NOAA Uncensored, and everybody’s favorite Alt US Forest Service: only you can prevent fascism.

But some of us were @Alt_CDC long before it was hip or took a Twitter handle.

Didn’t swine flu H1N1, Ebola Makona, H5N2 (and other H5Nx), Zika, cholera in Haiti, the vaccine gap for yellow fever, H7N9, Ebola Reston, MERS in industrialized camel, the opioid epidemic, and a surge in antibiotic resistance emerge under President Obama’s watch?

Wasn’t it the Obama NSF and NIH that failed to fund scientific efforts to explore the roles agribusiness, deforestation, structural adjustment, and global circuits of capital played in these outbreaks?

Didn’t Obama’s wars contribute to 1.3 million plus deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq alone since 9/11? Wasn’t it his bombing campaigns and proxy wars that helped spread cutaneous leishmaniasis across Syria, Eastern Libya, Yemen, and Iraq? Wasn’t it the CIA operation against bin Laden that helped destroy Pakistan’s polio campaign?

Didn’t Thomas Frieden’s CDC send HPAI H5N1 through the mail and fumble anthrax?

Didn’t the Obama administration’s refusal to bail out homeowners allow mosquitoes to incubate in the pools of abandoned California homes, leading to an outbreak of West Nile Virus? Didn’t its refusal to seriously address consolidation in the food sector help food-borne outbreaks increase in deadliness and geographic extent? Wasn’t it the Obama CDC that only a couple years before the measles outbreak at Disneyland tagged Disney as blameless for disease outbreaks (a tag it refused to extend to the Hajj)?

Wasn’t it the Obama CDC that built in anonymity for megafarms that prove the source of an avian or swine influenza that infects even humans (a privacy in metadata the Snowden dump showed the administration refused to extend to humans)?

Wasn’t it the Obama Homeland Security that began monitoring social media sites for keywords indicative of terrorist threats, including “Outbreak,” “Contamination,” “H1N1,” “H5N1,” “Avian Flu,” “Influenza,” “Tamiflu,” “Human to Human,” “CDC,” “FDA,” “WHO,” “Swine,” “Pork,” “Agriculture,” “Resistant,” “Infection,” “Pandemic,” and “Wave,” a veritable tag cloud for many a research blog?

I’m 100% down with the March for Science. The Trump administration is abhorrent.

But the movement as presently constituted begs whether compartmentalizing the notion of “resistance” to Trump alone really vaccinates liberals (or even scientists) from critique or criticism. The posterior probabilities aren’t checking out.

Shit, public health’s refusal to object to Obama policy helped throw Trump the election.

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