Who Do You Trust If You Can't Trust the Science?
Mythbusting Whether Flu Was Rebranded as Covid
"How do we know that the flu hasn't just been rebranded as Covid?"
Quite a few people have suggested this controversial explanation for the pandemic, highlighting that the flu disappeared just as Covid arrived. They also pointed to massive problems with PCR tests and raised concerns about the trustworthiness of the SARS-CoV-2 gene sequence. Since our health officials have been playing fast and loose with the truth on just about everything else, and with so many other conspiracy theories turning out to be partially or even entirely true (remember when vaccine passports were called a conspiracy theory?), why not that too?
The problem with trying to answer this question is that PCR testing is so technically complicated that most of us are unable to independently judge whether PCR tests are merely picking up fragments of influenza DNA that share similarities with portions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And most of us do not have the technical expertise to judge for ourselves whether the SARS-CoV-2 genome has truly been isolated and fully sequenced, or whether the published gene sequence used during PCR testing is actually just a virtual computer-generated imposter.
In light of our own limited technical expertise, should we track down knowledgeable experts and rely on them to tell us the answer? In other words, should we "trust the scientists", as so many politicians and public health officials like to tell us at every opportunity? As we've seen in comical detail over the past two years, the problem with this approach is that if you put 10 experts in a room, you're likely to get 11 opinions. Which one should we trust?