7 February 2021
Prof Raina McIntyre argues that the COVID19 problems in the developed world, particularly the Anglo world are the result of an understanding of and a lack of respect for public health. She charts this as within the medical profession, which has its own hierarchies, but also in the political arena. The overwhelming influence of the corporate sector and the profit motive, and the managerial approach which assumes that if you are not an expert, you can quickly find one, bone up and take over has been found sadly wanting. For a manager or politician, selecting an expert is not as easy as it sounds as there are many people who want to tart up their CVs and market themselves with dubious claims to expertise.
This has resulted in a very suboptimal preparation for and response to the pandemic. The failure in the managerial decision-making process has been laid bare in the COVID situation, but this is not an isolated example. The lack of respect for expertise, the replacement of knowledge with marketing spin, and public good with corporate profits will lead to more bad decisions, which often take a crisis to become evident. It happened in the bushfires, and is happening with climate change. Examples in foreign policy, education, health and defence all come to mind.
Here is Raina’s paper about COVID19