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Critical Thinking & COVID-19: Trump’s “Expertise”

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Donald Trump was elected president and hence he has the legal authority conferred by this office. By having legal authority is not the same as having authority as an expert. In this essay I will assess Trump’s authority as a medical expert. It might seem unfair to judge Trump’s medical expertise—all previous American presidents would also fall short here. But this must be done because Trump regularly contradicts the claims of public health experts, including Dr. Fauci. One example was Trump’s somewhat ambiguous backing of chloroquine in which he both agrees and disagrees with Fauci’s concerns while also recommending that people try it, contrary to the advice of public health experts. In the early days of the crisis Trump claimed, contrary to the experts, that COVID-19 was like the flu and suggested that it would probably disappear in April. Trump also asserted that the Democrat’s criticism of his handling of the virus was a hoax. Which was not true. Trump also asserted that extensive testing for the virus was not necessary for the United States to return to normal, which contradicts the view of medical experts. Examples of Trump contradicting the experts and making untrue claims about the virus and his response to the pandemic could fill an entire report, but these should suffice to show why this must be done: the President is making claims that contradict the views of public health and medical experts and the American people need to choose between the two sources.  In my previous essay I made the case for why Dr. Fauci should be accepted as a credible expert and believed. But I also need to assess Trump using the same standards to see if he is a credible expert on public health issues. Spoiler alert: he is not. The first standard is that the person must have sufficient expertise in the subject. While Trump did attend college, he has no formal education in public health.  He has no experience in the area, beyond what is happening now. He has no accomplishments—only. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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