The last 8 months have been the best of times and the worst of times… for science.
Forgive me the Dickensian melodrama and let me explain.

In December of 2019, an outbreak of viral pneumonia occurred in Wuhan, China. On January 9, Chinese public health authorities and the World Health Organization confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of the outbreak, and a few days later, the full sequence of the viral genome was reported. Since then, the tempo of scientific discovery has been incredible. The spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 has been described, including a severe inflammatory condition in children. Clinical trials were quickly designed to evaluate potential treatments. As of September 10, 38 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are in clinical trials in humans.

But we’ve also seen data that does not align with a particular political view ignored. Career scientists have been sidelined in favor of politicians. There have been repeated attempts to undermine or diminish the authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the public health experts who work there. On occasion, we’ve heard individuals in positions of authority say things that are simply untrue. When that happens, we all have an obligation to speak up. Take a look at this letter written by PIDS Board member Bonnie Maldonado and colleagues at Stanford disowning the opinions of their former colleague who is now making dangerous statements about COVID-19 for political gain.

Let me emphasize that PIDS is not a political organization and we are not aligned with any political party. Our mission is to enhance the health of infants, children adolescents by promoting excellence in diagnosis, management and prevention of infectious diseases through clinical care, education, research and advocacy. We are pro-children and we are pro-science. Bad science, or ignoring science altogether, is bad for children.

If you have thoughts to share on this topic, you can post in PIDSConnect or email me directly. I’m going to miss seeing many of you in person this year, but hope we can get together virtually during IDWeek. Mark your calendar for our annual business meeting, scheduled for October 20 at 7 pm.