Deadly foot-dragging at the FDA and other commentary

Doctor: Deadly Foot-Dragging at the FDA

“FDA regulators are wasting precious time in greenlighting a COVID vaccine,” Dr. Marty Makary argues at The Dispatch, “as more than 2,000 Americans are dying each day and the pandemic continues to starve American society.” Pfizer sent in its vaccine data on Nov. 22, but “rather than immediately convening experts, the FDA scheduled a review meeting on Dec. 10.” Why the three-week wait? “As a Johns Hopkins scientist who has conducted more than 100 clinical studies and reviewed thousands more from the scientific community at large, I can assure you that the agency’s review can be done within 24 to 48 hours without cutting any corners.” And career staffers actually slowed down the process in October by requiring “more follow-up data for vaccine trials than they do for other drugs.”

Science writer: Lockdowns = Self-Flagellation

As the Black Death ravaged Europe, “pandemic control” involved “Flagellants” who “beat and whipped their bare skin” until “blood rained down,” recalls John Tierney at City Journal. Today, their spirit “lives on,” but instead of beatdowns, “regulators favor lockdowns, which are less bloody but inflict more social pain.” Officials rarely suggest getting some sun to build up Vitamin D or taking it as a supplement, though it’s been shown to help fight viral infections. That’s because it “entails no pain” and “provides no glory” to public officials. Gov. Cuomo takes credit for “controlling” COVID with his lockdown, though infections were declining before he imposed it. “If he’d been leading the Flagellants,” he would’ve made the same boast, since the plague subsided soon after.

Libertarian: Diversity in Looks Only

Nasdaq’s proposed diversity mandate is more about “aesthetics” than “meaningful change,” declares Kat Rosenfield at Spectator USA. The exchange wants “most Nasdaq-listed companies to have, or explain why they do not have, at least two diverse directors.” But the “lack of diversity” at the top “reflects problems with corporate culture and hiring practices that favor people from privileged backgrounds from entry level on up and squeeze out women and people of color long before they ever reach the executive suite.” Without real change, such as hiring “from more than just the usual handful of elite schools,” the “underlying reasons for the white male hegemony will remain unaddressed, and the divide between the country’s haves and have nots will stay as entrenched as ever.”

From the right: Francis’ Silence on China

Hong Kong dissident Jimmy Lai, the city’s “most prominent Catholic layman,” was arrested on “ginned-up fraud charges,” but “when he and his family most need their shepherd, Pope Francis is MIA,” laments The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn. The pope typically “weighs in on outrages wherever he finds them,” but he’s been silent on all things China since the Vatican’s 2018 agreement with Beijing giving “the Communist state extraordinary say over the selection of Catholic bishops.” Francis continues to “see no evil in China” while his “lack of encouragement” amid protests and mass arrests leaves Beijing Catholics hopeless. The Vatican “ought to have the integrity to not shirk from acknowledging the price” of its political decisions.

From the left: Cultural Appropriation, Please

“Arguments about cultural appropriation make the news every month or two,” but in “the world of fiction,” remarks novelist Brian Morton at Dissent, “imagining other lives is part of the job.” Artists do so “by virtue of a common humanity,” and though “the phrase seems quaint,” the left must restore “the dignity and prestige of the idea.” Cultural appropriation’s critics seem “like members of a weird purity cult, issuing edicts and prohibitions against the kinds of mixing that are an inevitable part of life,” from “the meals we make to the music we enjoy to the language that I’m using to write this.” In fact, everyone should “cultivate the sympathetic imagination” while defending the “right to offend, the right to satirize, even the right to get things wrong.” Imagining “the lives of others is a crucial form of solidarity.”

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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