• Jun Park

White House Senior counselor Kellyanne Conway confused : here's a fact check

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the response of the White House during this Covid-19 outbreak. However, it has been weeks now where the media space been dominated by Covid-19, from information to controversies, social distancing measures and discoveries that have been made along the way. But the name Covid-19 comes from its discovery in December, 2019. However, Kellyane Conway, senior counselor to the President of the United States, didn't get the memo.

On an appearance on Fox & Friends, the counselor gave some information regarding the President's plans and reasoning behind the controversial decision to pull funding for the WHO as well as blame them for their January 23 statement by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, saying "At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China, that doesn't mean it won't happen."

Unfortunately this statement is very easily confused. The perception is that the absence of evidence means it is not. That is the common mistake, as this concept is associated with courts of law where people accused of anything without evidence should not be convicted. That is however the concept of reasonable doubt, which is enough to allow future evidence to be presented, but the existence of the accusation is rejected In science, it is different, the absence of evidence means that there is lack of evidence, so more evidence is needed to confirm, but has no implication on whether it is true or false.

But, you would expect Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president of the United States, a Juris Doctor, to know the difference between these. Instead, she tried to point out the part of the reasoning behind the decision to pull the funding from the WHO was incompetence, and implying that the Covid-19 was the 19th version of this virus and that they had many chances to tackle this. Where has the world been during the past 19 outbreaks?

This explains a lot about the logic behind whatever advice the white house is getting.

If there is such little knowledge and understanding of something as basic as the name of this disease, a name that has been shared constantly throughout the media cycles for months, and has caused tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. and internationally, and the person that is speaking on their preferred media channel, is talking without even knowing the basics.

I normally wouldn't post about this, but it is just very concerning that as opening the economy back is the focus of the discussion looking at the end of the Covid-19, the people around this decision have no medical background and don't even know the basics of this disease. Such a complex decision with multi-varied risk analysis necessary with healthcare experts and epidemiologists needed to weigh in, is being handled by complete ignorance.

Starts at 7:48

This is Covid-19 not Covid-1 folks so you would think that the people in charge of the world health organization facts and figures would be on top of that. This is just a pause right now so there is an investigation and examination to what happened but people should know the facts.