Lanhee Chen: Costly Hypocrisy From Our Public Health Officials


Public health officials across America have spent the last several months warning about the dangers of the coronavirus, and the need for us to stay at home, halt economic activity and avoid social interactions with our friends and neighbors.

We are now reopening our economy in many parts of the country, but these same public health officials have compromised their own credibility as we do so. On the one hand, they’ve urged caution and a slow return to work, school, and faith gatherings. They’ve criticized those who opposed the stay-at-home orders.

But, at the same time, these officials have been broadly supportive of the large protests on America’s streets in the last few weeks.

Public health officials should be helping us understand the comparative risks of activities, not endorsing the causes they like while prohibiting the ones they don’t.

Their hypocrisy is costly, indeed: They have impacted our ability to address future health crises.