Descartes begins his famous “Method Discourse” with an irony by stating that common sense is the best distributed thing in the world since everyone is convinced that they have it to spare. Common sense, explains Descartes, is the power to judge well and to distinguish the true from the false. The diversity of opinions does not result from some being better endowed than others, but from the fact that they conduct their thoughts in different ways and do not consider the same things.
What would happen, then, if, in a pandemic context, the leader of a nation and his followers did not limit themselves to misguidedly conduct their own thoughts about the problem, but tried to impose public policies based on their mistakes and had the strength of the networks social to make the mistake seem true? The result would be about half a million dead.
We live in Brazil a sanitary chaos potentiated by fanaticism and low politics. Dr. Luana Araújo at Covid’s CPI made an impact because she was a breath of common sense in the midst of all this. And her common sense was even shown in the anti-dogmatic epistemological principles that guided her scientific appeal: science works with “state-of-the-art relative truths”, not with absolute truths.
In the beginning, explained the doctor, there was theoretical plausibility regarding the use of chloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19, but scientific evidence accumulated around the world, which is working against the same enemy, invalidated the hypothesis. In spite of that, the drug was insisted on because the President of the Republic made a political interest bet, throwing his chips on herd immunity, chloroquine and early treatment. He bet big, played with human lives and didn’t back down when his bets proved disastrous.
The veto on the appointment of dr. Luana confirms Bolsonaro’s pattern of governing: he despises competent and dignified professionals to surround himself with flatterers.
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