Home » Dr. Vinay Prasad: You’re right not to trust public health

Dr. Vinay Prasad: You’re right not to trust public health

Today’s guest is Vinay Prasad, a hematologist-oncologist and associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

The author of two books on how bad medical policy persists long after it has been recognized as ineffective or even deadly (Malignant: How Bad Policy and Bad Evidence Harm People With Cancer and Ending Medical Reversal: Improving Outcomes, Saving Lives), Prasad has become a lightning rod during the COVID pandemic because he is outspoken both in his support for vaccines and his criticism of the way they’re being implemented. We need to think about risks and benefits for individuals, he insists, and not force a one-size-fits-all solution on a country of 330 million people.

He’s also outspoken in his criticism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Wolensky, and other aspects and figures of the public health system. “Trust is justified based on how an organization or system performs,” he writes. “And the truth is, the entire public health apparatus, failed.”

My Reason colleague Zach Weissmueller and I talked with Prasad about all that and much more—including the unwillingness of authorities to admit when they are wrong, the lack of evidence for mask mandates, under what circumstances vaccine mandates are actually legit, and why he is so disappointed with the inability of liberal progressives (his tribe, he admits!) to acknowledge government failure with regards to COVID policy.

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March 2023