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Speaking to Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher, Murthy was asked to address pushback from those who claim the government’s response to COVID-19 has been too political.
Referencing how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has altered its guidance despite urging people to “follow the science,” Gallagher noted how “if there were dissenting views on the science, then you were called out, you were called names from a lot of media outlets” at the start of the pandemic.
Rochelle Walensky, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. (Photographer: Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“Well, listen, what we have to do in this is understand that number one, science evolves,” Murthy replied. “We learn new data, and that should inform our response and that’s true, you know, with illnesses across the board.
“But what’s also really important, Trace, is that we have the ability to have respectful, thoughtful dialogue with one another. I worry about the temperature rise in our dialogue about people being shut out in terms of their points of view being heard. We need to be able to hear all voices, we need to be able to respect one another.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy delivers remarks during a news conference with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at the White House in Washington, July 15, 2021. (Reuters/Tom Brenner)
“We need to be able to recognize that we may have to shift our path from time to time based on new data. Doesn’t mean that people were wrong before. It just means that we’ve got to learn as we go,” he continued.
“Because conformity is the enemy of sciences as everybody is taught,” Gallagher responded.
In this Feb. 4, 2014, photo, then-U.S. Surgeon General appointee Dr. Vivek Murthy appears on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. ( AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Last July, White House press secretary Jen Psaki revealed that the White House was working with Murthy’s office to “flag” posts on Facebook that allegedly conveyed COVID-19 disinformation.
“Within the Surgeon General’s Office, we’re flagging posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” Psaki said at the time. “We’re working with doctors and medical professionals to connect medical experts with people, who are popular with their audiences with accurate information and boost trusted content. So, we’re helping get trusted content out there. We also created the COVID Community Corps to get factual information into the hands of local messengers.”
Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.