It has gotten to the point that even those of us predisposed to want to “follow the science” are often left confused and demoralized, like someone who just ran their first 26.2-mile marathon, only to be told there are a couple of miles left to go.
Just imagine the toll this takes on people who were already predisposed to distrust the experts on things like, I don’t know, whether to get vaccinated. The point is, anything that introduces doubt—anything that portrays experts as incompetent, inept, impotent, or corrupt—greatly damages the moral authority needed to wage a health campaign of this magnitude. There is little room for error, and our president and the experts he’s relying on have not pitched a perfect game. Far from it.
Let me be clear: It’s clear that the Biden administration is a tightly disciplined messaging operation headed by a guy who can’t keep his shit together. This is not necessarily about age: Biden has always been a gaffe machine, and Republicans cynically using every slip of the tongue to groundlessly suggest that the president is senile aren’t just poisoning the waters, they are inoculating Biden from legitimate criticism in the process.