Letter to the Editor: Paul Kenny

Township resident assails health organization's shortcomings in social messaging during the pandemic.

If the CDC speaks, should we listen? 

In Heaven: the bankers are Swiss, the lovers are Italian, the engineers are German, the policemen are English, and the cooks are French. 

In Hell: the bankers are Italian, the lovers are Swiss, the engineers are French, the policemen are German, and the cooks are English. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is world class in the identification and categorizing of viruses, contagions and vector-borne diseases, and addressing bioterrorism threats. 

Working with the World Health Organization, the CDC is the USA’s early warning system for new bio threats. However, when it comes to social policies, the CDC has shown in the last year that this is not exactly its strong point. The organization’s mixed messages and outright harmful advice has actually made everything worse. 

The CDC initially told us that masks wouldn’t help us, when that is exactly what we should have been doing to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Then, the mask-wearing about-face was rolled out in such a way that it made many resentful and resistant. It then recommended a two-week isolation period to “flatten the curve,” shut down landlord court to enact a moratorium on rental evictions (which didn’t help at all), and otherwise crash our economy. A later statement that we could take our masks off if vaccinated was, in general, heard as “one doesn’t have to wear a mask because we follow the science.”  

The CDC really does not understand social messaging, and everything they have said has made matters worse. Lately, it has recommended the extension of the rental eviction moratorium. But they have no evidence of landlord court actually causing infections. The CDC didn’t recommend limiting the number of people in the malls and stores, going to concerts, sporting events, parties, social gatherings, club meetings.  

You wouldn’t want the CDC to be practicing dentistry drilling into your teeth, and you shouldn’t want the CDC to be calling social policy. Its eviction moratorium will continue to shrink affordable housing.

Paul Kenny

Cherry Hill, N.J.