Another Authoritarian Act

Nadin Brzezinski
5 min readSep 14, 2020

We learned of another step in the authoritarian ladder. President Donald Trump keeps taking them. He is also becoming far more brazen by the day. This makes all our historical critiques of either Soviet or Nazi science sound hollow. The reason is simple when science becomes political, it loses its credibility.

We know that the president no longer has any reputation with a large segment of the population, while his political base is not swayed under any circumstances. Cults function this way. this, we hope, is going to be a short term problem, solved by an election in less than two months. Because if p\President Donald Trump is re-elected, it will make American science as hollow as Soviet or Nazi science once were. That is a problem because until now we have led the world in many scientific pursuits.

According to Politico:

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports are authored by career scientists and serve as the main vehicle for the agency to inform doctors, researchers and the general public about how Covid-19 is spreading and who is at risk. Such reports have historically been published with little fanfare and no political interference, said several longtime health department officials, and have been viewed as a cornerstone of the nation’s public health work for decades.

But since Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official with no medical or scientific background, was installed in April as the Health and Human Services department’s new spokesperson, there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with Trump’s statements, including the president’s claims that fears about the outbreak are overstated, or stop the reports altogether.

Caputo and his team have attempted to add caveats to the CDC’s findings, including an effort to retroactively change agency reports that they said wrongly inflated the risks of Covid-19 and should have made clear that Americans sickened by the virus may have been infected because of their own behavior, according to the individuals familiar with the situation and emails reviewed by POLITICO.

This is not something that happens in a functional democracy dealign with a disaster. This is exactly what occurs in failed states, with autocratic leaders. We are so close to meeting that definition it should scare…



Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB