How Do We Stop Diseases From Spreading On Planes?

We know that aircraft cabins are relatively protective environments, thanks to downward air flow, HEPA air filtration and rapid refresh of cabin air. But not all aircraft benefit from these measures while at the gate connected to ground power, and we don’t benefit from them in the security line or at the gate. Diseases can spread on planes, in any case, even if it’s less likely than in other congregant settings.

I’ve been something of a germaphobe since my youth, and this is – more or less – my nightmare:

Years ago I sat next to a man with a bright red, almost glowing eye on a United flight from Washington Dulles to Los Angeles. Today I’d have excused myself, sought another seat. The plane wasn’t 100% full, but if it was I’d have gotten off while the doors were still open. In my early 20s I lacked the confidence. I wound up with a dendritic ulcer in my eye.

I’ve hated flying in flu season. Some people crumple up tissues in the middle seat next to them on Southwest Airlines, hoping nobody wants to take the seat and they get an empty middle. But someone who is actually sick? I genuinely don’t want to sit there. I was even a fan of ‘double masking’ long before SARS-CoV-2!, at least for other people (and would have worn a mask myself, but it didn’t feel socially acceptable in the U.S. the way it is in Asia prior to the pandemic).

In the Before Times the CDC actually recommended foregoing travel if you had a fever over 100 degrees and other symptoms, but a fever alone wasn’t reason to cancel a trip in their medical opinion. It wasn’t even advice from government health officials always not to fly when sick.

And about half of people said they’d fly even if they had the flu. Socially many people felt compelled to travel when sick, perhaps they’d lose out on an important meeting. I always hated this – and got very angry at people who came to work at my office sick – because they risked spreading whatever they had. Financially airlines have made it hard for people to reschedule.

Many fares no longer have change fees, but this policy doesn’t apply to the cheapest (basic economy) fares and you still pay a difference in fare.

My boss (at my day job) thinks sick days should pay more than work days, so that people take their sick days.

  • Some people will take sick days for other reasons, and still work when they are sick.

  • But if even some people use their sick days when they are sick that’ll reduce workplace transmission of illness.

  • The idea is to get people to use their sick days, and eliminate the stigma against calling in sick. Taking sick days becomes rewarding, rather than a sign of weakness.

Employers can reduce pay for non-sick days slightly to compensate so that the total compensation package doesn’t change. The idea doesn’t have to be about paying workers more, just about changing the incentives and culture around going to work sick.

How do we convince our fellow travelers not to fly when they’re sick, to put off travel, and what changes need to be made so this is a viable option?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sometimes, people have a strong want, or a need/requirement to travel while sick (family emergency, etc). Maybe the person will improve by the time the event is occurring, so traveling while a bit sick is the best option. And obviously people may forgo travel while sick, “work from home” while sick, but still do other activities infect people there. .

    A good way to prevent transmission on planes would be to strongly encourage masking on airplanes, especially during periods of high transmission of colds, flu, Covid-19, etc. It’s easier and less disruptive to ask people to mask up than to ask people to delay travel.

  2. I don’t see this ever changing in this country. It has always been a work no matter what attitude. My son was recently fired from his job for calling out sick. His manager told him that it wasn’t fair that he had to cover his shift. I also know friends who have received negative performance reviews for using their sick leave. Many employers only provide 3 to 5 sick days for the year. And I heard many times where people are told off to the side that they have sick days but they better not use them.

    After living through all of this mess you would think that attitude would have changed but it doesn’t seem that it has.

  3. How would an airline react to a passenger leaving a flight because of a contagious seatmate? Would you be considered for irrop rebooking, or treated as someone who voluntarily missed the flight.

  4. Unless you have strict rules and enforcement, some people are just going to fly sick. If you’re on the road and get sick, you just want to get home to your own bed. No one want to be sick with the flu for a week in a hotel.

    If a trip hasn’t started, airlines would need to provide no financial penalties to cancelling a trip, otherwise people will fly to avoid them. Not a refund, but a transferable voucher that doesn’t expire could work.

    People will do strange things for money. I will confess to once being at a job that offered an extra week of pay if you didn’t take any sick days. You just had to show up for an hour to have it not count as a sick day. I woke up sick one Friday morning in late December – so close. But I had an office with a door, so I went in, shut the door, hacked my way through an hour, and went home. They weren’t pleased, but they set the rule and bonus.

    I also worked for the Federal government, where at one time, you could count unused sick leave toward retirement. Some people had close to a year saved up. They always came in sick, so they could retire early.

    Money talks.

  5. The question is really how you keep sick people from circulating in society and esp. if they have an infectious disease.
    Obviously, pregnancy is not infectious but airlines have rules about how long women (not pregnant people) can fly – driven as much to minimize operational risks to the airline as to care about the mother and her baby.
    Covid created a heightened concern for infectious diseases but the commercial jet makers have long considered respiratory infection in the design of their planes – and those designs have gotten much better with time.
    Of all of the billions of people that have flown worldwide since covid started, there still are no convincing cases of on-airplane transmission. Sure, some will show you seat maps of a few flights and show was a “case zero” and other infected people was but those people shared space in the gatehouse, on the jetway, and elsewhere on the travel journey.

    The answer may be that people who are sick are asked not to mingle in society but human nature says some will. Airlines probably do need to have a “I don’t feel comfortable flying with person X” and that is a valid excuse for reseating or rebooking w/o fee – w/ no harm to either the person that wants to move or the person that is “accused” as being unhealthy.

    Sickness isn’t going anywhere and neither is people’s desire to travel.

  6. If airlines cared about flying infectious, virulent, and febrile passengers, they could easily measure temperature checks with an automatic temperature portal monitor before you are permitted to board your flight.

    Read more:

  7. There is no good answer to your question that will work based solely on the voluntary behavior of passengers and the airlines. If you had strict rules and then gestapo-like health authorities checking each passenger, then yes it will work.

  8. “I’ve been something of a germaphobe since my youth…” There’s a shock. Add “melodramatic” to the list.

    “…but it didn’t feel socially acceptable in the U.S. the way it is in Asia prior to the pandemic).” Thankfully!

    “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter Drucker

  9. Kevin is right, unfortunately. The Puritan/Calvinist mindset that came with the earliest settlers has never gone away, and now with hypercapitalism, has been reinforced. “Work at all costs” has been both ingrained and mercilessly enforced by business in the U.S. Business people who have to travel rather than use video chat are pretty much forced into it. People traveling for family emergencies, likewise. But there may be a personal price to pay, too.

    I made the mistake of flying with a cold once. Ear barotrauma / barotitis media / aerotitis media is excruciating. I’ve had it. A military pilot I knew (RIP, Roger) had it so bad once that he had to turn his C-135 over to his copilot because he was incapacitated. Don’t mess with it.

  10. 2 weeks ago my family and I were looking forward to a long awaited California vacation travelling from Europe.

    We had the misfortune of arriving into the chaos that was international arrivals at LAX. It was carnage. People were fainting the wait was so long for immigration.

    I counted at least 14 lines of passengers each the length of the arrivals hall, snaking face to face. It took us over 2 hours in line with the thousands of other passengers to reach the immigration desk. There was no mask mandate. There were no Covid mitigation efforts at all. It was like Covid never existed.

    Arriving at LAX dumped us into a super spreading event. It is unsurprising that staff at LAX are dropping like flies with Covid19, because so are incoming passengers. Our vacation was ruined by catching covid and we will not be heading back to the US anytime soon.

  11. Global Entry now uses facial recognition for processing. It would seem that the same concept could be applied at TSA Pre-Check checkpoints. The camera could include the infrared part of the spectrum and individuals with elevated temperatures can easily be identified for health screening. Now, install the same cameras at the non-Pre-Check checkpoints and use them solely for checking temperatures. It wouldn’t be a silver bullet but it would go a long way.

  12. @Reno Joe – They’re ahead of you. AA is already testing facial recognition at DFW for TSA PreCheck and expanding it soon to Miami, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Like you said, add in an IR component and they’re there.

    My Whole Foods was using an IR camera at the door last winter, as were many hospitals and medical offices.

    It’s undoubtedly coming. It’s the least intrusive way of doing it that I can think of.

  13. Most Americans are too self centered Ronnie concerned about fellow travelers. They’d travel with Ebola is they could get away with it. In the future getting on a commercial flight will be a significant health risk.

  14. I knew the science expert James N would be here. Just had to scroll down to find the troll. Talk about useless!

  15. Good luck. Until the airlines stop punishing flight attendants with points for sick calls and start paying them for unused sick time, dont waste your breath.

  16. @James N
    Don’t need to. As you no longer have credibility your pointless garbage has already been refuted. WAA!WAAH! Freaking adult crybaby!

  17. I don’t understand what is different today from 5 years ago when this topic would have drawn a big yawn, except society has been hyper sensitized to illness in general by Covid. Flu, colds, strep throat, and name a few dozen more are not new and we have been traveling by air quite well. Now suddenly everyone wants 0 risk which is not going to ever happen. But it will aid those demanding draconian nanny state rules like mandatory mask wearing and mandatory health screenings. Hello communist China with their horrible lockdowns. No thank you. I will go on with my life and travel and not worry about what I cannot control. If you are afraid, wear a mask or don’t travel but respect those of us who want to get on with life.

  18. Why are UV lights not being used on all ac units to prevent the spread of all airborne viruses?
    This seems like a easy and effective measure to stop germs spreading and improve air quality.

  19. @James N
    Rog is a Marxist troll just ignore him. He still can’t sleep at night because he can’t stop thinking about President Trump.

  20. @Walt Allen – Because it’s not just UV Light exposure that kills viruses, it’s UV light plus time. It takes something like 25 minutes of UV exposure to kill airborne coronavirus – the air in HVAC systems is moving way too fast for that to work. UV works on surfaces much faster, sometimes on the order of 30 seconds, but that’s still a long time for air passing through a HVAC system.

    Those with more knowledge of HVAC systems are welcome to refute this and I’ll accept your greater knowledge.

  21. @Rog…I fully appreciate your disappointment. You’re slowly waking up (heck, I can dream) to the fact that you’ve been lied to for the past 2 1/2 years and hopefully, coming to the realization that you fell for an obvious fraud and that can be disconcerting and unsettling. Take solace in the possibility that when a scam similar to this takes place in the future, you’ll be better equipped to recognize it.

    Unfortunately, based on your comments throughout this ruse, I hold little hope that you’ve learned anything.

    P.S. Most likely, you’ll still have Gary in your corner.

  22. So in 2016 Gary wanted masks on flights but in 2020 and 2021 he didn’t because Hepa filters

  23. @ James N

    “Talk about unable to refute my comments. Your posts are exceedingly “useless””

    Your comments have been repeatedly and extensively deconstructed with logic and evidence. You have been provided with the primary medical / scientific references (in. the case of masks a list of over 2500 of them) . You still refuse to read them . digest them / learn from them.

    Your own sources have been shown to you to be fakery through their misreporting of the original science / medical references.

    James, your positions have been resoundingly refuted. You are an utter fake. Your posts are worse than useless – you exhibit your need to express your ignorance and stupidity for the delight of others to savour.

  24. @ Bill

    “Now suddenly everyone wants 0 risk which is not going to ever happen.”

    Sure zero risk is not going to happen. But then health policy is informed by mathematically modelling outcomes, which predict the outcomes of mixing different control measures – the main goal has generally been to keep hospitalisations within resourcing limits. Whether government choose to follow the advice derived from such models and whether there is a will in the populace to act altruistically or selfishly are another matter.

    Folk can rewrite the history of the pre-vaccinated world as much as they like – it won’t bring back the dead.

    “I will…not worry about what I cannot control. If you are afraid, wear a mask or don’t travel but respect those of us who want to get on with life.”

    But you’re not being stopped from getting on with your life, are you?!

  25. @Tim dunn

    Yes – sickness and air travel are both here to stay.

    “The question is really how you keep sick people from circulating in society and esp. if they have an infectious disease.”

    Nailed it.

    “Of all of the billions of people that have flown worldwide since covid started, there still are no convincing cases of on-airplane transmission. Sure, some will show you seat maps of a few flights and show was a “case zero” and other infected people was but those people shared space in the gatehouse, on the jetway, and elsewhere on the travel journey.”

    And yet, there are several cases with the evidence you would expect to find if the virus had indeed been spread on board – it is that very seating evidence that indicates that infection and proximity within the aircraft are correlated.

    You can attempt to pass such off as a matter of convenience.

    Remember, that we just don’t have the data on almost all of those “billions who have flown” events – it simply hasn’t been collected.

    FWIW Gary headlines this article about spreading disease “on planes”, but we all acknowledge the “shared” space (to quote your term) in the end-to-end journey.

  26. Sorry, platy, you’ve done nothing of the sort. I’ve been proven correct on everything from the beginning. Masks… don’t work. Lockdowns…caused more problems than they solved. Social distancing…a complete joke. And the best of all…The experimental gene therapies have been an utter failure.

    The fact remains that anyone who hasn’t figured out this scam yet, probably never will. The more likely scenario is that a significant number of people have finally figured it out, but are simply to embarrassed to admit they were conned. It’s very difficult for most to admit they are wrong.

  27. @ James N

    You’ve been provided with the scientific and medical references, so you can attempt to self educate rather than regurgitate the shite you’ve read on some right wing conspiracy theorist web site.

    Clearly you have failed at such.

    You have been given the original data and research on masks.

    You have been given the original data and research on vaccines.

    You have been given the links to typical scientific models.

    You have been given the links to the accruing datasets on mortality around the globe.

    Your are resolutely profoundly ignorant on matters scientific and medical – you wouldn’t be able to discriminate entropy from an exorcism, or a clade from a cult, or deoxyribonucleic acid from a deity.

    Your stupidity has been repeatedly revealed by myself and others who have the appropriate expertise and training to comment on such matters with the authority of training and experience.

    And yet we have even you the opportunity to learn – spend our time supplying you with the references – explained you you in great detail why the opinion pieces you have cited do not stand up to scrutiny.

    Now I suggest you bury your pachycephalic cranium into your ilium.

    Clearly, you will forever remain a stupid person locked into your delusions.

  28. @ platy. You evidently have some fine references to review that give you what you perceive to be knowledge. Based on the current events, I’d say the WHO and CDC narrative lacks the wisdom gained by observation and experience. James N appears to possess wisdom. It’s not wise to confuse knowledge with wisdom.

    @ Gary. the idea of Sick Days paying more than regular pay is interesting. I have no idea how companies would administer that program. I “retired” (Age 60 Rule) with over 800 sick day credits and I used mine when I was sick. Our union had negotiated a good sick leave policy. I did share the cockpit with those pilots who came to work sick. Consequently while they didn’t use their sick days, those they worked with probably did. And they continued to act as though not using a sick day was a badge of honor. It’s that pesky wisdom thing again.

  29. Calling in sick (or using bereavement leave or whatever) is a sign of weakness in the corporate world: the sharks start to circle. In addition, in the sales environment, if you are not there, you risk losing a call-in/walk-in sale or risk losing a client who called and couldn’t find you. Don’t meet your sales goals = no commissions, no raise, potential letting go at the next opportunity.

  30. @One Trippe

    “You evidently have some fine references to review that give you what you perceive to be knowledge.”

    You just have no idea what’s going on here, do you?

    I am providing readers the primary references so they have the opportunity to access the datasets.

    These capture the original work. The research. The relevant data. This is the very information set that anybody, whatever their opinions on the matter, can access, no excuses. This is the core information at anybody’s fingertips to analyse, process, do whatever they want with.

    I am deliberately providing them without any a prior filter – the data aren’t being quoted or cited from an opinion piece. I’m providing the original unbiased source.

    I’m providing them to James N because the kid is soliciting his highly biased and ignorant perceptions from third party opinion pieces from politically motivated publications.

    I am offering him the ultimate starting point to source the original unbiased datasets so he can follow the process to think for himself, if he wants to do so. He can also go and cross check what he reads or himself.

    But he has chosen not to do that – rather lapse back into some biased right wing commentary, under the mistaken belief he is being smart (clue – he’s not).

    If you want to perceive that collective information as “knowledge” then so be it. It matters not. The original data exists and available to anyone regardless of their preconceptions.

    The crucial take out is that I have previously shown baby boy that the data quoted in the opinion pieces he reads do not correctly cite the original research. He can go and verify that for himself. If he did he would realise that he cannot place his uncritical faith in the publications that he using to source his perceptions and opinions. They are wantonly misrepresenting the original source.

    To use your term, knowledge, they are taking that knowledge and misquoting it. That does not beget wisdom. You cannot take knowledge and change its content and then claim you are wise.

    I have provided the original sources so any reader herein can satisfy themselves of the fakery, they don’t have to take my word for it.

    I have given the specific examples in previous posts – when I do so baby boy goes silent – he shuts up because he has been caught out – waits a couple of weeks and then trots out the same tired idiotopes. Just how mental is that?

    “Based on the current events, I’d say the WHO and CDC narrative lacks the wisdom gained by observation and experience.”

    Who knows what you mean by “current events” or how you have derived your perceptions. Go to the original sources and then make up your own mind.

    “James N appears to possess wisdom.”

    And yet I have proved that not to be the case.

    “It’s not wise to confuse knowledge with wisdom.”

    Then stop doing it.

  31. @ C_M

    By all means take your cue from the publication of a right wing organisation (Manhattan Institute for Policy Research), if that’s your gig. Enjoy being a Donald Duckling. Note that I have been pointing readers herein to the original science/ medical sources untarnished by political opinion.

    Now – if you have any SPECIFIC counter points about the actual content of the posts made by myself or baby Jim, then by all means offer them up with supporting logic and evidence.

    Vague statements about folk being right or wrong are just that – vague statements.

    I can’t see how either of your references are actually relevant.

  32. @platy – TLDR

    But if you think the Manhattan Institute is some sort of Trump-supporting organization, then your insight is as short-sighted as it is long-winded.

    FWIW, both articles point to problems with your studies and models once they hit the real world – they just haven’t panned out and have been used by political actors is support of what they wanted to do anyway.

    Your beloved Australian restrictions did beat Sweden – but gave you excess death stats roughly equal to Malaysia. Not sure what Malaysia’s restrictions were, but it makes me think your results were more a function of geography rather than science.

  33. @ C_M

    On your beloved Manhattan Institute – if it waddles like a duckling and paddles like a duckling, it’s probably a duckling:

    Baby Jim (baby because he confuses nappies with masks) makes erroneous statements about the real world effectiveness of masks and vaccines. I have provided the original (unbiased and non political) references to correct his factually erroneous statements. Take it or leave it. Grow up or be ignorant and immature. I care not.

    The bawling baby, yourself, and certain others are resolutely transfixed on a deluded and conspiratorial agenda, sadly thinking you’re smart and know better than others with the relevant training and experience to be informed, when, frankly, you don’t. Statements made don’t stack with the data. Not some opinion piece. The data. But no, the whole scientific community in hundreds of countries is somehow complicit in some global conspiracy that only the right wing American religious savants can decipher. Please, mate, grow up.

    To be fair, you appear to be a couple of points better endowed in IQ than the cry baby James and realise there are issues with real world application. Here’s your problem – if the population doesn’t embrace vaccines, that doesn’t mean that the vaccines don’t work (as baby boy would have us believe), it means your health policy has become mired in political division and the selfish tendencies of your self righteous constitution loving freedom deluded population – the roll out has messed up (not the vaccine itself).

    And you do realise that the models are not run against a singular combination set of starting conditions, rather 1,000s of them?! That is to encompass the scope of possible trajectories – the range of situations.

    Apparently, in your case, you conflate baby Jim’s claims that masks and vaccines don’t work with how effectively (or otherwise) health policy has been differentially enacted in different jurisdictions. So which is it, buddy/ masks don’t work period, or you don’t like them period? Or you think their application is a waste of time? Are you thinking clearly?

    Now if you have specific claims, or specific points you wish to present, then do that, but take the time and effort to cite specific data points. Once again, vague statements make you look juvenile. If you want to talk mortality rates, cite them, tell us what time period they apply to, what age cohort they apply to, etc., and way you think they are relevant.

    Here are the data for mortality in Australia during recent years:

    Now do tell us exactly what you are trying to claim in your vague reference to excess mortality in Australia and Malaysia by citing the actual data. Be specific, not vague. Tell us just which data points support whatever perception you harbour. If you can logically link a salient point to evidence, I have no choice but to agree with you. If you can’t, or your logical process is faulty, I’ll rip your claims apart.

    Do it or finally shut up.

  34. @plaTLDRy – You do like to hear yourself talk. And you like to silence other people. I think my Stasi
    comment in jest was closer to the mark than I realized. Little closet authoritarian, you are.

    As far as using the Center for Justice & Democracy to quote on anything – “The Center for Justice & Democracy was founded in 1998 by former Ralph Nader staff attorney Joanne Doroshow, with the help of other consumer advocates, including Mr. Nader.” So quote all you want, they hardly qualify as an unbiased source about anything.

    Furthermore, your link shows no link to Trump or Trumpism. But to someone like you, anything to the right of Karl Marx is all just one big pile of Trumpism/Nazism, right? And as for their smearing of Peter Huber’s book, Galileo’s Revenge, (a book which I actually own and bought when it was published in 1991), Wikipedia has the following quote in the “Junk Science” article:

    Peter W. Huber popularized the term with respect to litigation in his 1991 book Galileo’s Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom. The book has been cited in over 100 legal textbooks and references; as a consequence, some sources cite Huber as the first to coin the term. By 1997, the term had entered the legal lexicon as seen in an opinion by Supreme Court of the United States Justice John Paul Stevens:[6]

    An example of ‘junk science’ that should be excluded under the Daubert standard as too unreliable would be the testimony of a phrenologist who would purport to prove a defendant’s future dangerousness based on the contours of the defendant’s skull.

    Lower courts have subsequently set guidelines for identifying junk science, such as the 2005 opinion of United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judge Frank H. Easterbrook:[7]

    Positive reports about magnetic water treatment are not replicable; this plus the lack of a physical explanation for any effects are hallmarks of junk science.

    As the subtitle of Huber’s book, Junk Science in the Courtroom, suggests, his emphasis was on the use or misuse of expert testimony in civil litigation. One prominent example cited in the book was litigation over casual contact in the spread of AIDS. A California school district sought to prevent a young boy with AIDS, Ryan Thomas, from attending kindergarten. The school district produced an expert witness, Steven Armentrout, who testified that a possibility existed that AIDS could be transmitted to schoolmates through yet undiscovered “vectors”. However, five experts testified on behalf of Thomas that AIDS is not transmitted through casual contact, and the court affirmed the “solid science” (as Huber called it) and rejected Armentrout’s argument.[8]

    In 1999, Paul Ehrlich and others advocated public policies to improve the dissemination of valid environmental scientific knowledge and discourage junk science:[9]

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports offer an antidote to junk science by articulating the current consensus on the prospects for climate change, by outlining the extent of the uncertainties, and by describing the potential benefits and costs of policies to address climate change.

    In a 2003 study about changes in environmental activism regarding the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem, Pedynowski noted that junk science can undermine the credibility of science over a much broader scale because misrepresentation by special interests casts doubt on more defensible claims and undermines the credibility of all research.[10]

    In his 2006 book Junk Science,[11][page needed] Dan Agin emphasized two main causes of junk science: fraud, and ignorance. In the first case, Agin discussed falsified results in the development of organic transistors:[12]

    As far as understanding junk science is concerned, the important aspect is that both Bell Laboratories and the international physics community were fooled until someone noticed that noise records published by Jan Hendrik Schön in several papers were identical—which means physically impossible.

    In the second case, he cites an example that demonstrates ignorance of statistical principles in the lay press:[13]

    Since no such proof is possible [that genetically modified food is harmless], the article in The New York Times was what is called a “bad rap” against the U.S. Department of Agriculture—a bad rap based on a junk-science belief that it’s possible to prove a null hypothesis.

    Agin asks the reader to step back from the rhetoric, as “how things are labeled does not make a science junk science.”[14] In its place, he offers that junk science is ultimately motivated by the desire to hide undesirable truths from the public.

    End quote

    Actually sounds like a book you would agree with or find useful. But you ignore it because of the source or who he worked for? That’s an unforced error common in ideologues. I’ll even hazard a guess that the so-called “Center for Justice & Democracy” hates it because it called out the crap that Nader has been selling for 50 years. He got one thing right almost 60 years ago and has gone a tangent ever since. He’s not always wrong, but considering his work with the American Trial Lawyers Association, one might almost see a circle of deceit (or self-interest) at work here – man writes book critical of Nader and Nader aligned group while working for a group critical of Nader, Nader-acolyte writes criticism of book, Nader-related group smears group opposed to them by quoting one critic.

    Finally, never dismiss information based on who said it. Be skeptical, sure. But even your opponents occasionally have a point. That was my whole point about posting the link in the first place – it makes you think, perhaps dig deeper. Why isn’t that story being reported? Science? Or controlling the narrative? We’ve certainly seen that during this pandemic, which only gives rise to crazy conspiracy theories about the whole thing.

  35. @ C_M

    Your hallowed Madhatters’ Institute is variously referred to as right wing be a number of sources. Its funding base is also germane.

    Unfortunately, the need to apply a political filter is especially relevant in the USA, less so in other countries, where COVID was not politicised to the same extent.

    Crucially, I’ve shown you a route to AVOID the need to engage in politically positioned sources on matters COVID, so you can BYPASS any semblance of political bias, right or left, by seeking out the original source material / data. Take it or leave it. Your choice.

    If you did so, the whole political debate becomes less relevant.

    I’ve also encouraged you to check the accuracy of any third party sources against the original sources. When I have do so for references from James N they have been proven fake. Take it or leave it. Again, your choice.

    If you did, you would be able to discriminate easily between cogent and misleading materials (whatever their source publication).

    “Finally, never dismiss information based on who said it. Be skeptical, sure. But even your opponents occasionally have a point……”

    And now apply that to yourself.

    I’ve constantly on this blog (and others) advocated a methodology to do just that, put in simple terms:

    1) Consult the source data and documentation in the science and medical literature as a first port of call.

    2) Cross check the claims of third party sources against the original.

    3) Be careful not to be mislead by fake argument (stupid arguments like “masks don’t work because we don’t have a controlled experiment to prove that they work”)

    4) Link point made to evidence

    I’ve provided more sources references on matters COVID probably than anyone else on this blog, so any interested readers can look up the original sources for themselves.

    And yet – you and others, for all of the time and effort I have made to challenge fallacies in fact, abject prejudices (e.g. anti- Australia rhetoric), complete ignorance of scientific method, etc., continue their vile personal attacks on myself and certain other posters herein (with scientific / medical credentials) unabated.

    I still await from you, for all of your filibuster about junk science, to propose one specific personally held point of view about COVID / managing disease with cogent argument and supporting evidence.

  36. @plaTLDRy – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But you, the most long-winded of posters, claim I’m involved in a “filibuster”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! But back to my nap as you drone on.

    I’m done – I’m not going to waste my time with someone who engages in childish insults and goalpost moving. I have better things to do.

  37. C_M

    “I have better things to do.”

    …yes, apparently, not just bolster posters like James N who repeatedly trot out factually incorrect information on COVID, no, you defend those posters on this blog who post rampant anti-back racism and demeaning and anti-women…abject hypocrisy.

    You’re all class, mate.

  38. @ platy. BREVITY. The essence of an informative and readable comment lies in its concise wording and delivery.
    Try it. So far you’re failing to convince anyone when readers skip your dissertations. Simply stated, when someone asks you what time it is, don’t tell them how to build a clock.

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