Over the years, I’ve been part of many board meetings where there were a lot of people. I always look around and think… what exactly does that person bring to the table? Quite literally, why are you at this table? What do you have to offer? In poker, there’s a saying… if you sit down at a poker table, look around, and try to pick out the sucker… and you can’t… it’s because you’re the sucker. Similarly, I’ve felt that way in meetings. If I can’t figure out who’s the waste of space, jeez… maybe it’s me. There’s one particular board I sit on… we meet every few months, and it’s populated by some very intelligent, well-educated people who are far more familiar with the relevant issues than I am. I feel a little out of place in that one, but every time I make a little noise to the chairperson about perhaps stepping back and letting someone more worthy take my place, I’m met with “No no… we love having you here”, etc… OK. I’ll stick around for now I guess. And so I go, enjoy the catered lunch and drinks… and listen. I’ve learned far more from those people than they’ll ever learn from me. Once in a while, I’ll ask a question which I hope doesn’t sound too stupid… just so they know I’m not just some quorum-filling seat-warming presence. When the real decision-making happens, leave it to the experts.
Yes, experts… what’s an expert these days? There are a lot of people around who are very intelligent and well-educated, but for some reason, what comes out of their mouths is neither… because we seem to be living in the age of the curated expert. Allowed to be themselves, they’d be every bit the expert you’d hope for… but when they’re dangling off marionette strings, being controlled by someone else, it’s a whole different story.
You have to feel for Dr. Anthony Fauci. He is, by any definition, an expert. His education and experience are top notch, perfectly suited to be heading the response team. His experience… HIV/AIDS, SARS, H1N1, MERS, Ebola… and now, of couse, COVID-19. There is one thing that’s different this time… and that is as spokesman for what The President wants out there. The President’s message. Not necessarily just the… you know, truth.
It’s always a delicate song-and-dance for anyone who wants to remain employed under the direction of The President, and Dr. Fauci is no exception, walking a fine line between having to speak for the president, but also disagree with the discernible nonsense. No clearer was that exasperation than an interview in late March where reporter Jon Cohen pressed Dr. Fauci on a certain, very important point… that Trump's response timeline "just doesn't comport with facts.” Dr. Fauci agreed.
"I know, but what do you want me to do?" Dr. Fauci asked… "I mean, seriously Jon, let's get real: what do you want me to do?"
That’s a very honest statement, a subtle version of screaming “Hey, there’s an elephant in the room!” or “Hey, the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes!”. The words of the expert.
Speaking of experts… when my daughter Sophia was around 18 months old, she was pretty skinny. She has been all her life, a result of genetics, metabolism, and healthy eating. But back then, not knowing all that, a few people thought maybe she should get checked out. I didn’t think so, but ok… let’s see what the experts say. We got a referral to a paediatrician.
The paediatrician asked as about her eating habits. He listened to what she ate, mostly fruits and vegetables, some healthy proteins (including sashimi)… not a lot of carbs, almost zero junk. He checked her over, decided she was probably ok, but… just in case… “Let’s make sure she’s metabolizing fat properly. I want you to feed her some foods that are very high in fat… get some fries, nuggets, things like that… feed her that for a few days, collect her stools, and bring them back for analysis.”
Yeah, ok… sure. We stopped at a McDonalds drive-thru on the way home, and picked up some fries and McNuggets. And ketchup… and sweet-and-sour sauce for the nuggets, because even though I hadn’t had McD’s in a while, back in the day, that was my thing.
We went home, put her in the high-chair, and put this selection of junk food in front of her. She was not interested, at all. It was no use trying t feed it to her; she wouldn’t budge. No way. And she started getting upset, and what really got her upset was that she could see the vegetables on the kitchen counter and kept pointing at them and screaming for them… “Want! Want!”… and I found myself saying something like…. “No no Sophia… eat your fries… try this nugget… after that, you can have your veggies”.
It went nowhere. She was frantic, and crying. So were we all. After 5 minutes of this insanity, I scooped up all of the McD’s up and threw it in the garbage. Well, actually, of course I ate those McNuggets (sweet-and-sour, come on)… and maybe a few fries. And then, I cut up some cucumber and carrots, gave that to her… and all was once again well in the universe. And we never went back to that expert.
I’m not saying he was wrong; given what he had to work with, why not check it out. Maybe, like me, in my example at the top, he felt the need to add some value and not label the entire visit a waste of time. Maybe there might have been more to it, and of course we would’ve pursued it if it made further sense… but experts aren’t always right. As a good starting point, if you’re going to listen to an expert, make sure you’re listening to their sincere words, not those of the puppet-master. Dr Fauci said yesterday that maybe there wasn’t going to be a second wave; a curious statement that contradicts what pretty-much every other expert is saying. It doesn’t make a lot of sense… until you consider the bigger picture. Then, of course it makes a lot of sense; like, who might want him to say something like that… oh… yeah.
This has already gotten long, so I’ll stop here… especially since there are no B.C. numbers to report today (or yesterday — I will correct my guesses tomorrow), but just in case you’re wondering what I was going to say… it’d be another paragraph, all about Dr. Henry and how lucky we are to have an expert in our midst who speaks an unfiltered, unscripted and uncensored truth… honestly and convincingly. No filtering needed, no hidden political agenda, no puppet-master. Just what we need to hear. Expertly presented.