Rudy Giuliani Isn't Looking That Awesome
Rudy Giuliani had some thoughts about science Monday, telling Fox News host Martha MacCallum that Joe Biden is just trying to scare people when he wears a mask. McCallum asked Giuliani to respond to some advice Biden had for Donald Trump during a campaign visit in Miami yesterday: "Now that he's busy tweeting campaign messages, I would ask him to do this: Listen to the scientists. Support masks." Well! Rudy wasn't about to sit still for THAT, because — really! — medicine is not a science, and scientists always disagree with each other, making their findings meaningless.
Well, I would say to Joe that you don't really understand what scientists are. First of all, listen to your doctors. They know your personal history. Doctors really aren't scientists. Scientists almost always have competing opinions. That's what science is about.
Science isn't a didactic, dogmatic religion. Almost every principle of this kind of science, medical science, has conflicting opinions.
Clearly, we shouldn't pay too much attention to the "overwhelming consensus" of science, because some outlier may disagree, so there! It might have been a more impressive point if Giuliani had declared he doesn't personally believe in gravity and then floated out of his seat.
But the real problem, Giuliani said, isn't that Joe Biden thinks medical science is a real thing, but that he overdoes it on the mask thing. Replying to a clip of Biden wearing a mask while onstage in Miami, Giuliani gotcha'd him so hard that Biden probably needs a doctor himself!
It isn't science to be wearing that mask, Joe, when you are giving a speech and people are 30-40 feet away from you. The only thing you can infect is the teleprompter that's near you. So, I see through you. That's a political statement to scare people, wearing that mask. You do not need that mask when you are standing at a podium.
This is technically probably true, but there's also such a thing as setting an example — and masking up when you don't absolutely have to is certainly better than the other way around, even if Giuliani dismisses it as "political theater." I for one was not frightened by Joe Biden in a mask as I am any time I see a close-up of Giuliani's teeth.
It's also worth noting that Giuliani participated in Donald Trump's debate prep, and that Chris Christie, who has tested positive, said "No one was wearing masks" at those sessions. Giuliani tested negative Friday, but told McCallum he had had another test yesterday and was waiting on results.
The interview closed with Giuliani coughing several times while talking about how science really can't tell us anything, because "the experts can be wrong," and "nobody elected the experts," and more people might kill themselves because of lockdowns than the disease will kill (this has not happened).
Giuliani's cough led McCallum to wish him well as she signed off, saying, "I hope that cough is not anything bad while you are waiting for your test to come back. [...] We hope you will be healthy and well." Giuliani said he'd be sure to let her know.
We don't yet have any information on the outcome of Giuliani's most recent test, which by his own standards he may just decide to ignore.
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."