From JC

Yesterday, Governor DeSantis hosted one of his famous scientific roundtables, this time to discuss the Covid Grand Jury’s First Interim Report. The panel included expert scientists like Dr. Joseph Fraiman, Dr. Steven Templeton, Dr. Brett Weinstein, Dr. Martin Kulldorf, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

There’s a ton of good stuff in the program, which runs just over an hour (1:11:00). The scientists focused more than anything on the failures of the big, federal health agencies. For flavor, Dr. Bhattacharya began his comments criticizing the agencies, who ignored the Grand Jury’s information requests, and praising the report (lightly edited):

It is vital we have a conversation over the errors made during the pandemic… we need to establish a principle that we never lock down again. The Report highlights on the topic of masks how fundamentally agencies like the CDC ignored basic science, used their power to silence disagreeing scientists, and submerged reliance on high-quality evidence.
We need to figure out ways that these agencies that engaged in this sort of pseudo-scientific thinking are reformed. The Report does a good job of highlighting and starting that conversation.
Back in the day, whenever Governor DeSantis held one of these conferences, it was right before he was about to take some controversial action. For example, I think his very first online scientific panel was held right before he canceled lockdowns. The Governor did the same thing just before he issued executive orders banning mask mandates.

The goal of these panels was to delete media’s ability to complain that Governor DeSantis wasn’t “following the science.” After all, he’d just asked a bunch of scientists for advice. The other side, the pro-masking, pro-lockdowners, were not holding similar panels online with public officials. Had they done so, we could have held a debate.

I’m tempted to hope the Governor is about to do something big, a move that this panel, which heavily criticized the federal health agencies, was helping establish a foundation for. But it could also be the Governor was just defending the Grand Jury’s initial report from criticisms that it didn’t go far enough.

If nothing else, this panel highlighted the Jurors’ conclusions and moved the covid football a little bit further downfield toward the end zone of accountability. We’ll be waiting to find out what this week brings