Another dot in the blogosphere?

Words matter

Posted on: May 21, 2020

Talkshow host and comedian Stephen Colbert highlighted a Trump claim and offered a cheeky but pointed response.

If you focus on the third sentence, you might conclude that the tests for SARS-CoV-2 somehow cause the cases of COVID-19. If you take the quote in entirety, your interpretation might be that you can choose to ignore the numbers by not testing people.

The first interpretation is not true — a test detects cases, it does not cause them. The second is unethical — hiding the numbers prevents the shaping of effective policy and action.

If Trump meant to say that the high numbers of cases and deaths in the USA was due to the extent of testing there, he should have just said that. Words matter.


Video source

In a recent news broadcast, Trump claimed to be taking the potentially dangerous drug, hydroxychloroquine, to prevent an infection.

Whether he took it or not is immaterial. He could be providing a distraction like how a modern fighter aircraft releases chaff under a missile attack.

A more serious consequence of him claiming to take the drug might prompt others to take the drug without a doctor’s advice or prescription. Words matter.

The words we use matter whether they are written or spoken. They matter whether we are in a conventional position of power or not. We need to say what we mean, and mean what we say.

Words matter. We need to say what we mean, and mean what we say.

Our words might be misinterpreted or twisted by others. But the onus is on us first to be unambiguous.

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