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'People expect science to be 100% certain': Dr. Sanjay Gupta

·Senior Reporter
·1-min read

Health experts and scientists believe the coronavirus pandemic's overwhelming impact in the U.S. was largely preventable. Among those is CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who told Yahoo Finance Wednesday that better public health strategies could have helped curb the impact of the pandemic.

"So much of this was preventable. And that's not even much of a political statement as it is one based on science and public health strategies that you see around the world," Gupta said.

In his new book World War C, Gupta explores what went wrong and how the U.S. can plan for an inevitable next pandemic. In the book, Gupta notes that chronic underfunding of public health initiatives in the U.S. played a large role in the pandemic's devastating trajectory.

"While infectious disease outbreaks typically crush poorer countries, this novel coronavirus disproportionately devastated many of the world’s wealthiest nations," he wrote.

The dissemination of information, particularly complex scientific information, he said, has been a major barrier the past two years.

"I think people expect science to be 100% certain. It's like math, two plus two is always four. They expect science to be the same way," Gupta said.

"That sort of thinking — doctors are not immune to that either. What is important for the average person to do is to think about it in context of their own life," Gupta said.

"I think scientific literacy has really taken a hit over the the past few decades. Not only do we not promote scientific literacy the way that we used to, sometimes it’s mocked," he added.

Follow Anjalee on Twitter @AnjKhem

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