Why is the task force led by politicians and not epidemiologist or even doctors?

The question uppermost in my mind is why is the task force led by politicians and not epidemiologist or even doctors?

If the priority is to save lives, then people in the medical field are best qualified to lead. Yes, there are logistical and political considerations, like not enough mask, but that should be a secondary consideration. If it makes sense to wear mask, as the 4 doctors said, then it’s up to the politicians to find mask, or say they do not have enough, and let the task force further advise. It is not far fetch to say the task force lead by doctors will likely advise cloth mask or self made mask, rather than “no need to wear mask”, which may well have been the difference between a longer and and a shorter lockdown and the drawdown of tens of billions of taxpayers money.

On the other hand, when the task force is led by politicians, there is always the tendency to make sure they come out of the exercise shoring up their political standing, at least, not damage it. This is likely the case with the mask, bearing in mind that there isn’t enough mask, this task force had to balance between not losing political point and doing the safe thing. In the end, they veered towards saving their political skin. If they weren’t politicians who also have to contest for votes, they may well have admitted their shortcoming of not being able to supply enough mask and ask people to use cloth mask or make their own, case close. But no, they are politicians who have a political agenda and they need to look good and can’t admit to such a shortcoming. So, the tall excuse of no need to wear mask, and better to reserve for the frontline etc, which did more harm than good.

So, that’s the elephant in the room, which Ben did not address. In fact, that’s the main point in Tan Meng Wah’s post. Given Ben’s long expose, it’s telling that he did not once mention this point—because TMW is spot on: that the PAP thought they would nail the pandemic given their experience with SARS and the generally conformist nature of the people, and therefore win votes for the election round the corner. But that decision backfired big time. The decision to use politicians for the task force is best left forgotten lest it opens up a debate that can’t be defended convincingly. But instead, he scrutinizes the technicalities which, to me, is a red herring and misses the point. But that’s my guess, I may be wrong, would be happy if Ben would enlighten us.

But there is something about his post that come across as not being sincere. I mean, if he is concerned that his “boys and girls” are being misled, he can have a whole lesson on TMW’s post in class, no need to publicly post his concerns on Facebook, and who’s to say all his students will read his post? And why the need to even mention his employer and that what he is writing on his Facebook post is his personal opinion? Who would assume otherwise? But it’s more than probable that his post didn’t do his standing in his employer’s eyes, any harm.

 

Foong Swee Fong

 

 

 

 

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28 Responses to “Why is the task force led by politicians and not epidemiologist or even doctors?”

  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Have you ever seen a Cage Monkey seeking ATTENTION???…

    Unlike MONKEYS shaking the rails to DRAW your attention

    They sit in a Line with the Spotlight & Camera on them sama2 lah!!!

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  • makino:

    this ass o prof ben is a bootlicker was trying to impress pap. is he aspiring for a minister post?

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  • Elcb:

    Given recent covid visited site at west.shopping malls,do you think people not given stay home instruction letters will stay home?

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  • Elcb:

    Tusked forced always washes hands.

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  • Electifying Gan:

    Foong, how can you say that ?

    Our Health Minister is a qualified electricalogist (specialist in Electrical Engineering and human electrical pulse) ha ha ha..

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  • Sg is doomed with 4Gs:

    These b*stards know that it’s going to be game over for many of them coz they have committed many major failures and lapses.

    So they thought the virus would give them a bao jiat opportunity to gun for an early erection.

    The irony is that their hidden agenda backfires on them and also burns a big hole costing 100b.

    No eyes see!

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  • You are right:

    Uncle @FWF. You are spot on. Thanks for bring it up. These undercover academia hiding under some reputable title & banner should not let off easily without meeting some challenge. Fox walking behind tiger should be rightly exposed as fox

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  • oxygen:

    BEN LEONG STARED AT THE TREE and completely missed the forest. His post DIDN’T TOUCH ON THE SCALE OF ECONOMIC DAMAGE of PAPpypolitics’s LACK OF early timely intervention (INACTIVISM) which allowed the dorm pandemic outbreak of inferno to nearly impossible of handing now effectively.

    How do you compartmentalize now the pandemic community spread when the dorm quarantine is lifted?

    LAW Wong tried that but failed of conviction IMO. He attempted to rationalise that forward EXPECTED UPSURGE in new cases is likely the result of asymptomatic origin rather than from oversized dorm cluster ROAMING OUT IN THE COMMUNITY.

    Lawrence Wong Expected rise in cases NOT because of migrant workers

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/singapore/lawrence-wong-expected-rise-in-cases-not-because-of-migrant-workers/ar-BB14DVoW?li=BBr8Cnr

    HOW DOES LAW Wong knows this FUTURE “truth” unless he is divine or clairvoyant? How does he know who in the community is INFECTIOUSLY SPREADING if they are asymptomatic of infected contamination and not tested of the entire population.

    I have compelling apprehension that these rationalisations are fictions. The lifting of circuit breaker is the same logic as truthful-falsity-adequately-insufficient face mask logic and lifted for the purpose of election -BEFORE THE COMMUNITY INFECTION SPREAD OUT OF CONTROL AND THE ECONOMIC SPINNING INTO A TAILSPIN.

    PAPpypolitics needs to explain this better to be convincing.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    “… why is the task force led by politicians and not epidemiologist or even doctors?”

    @Mr. Foong; there was, or still is, an Assoc Prof in the task force who was to give advice, but he needed to look at the face of his boss to give recommendation to the liking of his boss!! When the boss said no need to wear mask, this Assoc Prof also said the same. So doctor or not, he has no professional integrity.

    There was a time, before DORSCON Orange, some parents put masks for their children going to schools were told to remove the masks inside the schools. But now it is mandatory!!

    These days, on TV keeps telling people that seniors are vulnerable and to protect them by not going out of the house except to run errand. Does the PAP know some of these seniors are still working. Now it gives the employers reason to terminate the service of these seniors.

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  • Kim Kimochi:

    Election coming?

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  • Fake Democracy of Dafts:

    Why? Because the majority will still give them mandate regardless of all flaws, weaknesses and failures and missteps.

    SG needs to appear as a democracy by allowing elections. Else will it lose its financial hub status like HK is about to ?

    Is there a reason why sg has not abolished elections yet?

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  • opposition dude:

    PAP has to be in charge of everything. It’s either total control or forget about it. Look at their MPs on various GLCs and boards, Ang Hin Kee is in charge of Comfort if I’m not wrong.

    So their great plan backfired because of their habit of always putting $$$ before anything else. Now it’s just damage control and hoping that the dafts will have completely forgotten about the pandemic mishandling once it’s all over. You can expect PAP to continue doing this sort of thing since it’s how they do things.

    If you want PAP to eat humble pie then you have to give it to them when the election is here. Once they know what humility tastes and feels like they will guai guai for a while and then be back to their old ways again.

    So, depending on how many donkeys get kicked out in the next election we could well see a different PAP after that.

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  • trublu:

    Now,RE-OPENING is surely more an ECONOMIC reason than HEALTH MANAGEMENT one?

    Almost the whole population,except FWs,have tet to be TESTED?
    IS THIS GOOD RISK MANAGEMENT PRACTICE?
    YOU DONT EVEN HAVE THE REAL EXTENT OF THE RISK EXPOSURE n you gasak-buta n RELAX CONTAINMENT OF RISK?

    WHAT EXACTLY IS GOOD ESTIMATE OF NUNBER OF NON-DORM INFECTIONS?
    ONLY GOD KNOWS…MAYBE LATER HINDSIGHT ALSO KNOWS????

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  • AristoCATs - Creativity ?:

    > “Why is the task force led by politicians and not epidemiologist or even doctors?”
    -
    Good Q.
    -
    AristoCATs reply – Epidemiologist / Doctors won’t be able to come up with “innovative / creative” term –
    “circuit breaker”,
    Hokkien speakers term it – CB,

    right?

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  • Taskforce:

    Does not matter who is in the taskforce.
    What matter is to get the job done well .
    Save costs and lives…

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  • The truth hurts:

    makino:
    this ass o prof ben is a bootlicker was trying to impress pap. is he aspiring for a minister post?

    With this half baked crowfessor, graduates from aNUS are not able to think out of the box.

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  • Bebe:

    Just look at Thailand, their task force is being led by a doctor and is containing the covid situation very well!
    Some more Thailand is such a big country.
    Who says we need a minister to be in charge?
    The minister in charge only sia suay himself.

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  • Hindsight expert:

    This is a new virus. If at the beginning anyone knew that this virus is so contagious as to spread globally in less than 4 months and understand what it means by ‘silent spread’, where carriers show no symptoms or mild symptoms, then this person will be able to save the world.
    After months into the pandemic, a lot of “hindsight” experts are surfacing – only releasing data after people have uncovered them.
    Just look at countries which have taken a different approach to deal with the coronavirus.
    Take Sweden for example. There is no lockdown and what was the outcome? This is a new virus. It is only until now we understand how it is spread.
    For our case, we don’t have enough masks, and protecting the front line workers first is definitely the correct decision.
    And at critical moments, the rational action is to calm the public and not create anxieties or panic among the public.
    Until today, we don’t have serious community spread and we also have low fatalities. Majority of the cases are still within the norm.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Taskforce

    FERTILE FACILE SUPPOSITION, have you not heard of a square peg not fitting neatly into a round hole yet?

    Taskforce: Does not matter who is in the taskforce.
    What matter is to get the job done well .
    Save costs and lives…

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  • Ben is no mole, he's cavalier:

    Why is this NUS computer science professor spewing out garbage and commenting on a field in which he has minimal expertise or credentials, and it shows from his poor arguments. His main arguments consists of blatant lies, such as that Taiwan disallowed exporting masks to Singapore, or other countries not testing enough of their population. As well as unsupported conjectures, why does he assume that every Singaporean would need 1 disposable mask a day for 1 year? Why would improving the living conditions of migrant workers not attenuate the spread of the coronavirus?

    Some of his statements are simply incoherent, for instance, he excuses the ruling government’s inability to prevent the transmission in migrant worker dormitories by caulking it up to, the ruling government was too busy “ownself praising ownself” to notice there was anything wrong. Who has the right to pronounce that Singapore’s response was “gold standard” or that it was “military precision” – whatever that means.Why is this NUS professor spewing out garbage and commenting on a field in which he was minimal expertise or credentials, and it shows from his poor arguments. His main arguments consisting of blatant lies, such as ;Taiwan not exporting masks to Singapore, other countries not testing enough of their population. As well as unsupported conjectures, why does he assume that every Singaporean would need 1 disposable mask a day for 1 year? Why would improving the living conditions of migrant workers not attenuate the spread of the coronavirus?

    Some opinions are simply incoherent, for instance, he excuses the ruling government’s inability to prevent the transmission in migrant worker dormitories by caulking it up to, the ruling government was too busy “ownself praising ownself” to notice there was anything wrong. Who decided that Singapore’s response was “gold standard” or that it was “military precision”, whatever that means. Next what does haemorrhoids have to do with the coronavirus? Also how can you calculate the odds of getting infected when the true number of cases remains unknown? Wasn’t limited testing and asymptomatic cases of his main arguments? So you’re calculating risk based on incomplete information. And haha what does haemorrhoids have to do with the coronavirus? Also how can you calculate the odds of getting infected when the true nature of the virus was only speculative? Wasn’t limited testing and asymptomatic cases the gist of his arguments? Thus he was making assertions of risk of infection based on insufficient data and conjectural knowledge.

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  • Asd:

    I think because no mask so no need wear mask ma

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  • oxygen:

    @ Taskforce

    HSK SAID THIS PUBLICLY – Singapore’s financial position will be ‘a lot weaker’ in coming years says Deputy PM Heng Swee Keat.

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/singapore/singapores-financial-position-will-be-a-lot-weaker-in-coming-years-says-deputy-pm-heng-swee-keat/ar-BB14HM4Q?li=BBr8Cnr&ocid=mailsignout

    compared to my caution here to you of shallow pandering.

    oxygen: @ Taskforce

    FERTILE FACILE SUPPOSITION, have you not heard of a square peg not fitting neatly into a round hole yet?

    See how out of place of relevance is your facile supposition motherhood preaching below?

    Taskforce: Does not matter who is in the taskforce.
    What matter is to get the job done well .
    Save costs and lives…

    LEE-jiapore is in deep trouble now. And PAPpypolitics/PAPpynomics knew it.

    WHAT TO DO NEXT??

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  • Realistically:

    It is a pity that sinkies, especially those so-called oppos like Lim Tean, Chee Soon Juan, Tan Jee Say and all those from the wayang party etc have failed to expose the PAPie propaganda espouse by this Ben Leong from the NUS.

    Having read through his drivel there are lots of bare-faced assertions and selective but bias comparisons and unsubstantiated statements supporting he PAPies contrary to the facts and the reality.

    I will just call out Ben Leong on 2 issues.

    He likened COVID-19 to hemorrhoids which is obviously nonsense. Unlike COVID-19 hemorrhoids is NOT infectious. Although hemorrhoids affects thousands or maybe even tens of thousands, it does not lead to lockdowns euphemistically called circuit breakers and the associated use of billions of dollars for the social and business bail-outs and loss of economic output, but also infected the health of thousands of Sinkies and PR, not to talk about the FW.

    2ndly, if the wearing of face mask was brushed off by the emperor without clothes even at the end of January 2020, as offering no protection to the wearer who is medically fit, then why is it that the regime follows the international practice of making it MANDATORY to wear the face mask in public? I hope the emperor without clothes and his PAPie IB, including Ho Ching, can explain this most fundamental contradiction and how HINDSIGHT in ANY WAY, is the excuse.

    It also shows up the deficiencies of the emperor without clothes regime when Shanmugam, as the Law and Home Affairs Minister, praised the rubbish by Ben Leong ……

    As I said, SHAME to the so-called oppos like Chee, Lim Tean, Tan Jee Say, the wayang party MPs and members etc. I don’t even bother about the other charlatans like Goh Meng Seng.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Kim Kimochi:
    Election coming?

    Yes. My bet is just after NDP and before F1 night race.

    F1 organiser objects to closed-door race, no spectators no F1 race. PAP needs this events to fill up hotels and F & B and Tourism Board needs to collect levies. The taskforce needs to lift the Covid-19 restriction for spectators.

    However, this restriction is a disadvantage to the alternative parties. It restricts rally size, door to door canvassing and outreach, etc. It would be a “blind” election.

    So the best time for GE is after the virtual NDP, a feel-good event. Have the GE with restriction. After GE, declares victory over the virus, lift the Covid-19 restriction for F1.

    PAP is smart right. Hope voters are smarter. Don’t allow PAP to ransom you for votes!!

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  • Realistically:

    I would be interested to know where those face mask being washed up onto the Australian shores from containers which fell into the seas had originated from the Singapore flagged containership:

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/singapore/singapore-freighter-probed-after-face-masks-other-goods-wash-ashore-near-sydney/ar-BB14H3jc?ocid=spartandhp

    Singapore freighter probed after face masks, other goods wash ashore near Sydney

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  • Realistically:

    I would be interested to know where those face mask being washed up onto the Australian shores from containers which fell into the seas had originated from the Singapore flagged containership ORIGINATED.

    Were those mask shipped from Singapoe and if so by whom and to who?

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/singapore/singapore-freighter-probed-after-face-masks-other-goods-wash-ashore-near-sydney/ar-BB14H3jc?ocid=spartandhp

    Singapore freighter probed after face masks, other goods wash ashore near Sydney

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  • Realistically:

    I suggest people here read the excellent rebuttal of Ben Leong bootlicking PAPie-type propaganda at this link:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/jin-sheng/rebuttal-of-prof-ben-leong-justifying-actions-by-govt/2657079117730936/?hc_location=ufi

    All I can say is SHAME to the wayang party fake oppos being paid for their wayang in Parliament; and also SHAME to MPs wanna-be’s like Chee Soon Juan, Lim Tean;, Tan Jee Say, and others in those so-called oppo parties, including the new one headed by a Ravi Philemon – can’t remember his name – and Michele Lee………..

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  • Realistically:

    I would have appreciated the writer to have included what Lawrence Wong said at the MMTF’s 1st media conference on 27 Jan 2020, of which there was a 180 degree turn after I had adversely commented, altho I’m can’t say for sure that the about turn in the MMTF’s position was the result of what I had commented on Yahoo.

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