Hiding the scientific basis for pandemic policies weakens the fight against the virus. In WIRED, November 16, 2020, Roxanne Khamsi cites the example of restrictions in New York state for quarantine of out-of-state visitors. “When health authorities present one rule after another without clear, science-based substantiation,” writes Khamsi, “their advice ends up seeming arbitrary and capricious. That erodes public trust and makes it harder to implement rules that do make sense—for this pandemic and any future public health matters.”
A university bioethicist said last May in RELIAS MEDIA, May 1, 2020, that transparency was the key ethical issue during the current pandemic. Margaret R. McLean cited a lack of transparency during the SARS fight even though the response was successful. Faced with decisions with bad consequences no matter what the choice, the public must have transparency from the government, epidemiologists and the media.