LETTER: ‘Twelve Monkeys’ argues for Trump
To the Editor:
Anyone wishing to buy into the Democrats’ argument that the incumbent had no COVID plan, that the response was a travesty, and that a frail 78 year old man with a history of brain surgery is the one who will “follow the scientists” ought to consider: (1) Matt Ridley, “What the Pandemic has Taught Us About Science”. WSJ. Sat.-Sun. Oct. 10-11, 2020, C.1; (2) Rob Barry, Joel Eastwood, Paul Overberg, “Coronavirus Hit The US Long Before We Knew”, WSJ Online Oct. 8, 2020 www.wsj.com/graphics/when-did-covid-hit-earliest-death/?mod=hp_lead_pos13, and (3) Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film “Twelve Monkeys.”
Ridley quotes legendary physicist Richard Feynman who defined the scientific method: “First, you guess, then you compute the consequences of your guess, and compare it to observed evidence. Most guesses are bad.” Ridley observes that “bad practice corrupts all stages of the scientific process.”
Barry, Eastwood and Overberg collect data which seem to demonstrate that COVID likely entered via Wuhan, spread first to California and Washington, then rapidly spread via interstate, not international, travel. The inference is that no available method of scientific detection could have prevented such spread in December 2019-February 2020.
Thus, the relevance of Gilliam’s film. Cole, an anti-social outcast imprisoned in a near future of humans driven underground due to plague that destroyed all human life on the face of the earth, is dizzying and repeatedly sent back in time by the nefarious scientists who now rule the underground world, to locate and destroy “The Army of the Twelve Monkeys,” who the scientists suggest caused and spread the plague.
Cole belatedly realizes that he’s been used but is condemned to a hopeless time loop. Actress Carol Florence, portraying an astrophysicist who uncannily resembles “The Notorious RBG”, delivers the film’s last line and it’s a doozy.
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