South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) – which managed the Palmetto State’s response to the Covid-19 scandal – will fall under the microscope itself this coming week.
The S.C. Senate medical affairs committee – chaired by senator Danny Verdin of Laurens, S.C. – is convening a meeting of its pandemic preparedness subcommittee to hear testimony from agency officials as well as “those with relevant and credible analytical input regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“The aim of this hearing is to determine a framework for evaluating the public health response, identifying successes that should be replicated, as well as understanding areas of potential improvement, if South Carolina must address another pandemic,” an advisory for the hearing noted.
The last topic of discussion – “areas of potential improvement” – could take awhile.
SCHDEC’s response to the pandemic has come under criticism in recent months – not only for its reliance on dubious “science” regarding masks and vaccinations but also for its byzantine bureaucratic structure.
“During the pandemic DHEC became the most important game in town,” Upstate conservative activist Jennifer Black wrote in a guest column on this outlet back in April. “Without really any accountability, they wielded that self-important control. Because of their position, their ‘guidance’ was interpreted as requirements, because going against their recommendations put businesses and other government entities in a potentially liable position. The Governor, Department of Education, local school boards and businesses were at odds with not only the practicalities of their recommendations, but also with their narrow thinking of solving a disease without addressing the consequences of such decisions.”
According to Black, not much has changed in the intervening years because “adjustments haven’t been made and lessons (haven’t) been learned.”
“Without DHEC’s structure and accountability being addressed, the system is ripe to produce yet another episode of chaos, egos, government inefficiencies and South Carolina citizens suffering, with very little recourse,” she wrote.
Black isn't the only one challenging SCDHEC's "pandemic science." Just last month, our outlet reported on efforts by one parental rights organization - United Parents of South Carolina (UPSC) - to "equip parents who are willing to take a stand for their children with the information they need to do so."
Not only that, this group is urging school officials to “justify particular policies which may include public health mitigation strategies, curriculum or other school policies.” That includes providing parents with “risk versus benefit assessments for specific public health policies” - you know, like mask mandates, vaccine mandates or demands for “virtual learning,” all of which were issued by government-run schools during Covid.
“Unsupported or unsubstantiated policies erode trust, causing elected officials, government agencies and school system leadership to lose credibility,” the group’s website noted. “Unsupported polices also are more likely to cause division which is detrimental to the school community.”
Since most schools relied on SCDHEC for "guidance" related to these "unsupported policies," that makes the health agency the ultimate source of this erosion of public trust ... which is what makes next week's hearing so important.
(Click to view)
One of the experts whose testimony we are most looking forward to hearing? Denice Hilty.
For months, Hilty has been one of the most effective behind-the-scenes advocates when it comes to holding SCDHEC accountable for its questionable guidance. I interviewed Hilty in May of this year regarding her efforts ... a conversation which was featured on our popular Week in Review program.
The medical affairs committee hearing is scheduled for this coming Tuesday (September 12, 2023) at 10:00 a.m. EST in room 105 of the Gressette Building, which is located on the S.C. State House grounds.
As I have frequently pointed out, individual liberty and common sense took a back seat to irrational fear and compulsory compliance during the Covid-19 regime. It's good to see citizens reasserting themselves - and challenging their leaders to show their work when it comes to mandates that clearly did more harm than good.
MEETING NOTICE ...
(Via: S.C. Senate)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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