The Truth and Trust Project… Part 2 with Dr. Francis Collins

Is Truth and Trust possible again between health officials and the general public? Do you trust that our public health officials are telling you the truth? This question, for me, lead to the Truth and Trust Project. I for one find myself very skeptical these days. As many who’ve listened to the DTH podcast for long know, I’ve been highly critical of the government’s response to the pandemic from the very beginning. How does someone like me have a conversation with someone who had direct influence on the government’s response to the pandemic? Not so long ago, I would say that the conversation would never happen, because my attitude would not have allowed it.

The Truth and Trust Project may be one of the most important endeavors of my life. Several times over the past several months, I asked the question, “if you could ask Dr. Francis Collins or Dr. Tony Fauci a question, what would that question be?”. For that question, I received nothing but negative responses. The most common response was some variation of, “I wouldn’t waste my time, they wouldn’t listen anyway”… I asked the question because I am currently involved in a Braver Angels initiative called the “Truth and Trust Project” with Dr. Francis Collins and myself as partners.

Wilk Wilkinson and Dr. Francis Collins discussing their "Truth and Trust Project" on the Derate The Hate Podcast.
Wilk and Dr. Francis Collins discussing the Truth and Trust Project

Dr. Francis Collins is a  physician-geneticist, Dr. Collins took office as the 16th NIH director on August 17, 2009, after being appointed by President Barack Obama. In 2017, he was asked to continue in his role by President Donald Trump, and in 2021, by President Joe Biden. As such, Dr. Francis Collins played an instrumental role in the government’s response to the pandemic. There are many things with respect to the government’s response to the pandemic that Francis and I disagree on vehemently. We are both men who dearly love our country. We are both individuals who hold strong to our values. Both Francis and I recognize that there needs to be a better way forward. This starts by understanding that contentious topics don’t have to result in a contentious conversations.

The only way we can expect as a country to rebuild Truth and Trust is to have conversations with those whom we disagree. The only way to get results from those conversations is to actually LISTEN to those with whom we disagree and look for the humility and humanity in their position. In this episode, Part 2 of 2, Francis and I discuss:

  • Getting children vaccinated
  • The doctor/patient relationship
  • Government mandates
  • The casualties of a free society
  • Employer vaccine mandates (both in healthcare and the military)
  • Mask efficacy and their collateral damage to society
  • Vaccine efficacy and how that messaging has evolved
  • the erosion of trust in government and public health officials

What have you done today to make your life a better life? What have you done today to make the world a better place? The world is a better place if we are better people. That begins with each of us leading a better life. Be kind to one another. Be grateful for everything you’ve got, and make each and every day the day that you want it to be!

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