As the kids used to say, the stupid, it burns. The FDA commissioner has opinions on what double-blinded means (boldface mine):
“The FDA does this on a regular basis, which is actually why I was a little surprised at the comments tagged in the proposal…this isn’t necessarily new … manners of accessing science in the regulatory process. FDA routinely uses the double-blind scientific studies for their work where they have two teams of researchers replicating the same data, both teams don’t know each other exist and where they are. We don’t do that at the agency, we don’t do that across the entire federal government. I’ve believed for a long time that federal research would be more accepted by the public if you used the double-blind standard for everything. I don’t know if we have the funding to do that for everything but they certainly do that at the FDA. But there are things that we can do … to help the regulatory process by putting the data out there for the public to see that I think would really benefit to make our regulations stronger.”
Double-blind studies involve study designs where both researchers and study subjects don’t know which subjects are given the placebo versus the treatment. These studies are a great way that researchers can reduce bias in scientific studies since those involved in reporting and collecting data won’t be influenced by knowledge of a potential effect. These study designs are especially useful in clinical trial research for new drugs, where scientists are interested in the efficacy of a drug, the presence of side effects, and other health outcomes.
This is not a Trump-specific phenomenon. It is just Dubya-era reality manufacturing, applied to domestic policy. And like it did back then, it’s going to kill some of us.
Aside: He is referring to the proposal to have another panel examine scientific claims, consisting of ‘experts’, as opposed to actual experts.