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In deciding the best approach to dealing with the challenging spread of a virus, it is often easier to attack the messenger than to try to argue against a message. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re not a doctor”.

In many cases, deferral to expert authority is correct. We should defer to people who are smarter and know more about a topic than us. But we also need to recognise that personal incentives can influence their views.

Consider an emergency room doctor or general practitioner. Media outlets regularly seek views from emergency doctors who are treating COVID-19 patients on the best way to approach the virus. The Australian Medical Association (AMA), which is essentially a union representing the interests of doctors, provided that view a few weeks ago, when AMA boss Tony Bartone demanded Melbourne move to a strict stage four lockdown as cases climbed.