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"Well actually, [incorrect numbers] which means [inaccurate statement about viruses] so I think you'll find [complete ignorance of epidemiology]"

Oh, and they also like using a phrase like "believe me" as if that makes them somehow more believable.

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@InvaderXan

"I believe..." is insidious as an attempt to equate with "the facts show".

"I believe..." needs only a strong sense of authority to go with it.

Authority: too often effective as an offset against careful research.

@Algot Unfortunately, no one with any actual authority really says things like that because they know better than to make any statement that definitive...

@InvaderXan

It does often seem, though, that the people who say "I believe..." have the sense that they are following the authority of some "other" who really does know.

It's kind of like the parental "its how things are done!" when they don't actually claim the authority themselves, but lean on the authority of tradition.

Anti-maskers don't need facts, just the trust that the world "should" go back to normal...so why not today.

@InvaderXan
I'm wondering if "I believe" is code for "in my opinion".

In the U.S. (at least) there has always been a deference given to people who say "In my opinion...". We have this strong tradition of celebrating our diversity of opinions. (The political polarizations of the last two decades is eroding this, however.)

Historically this only applied to how a person felt in response to established facts. Now they act like this also applies to the facts themselves.

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