What in the world has happened to us? As the last three years have vividly illustrated, the social, political, and psychological impact of measures to contain a virus have had a shattering impact on us all- as humans, as physicians, as family members, as American citizens, and as friends. We physicians saw our profession usurped by mainstream media, politicians, and bureaucrats of all stripes to weaponize and politicize medicine and public health to perpetrate biomedical tyranny.
Heretofore untested extreme measures had not been instituted for entire populations for serious viral pandemics including Hong Kong flu and Swine flu. Tragically these measures not only failed to contain or stop the virus, but they also caused incalculable harm, especially to our children. Furthermore, safe and effective early treatments were vigorously denigrated, and physicians were blocked from prescribing FDA approved safe medications for off label COVID use, another unprecedented action against physicians.
Historians may look back at the time of COVID as The Great Awakening, with the caveat that we are willing to examine and accurately diagnose what indeed did happen. In his book, The New Abnormal, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty begins with where we found ourselves deep into the COVID pandemic and where the biomedical security state will lead us if we do not quickly change course. Our world as we knew it was essentially stopped. Dr. Naomi Wolf writes of her sadness and rage at “the cruel moral judgments, the two-tier society, the mandates, the coercions ,the desperate masked children with their laboring breath, the loneliness” and her rage at those who wanted it all memory-holed.
I believe to change course there needs to be a national vigorous exploration of how this happened, who is responsible, and what can be done to prevent a future rinse and repeat. These questions are even more pressing because it appears we may be standing on the precipice of another fear campaign and potential public health debacle as we head into our yearly flu season. One brave medical voice amidst this onslaught is Dr. Ladapo, Florida’s Surgeon General, whose message is to resist masks and the failed COVID mandates.
Notably, at the beginning of the pandemic, prominent epidemiologists and public health physicians from the private sector were conspicuously absent from the government’s pandemic response. Furthermore, many of our colleagues who dared to challenge the orthodoxy of containment measures and later the vaccines were ridiculed, lost hospital privileges, fired in some cases, including Dr. Kheriaty, marginalized, and smeared. Why weren’t our nation’s top practicing physicians not assembled to coordinate accurate public health information and containment strategies for what was deemed a unique infectious viral disease? How different would the landscape of the last three years have been if the public was made aware of these statistics? Or that the degree of risk was age stratified with a 1800 times risk differential based on age?
To unravel these complex events and actions, it’s helpful to recap that the COVID-19 virus came from Wuhan, the home of the Chinese Biomedical research lab where gain of function and bioterrorism research was being undertaken. Dr. Fauci, head of NIAID, had supported research there with grant monies which were later funneled through Eco Health when direct funding was banned. It was reasonable during the first several weeks for those who knew these facts to be alarmed and cautious. However, recently through freedom of information requests, it has been revealed that Dr. Fauci met with the CIA, amongst other entities, to craft censorship strategies against the lab leak theories and promote the Wuhan wet market natural occurring virus theory as the origin of the virus. The government even tapped professional authors to craft these messages to promote their various COVID narratives. Obviously, Dr. Fauci had something he felt he had to hide, and he had a panoply of government agencies ready, willing, and extremely able to help.
Keeping all of this in mind, an interesting and well researched article by Debbie Lerman, a science writer and Brownstone Fellow, was published in The Brownstone Institute newsletter. She posed a provocative explanation regarding the measures that were taken by government agencies and billed as public health measures, in the name of keeping us safe. It’s entitled “Lockdowns were Counterterrorism, Not Public Health.” Let that sink in. Initially, rather than HHS, FEMA was made the lead federal agency for the pandemic response. The Great Barrington Declaration was written in October of 2020 and many of us physicians signed it as did lay citizens. It was a true public health document. It began by stating, “As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of prevailing CoVID-19 policies and recommend an approach we call focused protection.” The recommended measures balanced effectiveness, practicality, and the human and societal costs of containment measures which defines “public health.”
It was viciously attacked as were its authors, Drs. Jay Bhattacharya, Sunetra Gupta, and Martin Kuldorff. Likewise, led by Dr. Birx, The Government Task Force that was assembled vehemently opposed Dr. Scott Atlas, the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in Health Policy at The Hoover Institute, joining, but he was appointed anyway. This resulted in an insider view of what transpired within the Task force. In his book, A Plague Upon Our House, Ms. Lerman cites a statement he made in which she contends he inadvertently reveals why one can only understand what happened by realizing the response was not about public health: “It was baffling to me, an incomprehensible error of whoever assembled the Task Force, that there were zero public health policy experts and no experts with medical knowledge who also analyzed economic, social, and other broad public health impacts other that the infection itself. Shockingly, the broad public health perspective was never part of the discussion among the Task Force health advisors other than when I brought it up. Even more bizarre was that no one seemed to notice.”
She went on to state that when looking for who exactly was responsible for the US Covid-19 response, she hit a brick wall because The National Security Council had classified the pandemic response meetings starting in January 2020. Is this what we would expect during a public health crisis? Why would the government security related agencies closely guard the pandemic management? Recall during these times conservatives, parents, and Trump supporters were regarded as potential domestic terrorists. Likewise, COVID mandate compliance versus resistance took on the same political dynamic.
The beneficiaries of the national security response , according to Ms. Lerman, included military and national security agencies such as FEMA and Homeland Security, private corporations, and non-governmental global health organizations. Those familiar with the proposed World Health Organization international treaty will recognize the utilization of the pandemic to drive a massive increase in global central command and control by unelected officials with resultant loss of national sovereignty in the event of anything WHO deems an “emergency.” These entities according to Lerman were eager to amass more funding and power, perpetuating this type of non-public health response. She states, “Epidemiologic knowledge, public health principles, medical ethics, and the well-being of the general population have nothing to do with what these entities have in mind.”
Speaking of funding, in 1980 the Baye-Dole Act was passed and in 1986 the Vaccine Injury Act was passed. These two pieces of legislation changed the medical landscape. From that point forward government agencies and academic institutions could obtain patents based on taxpayer funded medical research and collect attendant royalties. In addition, vaccine companies were now essentially liability free. A quick look at the CDC chart of recommended childhood vaccines gives us an example of one result, an explosion of recommended vaccines. Emergency Use Authorization gives another layer of liability protection with the resultant never ending COVID booster approvals, some with minimal or no human trials, even when recommended for children. This video gives another insight into other driving factors.
Now, let’s review what was done: quarantine the healthy, not just the infected (lockdowns), permit only essential work, centralized command and control, and wait for a vaccine. Compare that to bioterrorism response policy which is essentially shelter in place and wait for a vaccine or antidote. It remains to be seen if the biomedical security state, AKA biomedical tyranny, was imposed because the COVID-19 virus was truly believed to be the purposeful release of a bioterrorism agent. Or was it a nasty virus that became useful as “a crisis not to be wasted” for political ends, such as altering how elections are conducted? Or was the pandemic a dry run for mass psychological manipulation and subsequent statist control of entire populations?
In examining censorship, the media played a huge role in fomenting mass COVID hysteria which resulted in almost unquestioning acceptance of biomedical tyrannical measures. One must look well before the pandemic to understand how the single most important pillar of preserving a Constitutionally based republic, an honest and vigilant media, became instead an echo chamber of orthodoxy. An article by Hassell and Holbein in the National Library of Medicine looked at journalistic bias in a Science Advances 2020 article. They found just 7% of journalists identify as Republican. New York, Washington, DC, and LA are the epicenter of news gathering and reporting and their bubble is increasingly soundproof, shutting out much of the country and differing narratives.
The authors looked at the Twitter activity of major journalists in all media and found that on a spectrum, (see slide) the average journalist ideologically fell somewhere between Bernie Sanders and AOC. No wonder the sound bites regarding the virus, the vaccines, the need to lockdown all sounded eerily similar. The next question is who was dictating the narratives?
In the lawsuit Missouri vs Biden, the curtain is drawn back to reveal a list of the players accused of actively coercing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other media sources to censor as “misinformation” any posts or commentary that challenged the official government narrative. Defendants include the White House, the Surgeon General, the CDC, the FBI and the CIA. The CIA was heavily involved in the COVID media response, and they hired author Michael Lewis to pen soundbites. When watching the tsunami of medical product ads on television, there is a fast-talking list of possible side effects. Contrast those with the “public service announcements” regarding the covid vaccine and boosters when there is no product liability. When those didn’t work, Biden’s direct address to the people was followed by the media cacophony regarding vaccine resistance. This coordinated censorship and manipulation of public attitudes resulted in strained and sometimes destroyed relationships between family, friends and neighbors, over masking, vaccination, and compliance issues. This was psychological warfare noted the German MEP at a WEF conference.
As more and more information began to surface, largely through alternative information sources and people believing their own lying eyes, the narrative began to crack and people started to lose faith in previously trusted governmental agencies such as the HHS, NIH, FDA, CDC, DOJ, FBI amongst others. At the same time, physicians began to lose faith in academia and previously revered journals as being unbiased sources of medical and pertinent public health information. How could intelligent physicians in academic centers buy into measures that had obvious catastrophic impacts on society, especially children, and that made little sense from data long established regarding the natural course of viral diseases and their management? The politicization of this pandemic in an increasingly leftist academia coupled with the medical industrial complex yields the answer.
Grants from pharmaceuticals, medical manufacturing, and government entities had infused money throughout everything medical. And the pandemic brought out just how far these entities were calling the shots. Massive testing of healthy individuals was required for many activities in spite of reports that the initial PCR tests kits were up to 90% false positives. Hospitals were paid thousands of dollars for a COVID diagnosis at admission and bonus payments above and beyond usual ICU payments if the patient tested positive for COVID. Families were paid thousands of dollars in funeral costs if their loved one died of Covid. There were rigid hospital protocols physicians were forced to follow without deviation which included expensive ineffective drugs. We will never know how inflated the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths during that period were from primary Covid or associated with COVID in already compromised individuals.
As physicians, we largely stood by as patients hospitalized for any reason were not allowed visitors. Patients died alone in hospitals and nursing facilities of terminal cancers and other non-COVID causes when every shift lab, dietary, nurses, doctors, and other hospital personnel entered and left the hospital. Community masking was mandated, even outdoors, despite massive data that masks do not prevent transmission of a virus and in fact have negative consequences, not the least of which was dehumanizing people. We closed schools when we had the Swedish studies, German study, and closer to home the Cherokee County, Georgia study showing keeping schools open showed no uptick in student, teacher, or community cases of Covid when sick kids or teachers stayed home, and common hygiene measures were followed.
Finally, a word about the vaccines. Our speaker, Dr. Peter McCoullough, is a priceless national resource educating physicians and the public regarding how the vaccine was supposed to work, why they have caused morbidity and mortality, and devising protocols for early treatment and detoxification of the spike protein. A question that remains unanswered is how entities, such as 79 colleges and universities, and some medical centers, justify mandating these experimental vaccines for an essentially non-lethal disease in a population most at risk for adverse vaccine events. It is especially egregious since it is estimated that greater than 90% of the country has had Covid at least once, and disease acquired immunity is superior and long lasting.
If we can utilize fearlessly examining the events of these past three years as an impetus for demanding legislative guardrails, increasing public awareness, extolling physician autonomy in patient care, restoring the ethos of medical ethics with informed consent, as articulated in the AAPS Patient Bill of Rights, a drive to return to decentralized public health measures, we just might transform a Great Awakening into a Great Turning Point. As Orwell wrote in his book 1984, “Who controls the past controls the future.” We’ve experienced his “newspeak, doublethink, and thought police.”, and of course the Ministry of Truth.
Physicians and medicine have been central in the age-old struggle of the Self versus the Collective. We cannot sit on the sidelines. AAPS has been in the forefront of providing accurate data, learned opinions, and promoting discourse in controversial medicals and sociopolitical issues. Each of us must become activists for our profession, our patients, our families, and our country as it was envisioned. When issues arise, write letters to the editor, post useful commentary on social media, speak at schoolboards, contact your legislators and local news outlets as a source of trustworthy medical information, and update your patients on accurate information when the need arises. Resist nonsense and be straight forward in your statements and reasoning. Be brave. Dr. Aaron Kheriaty ends his book as I will end my presentation: “History is not set in stone…The future depends on what we do now… I think all of us want to wake up in ten, twenty, thirty years and be able to tell the next generation that we stood up and did everything in our power, …to make sure that we were handing on a world to them that was humane, that was livable, that was just, and that was free. Now it’s time for us to go to work.”