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AAPS Response to NEJM Accusations Against President Trump

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has taken the unprecedented step of jumping into electoral politics,  in an editorial apparently signed by all of the 30-plus members of the editorial staff.[1] It states that: “our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

NEJM accuses “the administration”—clearly the Trump Administration—of pressuring agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to act for reasons based on politics rather than “scientific evidence.” It alleges that “Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed ‘opinion leaders’ and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.”

Who are these unnamed “charlatans”? The main spokesman featured at the Presidential podium has been Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Who is the expert praised by Democrat candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? Anthony Fauci.

Who determines policy, such as the one that delayed testing? Unnamed officials at the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention, which at first forbade testing by any means other than the CDC’s test kits, which proved defective. What effect will an election have on career bureaucrats in these agencies? Little to none. Democrats have said nothing to criticize them—apparently, they are “the scientists.” Where is the editorial about incompetence and corruption in federal bureaucracies? In the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons[2]—not in NEJM.

What are the outright lies? The World Health Organization (WHO) relied on China, which at first claimed that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. NEJM does not criticize China, but relies on its mortality statistics. NEJM praises South Korea, Singapore, and New Zealand for their quarantine measures and low mortality rates (8, 5 and 5/million, respectively, compared with 3/million for China), but not Taiwan (0.3/million)[3]. These nations did not believe China’s reassurances, and were able to constrain entry of infected  persons before the virus was already widespread.

NEJM blames the poor performance by the U.S., with a high mortality of 661/million, on late, ineffective, and inconsistent isolation measures, and failure to wear masks. There is no evidence-based medicine for lockdowns, the course of the epidemic being about the same in nations with and without severe restrictions on liberty.[4] [5] Even the WHO has now recognized the disastrous effects of the severe lockdowns that NEJM praises. There is no evidence showing the effectiveness of masks as used by the public; cloth masks might even increase the risk of infection.[6]

The biggest lie is the outright lie of omission: denying or ignoring evidence that COVID-19 can be successfully prevented and treated with affordable, available drugs and other measures. The FDA states that “there are currently no drugs or biological products approved or licensed for the treatment of COVID-19 in the United States,” and that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) will have no clinical effect and may be harmful to the patient. This is the basis for restricting the off-label use of HCQ in the U.S. through state regulatory agencies, even though the FDA places no restriction on off-label uses.

A glaring difference between countries with high COVID mortality, including wealthy countries such as the U.S. and Western European nations, and countries with a low mortality is the early use of HCQ, as AAPS has pointed out in its lawsuit against the FDA and NEJM  ignores. There is substantial and growing evidence favoring early use of HCQ, especially with zinc and antibiotics, and other measures. The website C19study.com has posted 133 studies of HCQ (with 100% of early treatment and 63% of late treatment studies showing favorable results); 15 of vitamin D (all positive except one inconclusive); 12 of ivermectin (all positive except three inconclusive); and three of Regeneron (one human trial).

NEJM writes that “our leaders have largely chosen to ignore and even denigrate experts.” Actually, our news media, social media giants, administrative agencies, insurers, hospital systems, and organized medicine have chosen to censor, ignore, and denigrate experts who disagree with their desired narrative about a devastating pandemic that can only be stopped by draconian social controls.

Denying early treatment with HCQ may be responsible for as many as 100,000 needless American deaths, stated epidemiologist Harvey Risch of the Yale School of Public Health.[7]

There has not been a “leadership vacuum,” as the NEJM editors claim, but rather aggressive obstruction of the efforts of physicians and scientists to protect and treat their patients, to serve a political and ideological agenda or promote the financial benefit of entrenched special interests.

Those who have been complicit in this war against effective early treatment should answer for why they impeded care.


[1] Editors. Dying in a leadership vacuum. N Engl J Med 2020;381:1479-1480.

[2] Huntoon LR. CDC: bias and disturbing conflicts of interest. J Am Phys Surg 2020;25:66-69.

[3] Worldometer. COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Updated Oct 10, 2020. Available at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Accessed Oct 10, 2020,

[4] . Briggs W. There is no evidence lockdowns saved lives. it is indisputable they

caused great harm. Wmbriggs.com; May 14, 2020. Available at: https://wmbriggs.com/post/30833/. Accessed Oct 10, 2020.

[5] Miller SC. Lockdowns and Mask Mandates Do Not Lead to Reduced COVID Transmission Rates or Deaths, New Study Suggests. American Institute for Economic Research; Aug 26, 2020.

[6] MacIntyre CR, Seale H, Dung TC, et al. A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers. BMJ Open 2015;5:e006577. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006577.

[7] Risch HA.  early outpatient treatment of symptomatic, high-risk coronavirus disease 2019 patients that should be ramped up immediately as key to the pandemic crisis. Am J Epidemiol, May 24, 2020.  kwaa093, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwaa093.

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