COVID-19 Rules: Politics, Absurdity
Government officials’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic shows perhaps more than ever before why people can’t depend on them, and need to think for themselves. I refer not just to President Trump’s speculation that ingestion of cleaning agents might kill the virus, or his early declaration that the pandemic was a hoax, or that it would go away quickly, or that he first praised China’s handling of the outbreak so as not to harm trade negotiations and then placed all the blame on China for its spread while he dillydallied, or that he then accused the Asian country of creating the virus in a laboratory.
Yes, those vacillations reveal the flailing, utter incompetence and moral bankruptcy of a head of state willing to sacrifice lives of his constituents in the interest of his own political status. But beyond that, officials at lower levels also make clear their fuzzy-headed, or even politically motivated, thinking in issuing directives on how to protect from the virus.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with President Trump
In Palm Beach County here in Florida, home of our lackadaisal “leader,” who visits frequently at taxpayers’ expense to indulge his favorite pastime of golf, we have the directive from county and municipal officials that walking and jogging on the beach are permitted, but sunbathing is not. If anyone out there can think of anything more ridiculous, I want to hear it. Lying on the beach, apart from other beach-goers, absorbing the immunizing vitamin D from the sun’s rays, creates a danger of passing or contracting the disease? Maybe the rationale is that perambulating is a good way to flee from the disease. Hey, I’m just trying to comprehend this.
But wait, there is indeed something more absurd, even downright bizarre. In Delray Beach, it apparently is okay to lie on the beach — with your shirt on. That way you’re not sunbathing. I’m not kidding. Just look at the big photo on the front page of Friday’s Palm Beach Post. A police officer is warning a man lying on the sand that he must put his shirt back on. Maybe officials worry people will absorb excessive vitamin D — you know, too much of a good thing.
Oh, and it’s okay for restaurants to open up to 50% occupancy, with diners in close proximity in an enclosed space. That obviously is safer that lying on the beach, away from others.
On the state level, we learn that a state statistician was fired because she refused, in her words, to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” In other words, Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump acolyte, wanted her to fudge the numbers to distort the true count of cases in the state so reopening would seem safer, just like the guy in the White House has been doing on a national level. Like pres, like gov. His administration is being sued by a consortium of newspapers for hiding the number of COVID-19 deaths at prisons, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Dr. David Brownstein
Moving back up to the national level, the Federal Trade Commission has ordered that a highly credentialed doctor in Michigan cease and desist from propagating information on how he and his partners have saved patients infected with the virus through natural means. Dr. David Brownstein, head of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, has been using a protocol of mega-doses of vitamins C, sometimes injected, and D and A; nebulizing with hydrogen peroxide and Lugol’s iodine; and occasionally giving a shot of ozone. All of more than 100 patients, some of them near death, have recovered, none dying or even going to the hospital. And they experienced virtually no side effects. Brownstein blogged and took to social media to educate people how they could recover from, or prevent, the disease. By the way, he is considered to be one of the country’s top holistic doctors, lectures to physicians internationally, and has authored 11 books, seven of them national best sellers.
On May 15, Dr. Brownstein posted this blog:
“I want to let you know that we have been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop making any statements about our treatment protocols of Vitamins A, C & D, as well as nutritional IV’s, iodine, ozone and nebulization to support the immune system with respect to Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19).
“According to this letter:
“’It is unlawful under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C Sec. 41 et seq. to advertise that a product or service can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made. For COVID-19, no such study is currently known to exist for the products or services identified above. Thus, any Coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products or services are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. You must immediately cease making all such claims.’”
I read in the newspaper the other day that a particular drug showing potential efficacy against the virus was being approved for use even though it hadn’t undergone testing required by the FDA. Ah, but that’s a drug, which can make money for a pharmaceutical company.
Dr. Pierre Kory
Dr. Paul Marik
In his blog post of April 3, Brownstein gave directions for his treatment protocol, strongly insisting that patients seek the help of their doctors with it if that were possible. In that post, which, like all of the many others, has been removed, he wrote about receiving a press release dated March 30 that reported on three hospitals cutting the death rate of COVID-19 by using vitamin C injections and other readily available substances without resorting to ventilators.
One was a clinic at the University of Wisconsin, whose director, Dr. Pierre Kory, explained that vitamin C reduced the mortality rate because it combated inflammation, which is what kills patients, not the virus itself. At Eastern Virginia Medical School, Dr. Paul Marik saved lives by IV doses of hydrocortisone, and vitamins C and B1. In Houston, Dr. J. Varon at United General Hospital reported saving 16 lives with that protocol, which got patients off of ventilators in 48 hours instead of 10 to 21 days. The Los Angeles Times carried a long story about that program.
Are these practitioners next on the feds’ hit list?
Dr. Joseph Varon
In an email conversation that I had with a woman who has a doctorate in cell biology and worked with medical students, she noted that Brownstein’s successes were anecdotal, and said studies should be done before his protocol is approved. Wow! People are dying by the droves, and those actual instances of lives saved, with no even slightly serious side effects, aren’t sufficient evidence to allow use of the protocol before formal studies are done? By that time, hundreds of thousands more people will have died, and the treatment would have little use. This is an example of common sense thrown out the window.
I heard a discussion about hydroxychloroquine Tuesday on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show. All remedies, for anything, that were outside conventional medicine were lumped into one category: quackery. Even vitamin C was included. This is appallingly gross ignorance. If Trump, whom I have made it obvious I despise, were to hear about Brownstein’s successes, he would trumpet it all over the media, and medical practitioners would have to try his protocol. Trump would emerge a hero, and his charges of fake news and conspiratorial media would gain enormous agency, and likely lead to his re-election. Liberals need to be extra cautious about making blanket, knee-jerk assumptions, and investigate, rather than blindly accept, the pronouncements of conventional medicine.
Here is an example of how some in conventional medicine worship profit over the welfare of patients:
A nephew of a friend of mine is married to a nurse who works in a hospital in a large Southern city. Employees were not being tested for COVID-19, so her step-father, who owns a distribution company, sent 40 test kits via Fed-Ex. The nurse brought them into the hospital for staff members to test themselves. One tested positive, and the word spread. The general manager ordered her to remove the kits, explaining that discovery of more employees with the virus would create panic and prompt some to stay home.
On top of that, the nurses are taking a 20% pay cut because of the extra expense in bulking up the staff during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the general manager gets a cut of the profit made by the temp agency that refers the extra personnel, who receive higher salaries for their short-term work.
While I’m on the subject of quackery, a line by the snake-oil salesman in The Music Man comes to mind: “There’s trouble in River City.”
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