Salem Revisited, Corona-style

An open letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachussetts

Dear Senator Warren:

The only reason I am writing to you is because of our mutual old friend David Nichols, who always told me to watch you, as, in his view, you were that rarest of all things, an honest, sincere, and completely incorruptible politician. His opinion of you was established back when you were both congressional pages. Recently however, when you attempted to get Amazon to censor the work of Alex Berenson, I imagined Dave rolling over in his grave, for your action made a liar out of him, posthumously. Dave did not necessarily always agree with your positions, but he always respected your integrity and your sincerity. However today, the US, and most of the world, finds itself in the unprecedented situation that the pharmaceutical complex has corrupted governments around the world, courtesy of primarily one un-elected official, Bill Gates, who more or less has all the players on the payroll, politicians, regulators, researchers, all the way up to and including the WHO all the while promoting the programs of the CCP, in service of his personal obsession with pandemics, and his confusion of very democratic concept of public health with the totalitarian concept of population medicine.

The corruption seems to be nearly total, and in this case, you seem to be blissfully unaware of it, for it appears to be so universal as to have become a ¨new normal¨ of sorts, however, Alex Berenson has been one of the voices who have rightfully been critical and meticulously objective. Not the only one perhaps, but an important one, for, as a journalist, he has made the material accessible and understandable to many, and rendered this country and the world a huge service.

In Washington, Senator Rand Paul has been setting an example in his questioning of Dr. Anthony Fauci and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, so there is some interest in truth. In that context it was extra disappointing to see you seek increased censorship, instead of making yourself an ally of truth amidst mass obfuscation and groundless panic. I would suggest at this time that you watch the interview Joe Rogan just did with Alex Berenson, episode #1717 of his podcast series, and if you watch it objectively, you might find that you want to reverse course and apologize to Alex. You do not want to go down in history leading the charge for a modern-day Salem witch trial and preventing a realistic assessment of serious policy issues. Silencing Alex Berenson is no benefit, only a detriment, to the American people. Washington should not aspire to become like the Vatican apologizing to Galileo four hundred years later. Of course it remains difficult with Pres. Biden telling us for a year already that the sky is green and the grass is blue, in the process disenfranchising the 100-150 million Americans who have already recovered from Covid and for whom the vaccines introduce extra risk and no benefit. Does he know his ratings are going down?

Restoring Sanity

Now that the failings of both the lockdowns (Non Pharmaceutical Interventions, NPI) and the vaccines are becoming clear, the entire range of actions with respect to the SARS CoV-2 and Covid-19 situation will need review. We have the shining example of Sweden (what pandemic?), and some interesting variations in policy outomes between the states – hint: lockdowns were losers, as were masks. Given the avalanches of law suits and possible criminal prosecutions for human rights violations that appear to be in the offing, truth seeking will be materially important if we are ever to learn anything from the mistakes that were made. I would tend to agree with JFK that errors become mistakes only when you refuse to fix them. Censorship surely is an attempt to prevent the fixing of mistakes.

The foundation for a rational approach was the Great Barrington Declaration, which was liberally ridiculed by purveyors of panic porn, but has been essentially proven out by the facts. It will be hard to estimate how much damage could have been prevented if such risk-appropriate strategies were adopted, but what is clear is that the unprecedented blanket strategy of quarantining the healthy has been devastating and has broadly shifted the burden of the pandemic to the most vulnerable, as well as being an unprecedented wealth transfer from the 99% to the 1%.

Again, with the vaccines, even aside from the questions about the actual performance of the vaccines themselves, it appears the vaccination strategy may have been the problem and a risk appropriate strategy might have been more effective, if not the only thing that could have succeeded to any degree, as has been argued by many international experts including Dr. Geert vanden Bossche. As it is, one would think we mostly wasted our powder, but the pharma companies made billions without any liability. Perhaps the most obvious problem is that the pharma companies blew their clinical trials up by eliminating the control arm of their six month assessment by vaccinating them and the government apparently has no real systematic assessment under way on the performance of these experimental treatments, aside from the somewhat haphazard and very partial recording in VAERS, which is disturbing enough as it is.

The economic assessment has begun in earnest with the publication of the book The Great Covid Panic, which is brilliant and should surely become some kind of a base line for the post-mortems on the Covid experience. It seems without any doubt that most of what has been done has increased the damage manifold and it is important that lessons be learned. Possibly the most devastating thing in the long run is how serious science has been undermined, or perhaps this episode has exposed the fact that the scientific community has been deeply corrupted and politicized in a way that is historically unprecedented and highly undesirable for the public good. There are undoubtedly several other serious sources of information that need to inform the process, including Dr. Peter Breggin´s book Covid-19 and the Global Predators, we are the Prey, the work of organizations like Pandata, Collateral Global, and Alex Berenson´s newsletter and his upcoming book Pandemia. Gratefully, there is a lot of serious analysis starting to happen, and the one and only thing that matters is that for the sake of the future we should learn something from it, and not just sweep it under the rug.

It´s all about Healthcare Reform

In the end, the way this Corona situation was handled goes a long way to suggest we will never have meaningful healthcare reform in this country. The direct costs of our Covid measures have probably doubled our total healthcare expenditures in 2020 and 2021, or more, and set us back in terms of health outcomes for a generation. The indirect costs have made and will continue to make things even worse, and needless to say, we are sending the bill to our children and grandchildren. On that level the most glaring error seems to be the confusion of population medicine for public health and the complete sellout of public health to the pharmaceutical industry. Public health is not about running to the medicine cabinet and picking the right bottle. One simple statistic could teach us that: 95% of Covid-deaths have 4 or more comorbidities, so before and after, public health is about a healthy lifestyle, as indeed the Global Burden of Disease would tend to show. Nobody can live on Doritos and Coke for long.

The greatest damage incurred by our Covid-related policies are about the displacement of everything else, and the consequential damages resulting from that, which will be with us for years. The inflationary devastation is already visible and getting worse.

But the real lesson to be learned is that no lessons were learned. Backwards and forwards we refuse collectively to discuss the real issues of health and healthcare. We always immediately jump to the cost of medications or the issue of universal access. We never seem to address the fact that 86% of healthcare spending is foolish and ultimately unnecessary, because we insist on medical treatments for lifestyle issues, which are 80% nutritional. For the past 50 years, we have exported American-style fast food, and directly on the back of it American-style chronic disease, and of course pharmaceutical products to deal with the results.

Now, if 95% of Covid deaths have 4+ comorbidities, isn’t it about time that we start paying attention to the lifestyle issues that bring about these comorbidities, which are all preventable and mostly reversible with lifestyle medicine? The American College of Lifestyle Medicine put up a useful chart with supporting material for Covid-19, making it obvious that while lifestyle medicine is primarily focused on chronic illness, it also has a major role to play in helping prevent and reduce the damage of infectious disease. We have a comorbidity problem far more than a virus problem. In fact during this period research was published to show that plant-based diets reduced the risk of moderate to severe Cövid outcomes by 73%, which makes sense, because such diets are innately anti-inflammatory. The vaccines are down to a vague and uncertain claim of reducing the seriousness of Covid ( by what? 3%?, 4%?, or possilby even 5%?, precious few hard data are in evidence!), but the vaccines evidently come with a plethora of unwanted adverse reactions, which a healthy diet does not.

Big pharma has always wanted to treat everyone, not just sick people, and the absurd vaccination subscriptions that were are now faced with are the closest thing they have got to the holy grail, which is all about profit, all upside, no downside, profit without any liability, never about health. The myopia that got us into this position is the utter neglect of actual public health and wellness, and complete oblivion about the various prevention strategies that should have been recommended immediately, instead of people just waiting to be hospitalized when it was too late. Even something as simple as vitamin D should have gotten immediate attention, as should the 73% reduction with healthy lifestyles, and the possibilities of entirely drug-free Covid protocols, such as used by Dr. Nandita Shah of SHARAN-India.

In short, it is far easier to help the overwhelming majority of people to become healthier than it is to spend unlimited amounts of money on fighting the disease when it is too late. It´s the old saying of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is the real core of uncontrollable healthcare inflation. Our public health policy has been co-opted by big pharma and the healthcare insurance industry to such a degree that we do not even talk about health, but the conversation is limited ab initio to disease treatment and that gets us deeper and deeper into the economic marsh of the medical industrial complex. We should revisit Eisenhower´s speech and apply it to the healthcare conundrum. The solution to the healthcare crisis is to put healthy, healthy living, and disease reversal and prevention first. All of those are lifestyle issues. Our immune systems thrive under those conditions, and the turnaround happens in days, so it is never too late to get started.

In the medical sense, it is important to realize that the hold the pharmaceutical industry has on our society hinges on the elevation of the germ theory of disease to the level of absolute truth, when in actual fact it is a bit like the flat earth theory. Better for big pharma, but not for human health. During Covid, we have seen new interest in the terrain theory of disease, with the publication of the book Virus Mania. In the terrain theory of disease the operative question about infectious disease is: ¨Why is my immune system down, and what can I do about it?¨ instead of the unproductive focus on how I caught the virus. We operate like the proverbial drunk looking for his keys by the streetlight, even though upon questioning, he knows he lost them elsewhere, where it´s dark.

Finally, we also fell seriously short in addressing early treatment options and the last words on that has not been spoken yet either. Sen. Ron Johnson seems to be on track arguing that more efforts should be directed to this. Neglecting these options was a serious oversight, especially at the time when we were banking on a non-existent vaccine to the exclusion of every other option. And now that the vaccines and the actual vaccination strategy are so clearly failing, we urgently need to re-focus on these options.

The Upshot

The bottom line is that the Corona crisis is one giant demonstration of how not to address health and healthcare. No country can hope to survive spending 20-30% of GDP or more on healthcare, with disastrous outcomes to boot. Medical treatment does have a place in healthcare, but it should not be mistaken for healthcare itself. The gross national happiness quotient of Bhutan is more relevant to the conversation than the medical stats we typically bring up first, when they should be last. Public health requires a broad view of all relevant quality of life issues. Medicine is merely what you bring in when you have failed to stay healthy. The discipline of Lifestyle Medicine is more central to healthcare, and within that framework there is a place for many healing modalities, allopathic medicine being just one of them, but a healthy lifestyle could reduce healthcare spending massively.

Most importantly, by prioritizing disease reversal and prevention with lifestyle medicine, we might have a future of significant reductions in healthcare costs and expanding healthcare coverage economically. We only need to look towards the endless pile of books on polypharmacy and general over-prescription of medicines by 80% or more. There is an alternative, and it is readily available. Economic recovery could be much improved if we use this lesson to begin to address the real healthcare issues and opportunities, and get pharma out of government. It´s a tool, but it should not monopolize the agenda as it has since the Rockefeller medicine reforms.

A Personal Note

I grew up in a medical household, where the usurpation of medicine by big pharma was a regular dinner conversation between my father and various colleagues, back in the 50´s and 60´s, much like Dr. Peter Breggin more recently, he committed himself to talk therapy only, and avoided psychopharmaca like the plague. Dr. Breggin became the conscience of psychiatry amid the flood of psychopharmaca, and has now emerged as a very powerful critic of the makings of the Covid crisis. We should better pay attention to him and the new book he just wrote with his wife, Ginger.

Also, I personally had Covid, and at age 70 and with a BMI of 23, I recovered with a week of watching insipid television, eating fruit and using just a few supplements. A good friend who is nearly 90 and a concentration camp survivor, who like me still remembers the reasons for the Nuremberg code and would not take the experimental vaccines, likewise recovered in about a week. In all, it seems as if a bunch of city kids stayed and the country house and saw a mouse. They burned the house down as a precaution. That may not have been the right strategy. We cannot undo what´s done, but we can do a hell of a lot better.