Why aren’t more people outraged? I may lose my medical license for speaking up. Am I alone?
“Reading today’s expert literature makes it clear that modern authorities are as worried about the dangers associated with fear, uncertainty, and irrationality on the part of the public as they are about the actual direct dangers of any future pathogen. History would suggest they are probably right to be so worried.”
-Dan Carlin, The End is Always Near, published a few months before COVID hit.
Our world is now fully consumed with COVID. When my patients are ill, they are relieved when it’s not COVID. Cancer, heart disease, other severe infections, Parkinson’s; hell, those are yesterday’s news. “I just don’t want COVID.” The world is divided between maskers and anti-maskers, mandatory vaxers vs. free choicers, those who seek to imprison kids “for their own good” vs those who believe that some things are worse than COVID for kids including everything we’re doing to them “for their own good.”
Each day, pretend “scientists” tweet from their basement rooms, believing that they and they alone understand how to deal with COVID, demonizing all those who may disagree, attacking people like me who have studied the disease and who have been on the front lines since the very start, assailing those like Dr. Jay Battacharya, Professor at Stanford and co-creator of the Great Barrington Declaration, who questions the draconian response we’ve inflicted on our world and who have attracted almost a million prominent doctors and scholars to his side. But who is he compared to twitter trolls who all know better?
“I think Battacharya and his anti-science squad of mass murderers should be banned from speaking and should go to jail,” the oh-so-smart “pretend scientists” may write from their couch as they eat chips and scroll through social media finding someone else to haunt.
There are always idiots, always zealots, always those who seek to destroy hard-working, intelligent, and humanistic people like Dr. Battacharya. But in the sullied atmosphere of COVID fanaticism, those “pretend scientists” are winning, they are getting their way. And the Democratic party, the media, and the vast majority of liberal Americans support the trolls over the truly smart and caring souls trying so hard to move the world off a train that is driving us all into a ditch, even if we have to censor and belittle people who truly care.
Why aren’t more people outraged?
Battacharya was recently interviewed and he explained why an unending quarantine, created upon bricks of fear and lacking any scientific basis or humanistic goals, is likely more harmful than COVID itself. “One in four young adults experienced depression or anxiety during the lockdown last year. One in four young adults have seriously considered suicide. I told you about the studies in the developing world where you have enormous numbers of people newly thrown into poverty, deep poverty, or newly food insecure, or who were actively starving. Disruptions in medical care that have harmed people with tuberculosis, with HIV, with malaria… The harms of lockdowns are extremely multi-dimensional. A child who skips a year of school will feel those consequences over a lifetime. They’ll be poorer, less healthy, and live less long.” And Battacharya, for seeking to discuss COVID rationally, for wanting to craft a more measured response, for asking us to look at COVID through a humanistic and scientific lens, has been widely attacked. The trolls and their liberal handlers financed an expensive smear campaign against him and his ideas. “I was naive,” he said. "I didn’t know that people would then use ad hominem attacks against me…. I expected more serious engagement by serious people.”
Serious engagement in the era of COVID? No, not possible. It’s us against them, it’s “follow me” or you’re a killer, it’s counting COVID cases and not worrying about the fallout, it’s silencing and demeaning anyone who dares to open their mouths.
Why aren’t more people outraged?
My fiction books are all about the very backlash that people like Battacharya has felt for speaking up and daring to challenge the forces of reaction and dogma. Yadel, in the Adventures of Yadel the Dreidel, falls prey to zealots who paint him as a villain, twisting the truth so that he is targeted by Jewish leaders as an enemy even as those very zealots work to dismantle the very soul of Judaism. Paul, in Three Brothers from Virginia, first must escape the claws of a slave culture that had dehumanized him (using science as its guide), before landing into an anti-slavery society that similarly demonizes him because of his atheism which is portrayed as being as evil as slavery itself. Speaking one's mind is a dagger.
Then there’s Geriatrics Vengeance Club, a fictional saga mirroring my own struggle through the hell of COVID. Written in May of 2020, the book begins with the main character being tried by a tribunal of physicians who seek to crucify him for daring to question a COVID response that he knows is harming his patients. In fact, his criticism is unintentional and just a joke, but to the COVID zealots it’s enough for them to want to squish him, which they do, taking away his license and his profession and effectively silencing his protestations.
For those who don’t want to read the whole book (even though you’ll love it, especially the humor and the songs and the hope!), I’ve distilled the two chapters from Ben’s trial to a single PDF, which is below.
Sadly, in a tragic twist of faith, Ben's pain has become my own. More than a year after I wrote those chapters, I’m now in the very same seat Ben occupied! The Maryland Board of Medicine is threatening to suspend my medical license, not because of how I practice medicine, not for breaking any rules, not for inadequately taking care of my patients during COVID. No, I am often lauded for that part of my professional life. I’ve been tirelessly caring for COVID patients and helping dozens of facilities get through this crisis, I’ve sacrificed my own physical and mental health in that endeavor, even as I read everything I can about this virus and the best way to confront it. Hell, this year I was voted by Baltimore Magazine as one of the area’s top geriatric docs!
But none of that protects me from the vicious reprisals of those who don’t even want me to open my mouth. The pretend “scientists” who troll Twitter and Facebook and spend their time demeaning and harming people like me—those of us who have experience and knowledge that these trolls lack as they sit in their basements scrolling news clips and social media posts—don’t want to discuss COVID. To them, it’s all about masks and forced immunization and quarantines, not about stopping COVID or helping people. To them, it’s a battle for a single truth that, if questioned, must be met with the sword of shame and censorship.
Above is a pdf of the letter I received from the Board of Physicians including the compliant, which was launched by one such pretend “scientist” Twitter troll named Dave Rush, who fought with me on Twitter, called me some bad names, and then sent our conversation to the Board. Again, he’s not even from my state, let alone having any knowledge of how I practice medicine. His goal was to root me out and then censor me for daring to question the Fauci dogma. You’d think my medical board would dismiss and toss out such nonsense, would at most call some of my facilities and ask them how I was doing regarding following the rules and treating my patients. But no, they made it clear that they support Dave Rush’s claim that I’m not supposed to talk, and they said that they are now considering whether to take away my license to practice medicine because I dared exercised my right to free speech. Even though nothing in the Maryland Board’s rules state that a doctor can’t talk, none of that matters in the era of COVD, where merely opening your mouth is enough to put your life in jeopardy, to get you skewered by people who know nothing but seem to have all the power, to even have your medical license revoked despite everything you’ve done to help people through the pandemic.
Why aren’t more people outraged? Am I the only one?
The picture at the start of this blog is article 44 from the Maryland Constitution’s Declaration of Rights. It states: That the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, apply, as well in time of war, as in time of peace; and any departure therefrom, or violation thereof, under the plea of necessity, or any other plea, is subversive of good Government, and tends to anarchy and despotism.
Wow, our very Constitution prevents the government from imprisoning us in a cell of forced masks and isolation, from denying us the right of assembly and travel and worship and school, from exercising our right to free speech, even under the claim of necessity and emergency! Governor Hogan has been violating this declaration from day one of the crisis. No one in the statehouse, even Republicans who preach libertarian views, has fought him on that. I even wrote to several Republicans to help me against the Board of Medicine, and none wrote back. Yes, our Constitutional guarantee of freedom even in the face of emergency, the sanctity of science and of discourse, the desire of smart folks to discuss humanistic concerns about the quarantine, all of that has evaporated in the madness of COVID’s brutal sequestration of our nation. Trolls like Dave Rush, pretend “scientists” and pretend science, have taken the upper hand, turning COVID into an excuse to transform our nation into a virtual concentration camp.
Why aren’t more people outraged? Like Ben in my book, I feel all alone, on an island, seeking help, but finding only disdain and closed ears as I fall deeper into a ditch and see my very life collapse into it.
We have indeed crossed a Rubicon. As CNN and MSNBC and other news outlets who have profited from COVID and don’t want it to go away, as politicians who seek to retain their power and use COVID to squish the other side, as “pretend scientists” like Dave Rush can merely send a conversation to a medical board and put a hard-working doctor in chains for opening his mouth, we have as nation have chosen to eschew our fundamental freedoms—turning our back on science and humanism—and become a one-issue people who are willing to toss away every decent thing in which we believe, including our Constitution, for the singular pursuit of slowing the spread of mildly dangerous virus. We’ll sacrifice our kids on the alter of fabricated necessity, we’ll deride those who open their mouths, we’ll wipe out lives as we claim to be saving them, and we’ll do so at the bequest of the most ignorant and crass people who, like Dave Rush, now control our nation from the podium of social media.
Why aren’t more people outraged? Why aren’t more people fighting back? Where is the integrity in our media, in our politicians, in our people? Why do people sheepishly comply with a complete desecration of our democracy and of science, dutifully donning their masks whenever told, sneering at those who don’t, and enabling the Faucists to march our nation into a pit of darkness? Where is our passion, our decency? Is that all it takes; one virus magnified into something that it’s not, a few idiots parading on TV to lie to us and manipulate statistics, and then we cower and give in, willing to expunge our very democracy for this thing?
Dan Carlin is right. As bad as any virus may be, it’s our reaction to the virus that really defines us and that we should fear the most. With COIVD, that reaction has been horrific. And so, Dave Rush and all you other pretend scientists who now have the upper hand, congratulations. You have won! Your victory is pyric and catastrophic, but it’s not going away. Even as my medical license is. Even as our freedoms are. Even as the very soul of science is. We have lost everything we have always fought for as a nation, but we have Dave Rush and his pals now to lead us in a new direction.
Outrage under the Dave Rush era will be effectively nullified. So, too late for that, I guess. Time to just keep our mouths shut and comply. Who cares that the world has one less doctor? We’re blessed to have Dave Rush to tell us exactly how to think! We don’t need doctors or scientisits or thinkers. .We need sheep. And thanks to Dave Rush and the Board of Medicine and all those who seek to quiet dissent and to continue to stoke fear, we are now a nation of sheep. Mask wearing sheep at that. How lovely!