The Day That Science Died
“We are at the peak of a precipice. Are we going to come down on the side of true American values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and justice . . . or on the side where the government cares for you from cradle to grave and you give them all your power?” — Ben Carson, M.D., Pediatric Neurosurgeon
I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Ben Carson speak these somber words in Washington, D.C. in late October of 2021 . . . so soft spoken, yet so powerful.
On the Edge of a Cliff
We are at the peak of a precipice in Medicine as well.
2020’s healthcare heroes have fallen as we simultaneously witness the death of science.
Physicians are losing their autonomy to a government that has granted itself the authority to practice medicine without a license, without having gone to medical school, without completing a 3-7 year residency and fellowship.
The doctor-patient relationship has been undermined by those flaunting “Google” medical degrees, and by a main stream media that is hell-bent on manipulating us all for their own gain.
In the beginning of the pandemic, we (physicians out in the wilderness known as Primary Care) had no idea what we were up against.
We had nothing to offer terrified patients who fell ill or tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
We didn’t have personal protective equipment to keep ourselves safe, but we stood ready, using makeshift supplies, and sleeping in our garages . . . afraid of letting the spiked intruder into the sanctity of our homes.
When hospital administrators and government officials chided some of us for putting on masks (hardware store-bought N95s that we had purchased ourselves), we took them off . . . afraid of losing our jobs, and confused . . . because we knew what was happening across the globe.
“We don’t want to alarm the patients,” they lied as they scurried to hide the collusive Mafia-like relationships with the Group Purchasing Organizations that were the true root cause of the shortages in America’s healthcare supply chain.
When a few weeks later the same administrators and government officials asked us to volunteer on the front lines, handing out paper bags with a single face shield and mask, our names hastily written with a Sharpie that was passed from person to person, we complied and got out there and saved lives.
Or we tried.
We went back to basics, buried our noses in textbooks, scoured the internet for research studies, and networked with other doctors across the globe, desperate to learn any pearls of wisdom that could possibly keep our patients from getting sick or dying.
Never in the history of our training nor our careers had we told patients with chest pain to stay home until it was clear they were having an MI, or reassured someone with aphasia or weakness that they might not be having a stroke. Yet, here we were, in the midst of a global pandemic, telling people who had fevers, coughs, and shortness of breath to stay home. Wear your mask (or bandana). Keep your distance. Do your part.
The few of us who were still in private practice continued to see patients in our offices, while the rest of us became overnight experts in telemedicine.
And when American innovation and incredibly resourceful scientists and engineers quickly devised ways to mass produce personal protective equipment and figured out how to build ventilators using auto parts . . . we allowed ourselves to become auspiciously optimistic.
And then came a REAL glimmer of hope.
Some really smart scientists dug up research from the SARS era in 2004, and real-time studies began in the late winter of 2020. These studies suggested that a benign anti-malarial medication that we’d used for decades could stop the spike protein in vitro. Many of us started having conversations with our patients about this medicine, telling them that maybe we had something that could possibly work. We told them that we thought that the risk of harm was relatively low, while the risk of possible death was unacceptably high . . . and many chose to try it.
March 19, 2020. The day that science died.
And then came the fateful day when the President mentioned that medication by name in a daily briefing to a national audience—to the world—even boasting that “we possibly had a ‘game-changer’ in chloroquine.”
And immediately the “playground bullies”--the main stream media--poked fun at the suggestion that “fish cleaner” could treat COVID.
Within days, governors ordered pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for that medication. And some who were doing research with that medication had their studies halted.
It is on that precise day that science died and politics took over.
“Political” Science Won’t Help You
Since then, the physician-patient relationship has been continuously undermined and patient autonomy has been dying a slow death.
Once you allow the government in the exam room, it’s hard to get them out. And when you blindly believe that the mainstream media is providing you with “scientific” information, you choose a side in some crazy made-up battle. But the virus is still a virus.