I subscribe to a Medical continuing medical education (CME) and coalescing web site called MEDSCAPE. I was interested in an article that appeared on its Web site last night entitled “SHOULD DOCTORS WHO CONTINUOUSLY SPREAD MISINFORMATION LOSE THEIR LICENSES?” It was written by Art Caplin PHD. from the Division of Medical Ethics New York University Grossman School of Medicine. What most interested me about the article was the posts sent in by hundreds of doctors the majority of which questioned not only Dr. Caplan’s credentials for offering such an opinion, but most importantly the premise for his opinion and the logic of his argument. I also note that several of the most erudite posts have subsequently been taken down or have been repositioned in the e-mail train.
First, Dr. Caplan is not a medical doctor. His degree is in philosophy. He has never treated a patient. I must question his ability to evaluate clinical data. Has he ever designed and executed a clinical trial and then evaluated the results, adjusted the experiment, and then retested his original hypothesis? Has he ever spent hundreds of hours doing “bench work” and seeing his experiment fail repeatedly hundreds of times? We are at a very early stage in assessing the Covid-19 pandemic, our responses to it, mitigation strategies and treatments, and these types of questions need scholarship and the wisdom of the practicing clinician-scientist.
There are many people who offer opinions about these issues. All are entitled to their own opinions, but they must be recognized for what they are—opinions. Most of these experts are no more experts than the average citizen and only are regurgitating “bullet points” put in front of them by equally ignorant government operatives. The whole Covid narrative has been taken over by politicians and experts and unfortunately these are the very people who have contaminated and politicized the narrative. The physicians, nurses, and technicians working on medical wards and in ICU’s have operated with distinction. The government public health services not so much—full disclosure I don’t have a degree in Public Health, but I have been accused all my life of having common sense.
In 2003 efforts were made to establish a coherent and well-organized plan in case Idaho citizens found themselves facing a natural disaster, a pandemic or a mass casualty situation. Despite the efforts of well-intentioned people at the highest level of Idaho government, trying to get the private hospitals and their physician partners and employees to cooperate and create planning and contingency directives should such situations arise—and all knew that eventually they would, were never established properly. Much of the response to Covid in our State has been done on the fly, and the Governor’s closest advisors have not been clinicians or nurses, but have been administrators and lobbyists who are the very people who couldn’t come up with an appropriate disaster plan—for 20 years. The deployment of capital and the allocation of resources and labor, and decisions including mandates and social distancing and the closing of businesses, schools, and churches, have been made by our Governor and various State agencies, knowing that if we didn’t comply with Federal directives, Federal Funds including Medicare and Medicaid payments would be withheld. Is this why our Governor is suing the Feds regarding the Federal vaccination mandates, and yet in his own State the large hospitals and government agencies and school systems are requiring their employees to be vaccinated? Is this why the “emergency order” is still in effect—so large providers and their hospital systems can continue to receive “Covid funding?. You know what THEY say—“No Margin no mission”.
Not only are we securing Federal funds and subsidies for our State, but like other States the people making medical decisions have indemnified themselves against medical legal liability just like Governor Cuomo and the New York legislature did when they sent 30,000 patients out of hospitals back into nursing homes thus reinfecting thousands of other patients. The doctors that signed the transfer and admission orders for those patients have been indemnified under emergency orders, but in normal times anyone of those transfers would have been considered mal-practice and subject to legal remedy.
I have yet to find a medical professional in the State of Idaho that has the medical bona fides of Dr. Ryan Cole who is a Mayo Clinic Board Certified Clinical pathologist with a special certification in virology. Yet the very people that have been openly critical of those critical of the prescribed by the State dogma regarding mitigation strategy and Covid treatment are in the same position as Dr. (PHD) Caplan. CEOs of hospitals, Institutional Medical Directors, former State Attorney Generals Mr. (Dr.) Jim Jones, and even MD. And DO. members of the State Board of Medicine have been critical of not only Dr. Cole, but several other practicing physicians who have offered different opinions about patient care—their area of expertise not there’s.
Science is most of all a conversation—a dialogue. Those who believe in “settled science” aren’t scientists. An idea becomes a hypothesis which becomes a theory.
Science is first and always about questioning. I was blessed to go to The Ohio State University Medical School. In the spring of every academic year Dr. Robert Zollinger used to bring all his senior surgery residents and senior medical students on his service together for a luncheon on the fifth floor of the Zollinger Medical Library. His final charge to them: “Just remember half of everything you have learned up till now is wrong. It is up to you to find the new truth”.
My prediction about Covid—Half of what we have been told by “the experts” up till now has been wrong. Our job moving forward is to find the truth. If we shut down debate the way the experts are shouting for us to do by threatening the medical licenses of physicians and scientists that don’t hold true to the party line, then it will take us many years longer than would otherwise be needed to find that truth—and let’s always be careful of those claiming to “hold the truth”.
One last thought. After 5000 years Galileo was correct. The earth does move about the sun. Copernican heliocentrism was proven correct. For that Pope Urban The VIII, a “man of science he”, put Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his life.
Who would you rather trust—Mr.(Dr.) Jim Jones, Dr. Caplan(PHD), hospital CEOs, Medical Staff Directors employed by the same hospitals, the IMA/IHA cartel, or Drs., Makaray (Johns Hopkins), Atlas, and Batchachara (Stanford), and Paul Marack (Eastern Virginia)—a Nobel finalist for his work on sepsis and cytokine storm, or Dr. Cole (Mayo Clinic) or your own doctor? Who should you trust?