John Livingston

The Covid “Boogey Man”

There has been a relentless and very personal attack on Dr. Ryan Cole over the past six months because of his differing scientific opinions regarding Covid-19 mitigation strategies and government policies. Dr. Cole has made a very considered and well-constructed argument supporting his positions. His professional credentials are impeccable. An Air Force Academy graduate, graduate of the University of Virginia Medical School, specialty training at the Mayo Clinic in Clinical Pathology with a special certificate in virology, all equip him to voice a point of view regarding the policies that seem to be more attuned to a political narrative than they are grounded in science. His opinions are shared with internationally acclaimed scientists like Scott Atlas and Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford, Marty Makaray from The John’s Hopkins, Sunetra Gupta from Oxford University and 890,000 physicians and scientists from around the world who signed onto The Greater Barrington Project.

Mr. (Dr.) Jim Jones a former Idaho Attorney General in a Twin Falls Paper Op Ed offered that—and I paraphrase, within the language of the Idaho Code there was room to create a cause for action against recalcitrant physicians who published opinions that were not within the “patient physician” relationship. In other words, the “standard of care” and “standard of medical practice” bar has been reset to include activities like giving a lecture or a power point presentation or giving an opinion on the radio or to the press. If the standard is to be changed it should be changed by the legislature, not members of the Governor’s advisory Board or a former AG in an opinion piece. In fact, if they want to extend the directives in law as to what constitutes “a standard of practice” to include published opinions they would be in fact practicing medicine without a license even as they are opining. I would not want to limit their free speech no matter how ungrounded it may be. Why do they want to limit Dr. Cole’s?

In an interview with Audrey Dutton in The Idaho Capital Sun on Sept. 21 Mr. Chris Roth opined: “I think that the people who are intentionally spreading misinformation, for their own personal gain, are going to be held accountable. It’s a matter of time. And that’s probably all I have to say about those types of individuals.”

Dr. Pape, the former CEO at St. Luke’s, in several Pod Casts and interviews has made similar statements about Dr. Cole. Select Health several weeks ago canceled Dr. Cole’s insurance contract with Cole Diagnostics even though as of today there have been no actions against Dr. Cole as reported on The State Board of Medicine Web site. Were these actions preordained by the comments several months ago by Mr. (Dr.) Jones and Chris Roth? And is the only reason Dr. Cole holds these opinions because of his own personal gain? What about any possible personal gains that the Hospital networks were afforded because of an ongoing “emergency order”? Were there any? I really don’t know but it is something worth looking into.

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I have been a big fan of Dr. Christine Hahn and her role in advising our Governor. I have not always agreed with her, but she has presented data and her opinions are based on the data. She has not jumped on the “band wagon” against her colleague Dr. Cole, nor has he called her out regarding her opinions. The word used to describe the way they have acted even though they both have differing opinions is: PROFESSIONAL.

The most important points about the discussion that has unfortunately centered around Dr. Cole, is that none of it has been a scientific discussion. The attacks have all been personal. And why is that? Because none of the people committing these calumnies can refute Dr. Cole’s opinions scientifically. None of them are scientists. In fact, early on during the pandemic several on the Governor’s advisory team consulted Dr. Cole regularly, but when his opinions did not support their political narrative, his expertise became a problem.

There are people on both sides of the arguments that are “cuckoo”. A DO opined that metallic particles in the reconstituted vaccine caused brain damage is one such comment. These people are few and far between and if their advice falls within the “doctor patient” relationship, and it effects patients there may be a cause for action. If it is just an opinion given to a reporter then they should be recognized and called out for being crazy, but no matter how crazy they are, they like the rest of us have a right to their free speech.

Dr.’s Cole, Makaray, Atlas, the 850,000 Greater Barrington signees, and scientists and physicians like myself are not “crazy”. When members of the Governor’s Advisory Board and a former AG and a hospital CEO make the “he’s crazy” argument, or they are doing so for their own benefit argument, they are doing so because of their own ignorance and inability to make the case for themselves. To attack another person in such a way is cowardly. To use the agency of government as a lever to stifle debate is indefensible and an abuse.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have written over twenty articles about mitigation strategy and treatment. I invite all those who disagree with me to read those articles that can be found on the Gem State Patriot Web Page. I am not an anti-vaxer, my wife and I are up to date including boosters, but I did opine in one article that the group that should be vaccinated first should be those most at risk—over 80 and those with comorbid conditions. Instead, hospital administrators, members of corporate and hospital boards, and heads of government agencies and legislators “got the jab” first. One member of the St. Luke’s Board refused the opportunity for early vaccination for he and his family, noting the hypocrisy and privilege that it demonstrated.

From the very beginning I opined that the “scientists” had better be very careful when they asses the tools that are available to them today to handle the virus. I said the virus was smarter than they and that in the 15,000-year history of modern man’s relationship to airborne upper respiratory track viruses, especially an RNA virus that up to that time had not had a human vaccine developed with attenuation technology; they should not oversell “science” and sciences ability to deal with this particular virus. They did. They overestimated their own ability to apply “their science”. And then it became political.

One final note. I have written two letters to The Director of The Idaho Department of Insurance with a copy to the Director of The Department of Health and Welfare asking them about the possible collusion implied in the articles cited above between the private sector and government agencies that resulted in Cole Diagnostics losing their Select Health Insurance contracts. Both men I respect. I hope they have learned through serving with me to respect me. They have not answered my e-mails or letters for 8 days. I have given the Gem State Patriot permission to reproduce those letters because they speak to the very issues of “cronyism” and corporatism that are at the bases of the widespread corruption we see in State Government today.

Maybe they don’t see that corruption or maybe they don’t think it is a problem. Or maybe they have been part of it for so long themselves that they can’t do anything about it. I hope my faith in people will continue to support my faith in government.

Vote against corruption in the May Primary Elections. MIGA “Fight Like Hell”.

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8 replies on “The Covid “Boogey Man””

Thoughtful and well written. I am interested in seeing what responses are made . Too much politics and money surrounding this fiasco.

Why is Chris Roth so invested in slamming Dr. Ryan Cole?? Who does Chris Roth CEO of St. Luke’s work for???? Is a CEO obligated to patient health or ???? When Roth was interviewed by the scintillating B.R., etc., who sets the agenda and who calls whom???

St. Luke’s is in on the creation of “smart health cards” which is akin to the vaccine passports, that’s why. He works for/with WEF members that are promoting vaccine passports


You raise an incredibly interesting question. This was a well-orchestrated campaign signaled by an opinion piece by Mr. (Dr.) Jim Jones in a Twin Falls newspaper and by an interview with Chris Roth with Audrey Dutton. When a politician or citizen calls up a reporter and asks for an interview or asks for the story to be covered in a certain way, the reporter becomes their agent. Agency issues in Idaho Politics are part of the three-legged stool of corruption in our State Government. Special interests and their lobbyists, lack of audits of government agencies that control transfer payments to large non-profits and corporations, and a lazy news media that doesn’t recognize a conflict of interest. Collusion, cronyism, corruption are the real campaign issues and what has happened to Dr. Cole is a clear example of the problem. Anyone running in the May primary for any office should jump on this.

The last sentence in your first paragraph claimed there were: “…890,000 physicians and scientists from around the world who signed onto The Greater Barrington Project.” It actually is the Great Barrington Declaration. Their signatures web page now says there were a total of 902,673 but just 15,468 medical & public health scientists, and 45,609 medical practitioners for a sum of 61,077. The others were 836,337 concerned citizens. You inflated the number of physicians and scientists who signed by a factor of 14.8 times, which is ridiculous!

Richard, Thank you for your thoughts. I consider nurses–RN. s. LPNs, nurses’ aides, technicians, physical therapists all to be in the category of “health care professional”. I have no way of knowing what percentage of the total number includes those professions, but it is certainly a sizable percentage. These are the very people whose voices have not been heard, and yet they are the ones who every day take care of sick patients. Politicians and administrators and “experts” who all are supporting a political narrative are overrepresented by the press and media. The Greater Barrington Declaration gives these people a voice as well as patients.

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