Happy Anniversary

Exactly three years ago I wrote an email to you saying there was a robust spread of the COVID-19 virus right here in our community. We had no tests and no known treatment, but we did have some ideas from previous outbreaks and from principles of contagious diseases. I wanted everyone to know all the ideas I was seeing. We had a lot ahead of us.

Fast forward to today. We have been through a heck of a lot. To hell and back, you might say. Like going twenty or thirty rounds with a heavyweight.

I’m proud of you for enduring. We are going to be famous for living through that.

However, if not bruised and bloodied you likely had a deepening relationship with being dazed and confused. Misinformation has been a crushing blow. It’s upsetting and destabilizing, and you are not alone if you feel that way. Physician leader Dr. Marty Makary is also upset about misinformation, and he took what he had to say all the way to Congress this week. However, if you are picturing rogue, shady misinformation operatives as being the ones to blame, you will undoubtedly find Dr. Makary’s testimony jarring.

I want to present you with what he said because he is more knowledgeable than the network talking heads. He is the type of scientist that is not connected to an agenda. He is “an advocate for disruptive innovation in medicine and physician-led initiatives such as The Surgical Checklist, which he developed at Johns Hopkins, and was later popularized in Atul Gawande’s best-selling book The Checklist Manifesto.” More on his background after viewing the congressional transcript of his speech. Here’s what he had to say:

“The greatest perpetrator of misinformation during the pandemic was the United States government.

Misinformation —

  • that vaccinated immunity was far greater than natural immunity
  • that masks were effective. Now we have the definitive Cochrane review. Cochrane review is the most authoritative body of evidence-based medicine; what do we do about that? Do we just ignore it?
  • that myocarditis was more common after the infection than after the vaccine. This is not true; it’s 4-28x more common after the vaccine
  • that young people benefit from a booster. Our top two experts on vaccines quit the FDA in protest over pushing boosters in young, healthy people. The data was never there. That’s why the CDC never disclosed hospitalization rates among boosted American under age 50.
  • that vaccine mandates would increase vaccination rates. The George Mason University study showed that it didn’t. 

It did one thing, it created never-vaxxers who are now not getting the childhood vaccines they need to get. Over and over again, we’ve seen something that goes far beyond using your best judgment with the best information at hand. We’ve seen something which is unforgivable, and that is the weaponization of medical research itself, the CDC putting out their own shoddy studies, like their own study on natural immunity looking at one state for 2 months when they had data for years on all 50 states. Why did they only report that one sliver of data? Why did they salami slice that giant database? Because it gave them the result they wanted. Same with the masking study. Well, the data has now caught up in giant systematic reviews. The public health officials were intellectually dishonest. They lied to the American people.”

Tell us how you really feel, doctor. He went on to say that it’s a “no-brainer” that the vaccine was made in the lab. The misinformation around the Wuhan lab has been severe enough that they should consider razing it. All this is to say that living in the information age is all about being confronted with manipulation on all sides. No wonder it’s been tough. All this is to say “Happy Anniversary” to us, year three. Beaten but not broken. Weary but resolved to carry on. 

… So who is this guy, Dr Makary, again? Why should I give him more credibility than my favorite TV health correspondent or my cousin, Jed?

Here’s a description, just so you get a feeling for his accomplishments (from Wikipedia):

“Marty Makary is a surgeon, professor, author, and medical commentator. He practices surgical oncology and gastrointestinal laparoscopic surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, is Chair in Gastrointestinal Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and teaches public health policy as Professor of Surgery and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Makary was named one of the most influential people in healthcare by HealthLeader magazine. In 2018, Makary was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Makary has been a prolific pundit discussing the topics of COVID-19 and mitigation strategies. He was an early advocate for universal masking to control the pandemic and recommends vaccines for adults, but has been an outspoken opponent of broad vaccine mandates and some COVID restrictions at schools.”

That’s a wrap for the March 2023 Covid-19 Anniversary Bulletin.

Keep your guard up!