Recently, I may have expressed a little skepticism toward public health experts telling us what we should or shouldn’t, could or couldn’t do. Medicine is so infused and shot through with political agendas that it is almost impossible to separate the two. In fact, it no longer is.
When a public health “expert”, be it an actual physician, an online-degreed NP, someone with a master’s in public health from Harvard, or a well-meaning midwife, publicly tells you what to do, be suspicious. Treat them like the self-aggrandizing TV preacher wannabe they probably are, grab your wallet and your crotch, and back away. Run, if you have a clear field.
I don’t care what you think about the Covid-19 lockdown, social distancing, or compulsory masks in public. I don’t care what you think about all the protests and riots currently roiling our nation. Think what you want, grab a pitcher, and head over to the other table to hash it out.
As I have suggested in previous posts, when medicine becomes political, we lose our seriousness, and we lose our credibility. This week over 1,200 “health and medical colleagues … penned an open letter to express their concern that protests around the United States could be shut down under the guise of coronavirus health concerns.” These “experts” don’t want Covid-19 restrictions to interfere with large public protests.
Dutifully reported by CNN, “Staying at home, social distancing, and public masking are effective at minimizing the spread of COVID-19. To the extent possible, we support the application of these public health best practices during demonstrations …
However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission.”
Putting aside one’s feelings about the national Covid-19 response, and the ongoing unrest, we are left with this, and it is indisputable: the same people who told us a month ago it was tantamount to murder to reopen businesses or walk down the street without a mask, now suspend their own urgent recommendations based on no evidence whatsoever. A large public gathering that was allegedly dangerous and illegal two weeks ago is now not condemned “as risky” for communicable disease.
This is as duplicitous as it is disgusting. As physicians are reduced to local health commissars, we surrender all moral authority, and deservedly lose any trust our patients once had in us.