Death by bureaucracy
By Steven Martinovich
It’s often said that when the dust has settled those examining the history of an event can finally unravel the truth and see the missed opportunities that could have changed things for the better. That was perhaps true even in the recent past but our current age does not place a premium on truth for either today or yesterday. So too it is likely that when the histories of the COVID-19 pandemic are written, particularly of its early days, the orthodox narrative will be the one most choose.
Dr. Joel S. Hirschhorn will not be one of those to accept that narrative and in fact has already weighed in on what he believes was the tremendous failure of governments, health care agencies and bureaucrats to head off the worst of the pandemic. In Pandemic Blunder: Fauci and Public Health Blocked Early Home COVID Treatment, a guide to treatments for early COVID-19 diagnoses, Hirschhorn unleashes a sledgehammer-on-nail attack on those who he sees – chiefly Dr. Anthony Fauci – as causing the deaths of untold Americans by denying them access to drugs that could have saved their lives.
It would be fair to say that Fauci was a polarizing figure even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on your point of view, Fauci is either a well-meaning public scientist or a Boss Tweed in bed with pharmaceutical companies and a history of questionable public pronouncements. Few these days remember his argument in the early 1980s after HIV/AIDS came to public prominence that those living with the afflicted should wear masks as the disease was likely spread through the air. The recent release of Fauci’s emails through a Freedom of Information Act request also showed that he seemingly had little difficulty in contradicting himself on a daily basis – whether on the origin of the virus to if it was a danger to the public.
It is COVID-19 and the resulting deaths, however, that Hirschhorn places on the lap of Fauci. He accuses the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of ignoring promising drugs like Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin (IVM) to treat COVID-19 in the early stages, drugs Hirschhorn argues showed great promise in reducing the severity of infection and greatly reducing mortality rates. Instead, he argues, Fauci and other government officials touted more expensive drugs that were far less effective, such as Remdesivir.
Every roadblock that could be placed in front of HCQ and IVM, says Hirschhorn, was. Rather than accept the legally permitted “Real World Evidence” approach – which saw a drug’s efficacy proven through actual use in the field – Fauci, the FDA and others would only permit randomized clinical trials, a process that could take years. Stockpiles of tens of millions of HCQ pills sat in FEMA warehouses and the emergency agency refused to release them. Any doctor daring to use alternative treatments was threatened by government and medical agencies.
“Despite a plethora of scientific data,” Hirschhorn writes in his forward, “lifesaving information and access to vital medications is being suppressed from the majority of the human race. This led to the tragic and preventable deaths of over two million people worldwide. The perpetrators of this historically heinous crime are motivated by the desire for power and control over the human race.”
The evidence, Hirschhorn argues, exists that HCQ – in concert with other drugs – and IVM were effective as both a prophylactic and treatment for a case of COVID-19. Doctors in both the United States and around the world shared positive results. Although the American medical community is largely in agreement that HCQ is not a treatment for COVID-19, Hirschhorn believes that the evidence from work by individual doctors proves that to be false.
Hirschhorn marshals quite a bit of evidence for his arguments. He surveys the results and thoughts of a number of physicians from around the world, all of whom believe that either HCQ or IVM proved themselves as treatments which greatly reduced mortality, even in the elderly, from COVID-19. To that end, Hirschhorn offers a guide for readers on how to prepare in case of COVID-19 contraction. It should be noted that those who demand the usual clinical trial data in support of a treatment’s efficacy will likely not be very accepting of Hirschhorn’s contentions.
The veracity of Hirschhorn’s claims is beyond the ability of this review to adjudicate – there is enough argument, evidence and expertise on both sides to sounds convincing to what a reader is willing to believe. That said, Pandemic Blunder does raise important questions that Americans need to ask such as why – when thousands were dying each week during the height of the pandemic – government and health officials dismissed out of hand any thought of alternative treatment. Although the mortality rate for most was quite small, there were populations – notably the elderly – for whom contracting the virus stood an excellent chance of being a death sentence. Could not they have been offered the alternatives with full and informed consent?
Now that the pandemic appears to be ebbing – although history has proven that pandemics can roar back – it may be too late to answer those questions. If Hirschhorn has his way, perhaps the next outbreak will prompt everyone to look past the expert pronouncements of bureaucrats, whether they have an M.D. next to their name or not, and consider promising, responsible alternative treatments.
Pandemic Blunder can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Steven Martinovich is the founder and editor of Enter Stage Right.