April 4, 2020

1564 words 8 mins read

Coronavirus Exposes Medicine's Herd Mentality

Coronavirus Exposes Medicine's Herd Mentality

In the 2003 movie, “Northfork,” two pseudo-government agents working for a power company try to convince a devout Mormon farmer to get out of his home before the construction of a dam floods him out.

The farmer insists he must first receive a sign from God. The Mormon has built a replica of Noah’s ark, which he expects will rise with the waters and sail him and has wives to safety.

When the water has risen sufficiently to prove that the Mormon’s ark doesn’t float, one of the agents tells the farmer a story about a great flood.

In the story, a man and his family refuse to flee their home until God sends them a sign. When the water reaches their front porch, a rescue boat comes by the house and urges the family to climb. “No,” the man of the house answers. “Not until God sends me a sign.”

The next day, the family is confined to the second floor of the house. Another boats arrives. But, again, the man refuses to board without a sign from God.

The third day, the family is huddled on the peak of their roof. A boat arrives to ferry them to safety. The man tells the boat coxswain, “I’m sorry, sir, but without a sign from God I cannot let my family step into that boat.”

On the fourth day, flood waters washed the family to their deaths.

At his personal judgment the Lord asked the man why he allowed his family to drown. The man proudly said to the Lord, “Lord, I was waiting for a sign from YOU!”

The Lord looked at the man and said, “I sent you three rescue boats. Just what kind of a sign were you looking for?”


Modern medical practice seems to be killing a lot of people these days. Like the Mormon farmer in “Northfork,” doctors and state regulators are waiting for a sign from their god: the government’s regulatory bureaucrats.

Yet, with a cure for coronavirus readily available, and its safety and risks known, few doctors will risk the professional opprobrium they will receive by actually curing patients with it.

So people die.

While we don’t know the exact efficacy of the combination of drugs known as “Trump Pills,” we do know that the treatment is effective more than half the time.

Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc combined for five days cured 350 patients in New York in a rogue study by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko last month. From The Gateway Pundit:

The New York doctor also posted a video explaining his success with hydroxychloroquine and Zinc . His treatment resulted in the shortness of breath issue being resolved in 4 to 6 hours. Dr. Zelenko in his study had zero deaths, zero hospitalizations and zero intubations!

Similar tests in France, Italy, and other places in the US produced nearly identical results.

Yet, doctors who prescribe the Trump Pills risk losing their medical licenses or even being jailed in Nevada and other states. And their standing in the medical community will be shot.

In New York, where Dr. Zelenko’s trial took place and where over 3,000 coronavirus patients have died, Governor Andrew Cuomo refuses to allow dying patients to even try the cure. A pharmacist in New York City confirmed that he is not allowed to dispense the drugs even with a valid prescription from a doctor.

It’s possible, of course, that Democrats in New York, Nevada, and Michigan are intentionally letting people die to make Trump look bad.

It’s also possible that pride prevents these Democrats from allowing the Trump-backed cure to prove them wrong. (Yes, people will defend their pride with other people’s lives.)

But it’s most likely that the modern medicine practice of always and only following the herd (which isn’t really that modern) is what’s killing people.

America is the fattest country in the history of humanity, for example, caused mostly by the deadly died the medical hierarchs imposed on us 40 years ago: high carbohydrate, low fat. Most doctors know this diet results in fat patients with increased incidence of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Yet, even doctors who know this refuse to advise their patients to change their diets.

Why?

“I’d lose my license if you told anybody I told you,” one doctor told me.

Likewise, doctors would lose their licenses if they actually cured a coronavirus patient with the chloroquine regimen. So, they let people die, instead, and decry a lack of N95 masks.

And it’s all happened before.


One of the best books about failed plans is Why Plans Fail by Jim Benson. (I highly recommend the book.) A pertinent chapter discusses a cognitive error known as the Semmelweis Reflex.

In 1847…Semmelweis was a doctor who was dealing with a terrifying problem. Babies were dying of something called “childbed fever” in obstetric wards. All doctors shared a desire to rid the world of this calamity.

Semmelweis figured out that if medical staff simply washed their hands with a disinfectant of chlorinated lime after performing an autopsy, the rate of disease dropped dramatically. His peers (other doctors) found his theory laughable – even repugnant. His theories could not possibly explain all the cases of childbed fever -— after all, most doctors did not directly handle cadavers. Discredited and, worse yet, unable to prove his theory correct and knowing that babies were continuing to die, Semmelweis fell into a deep depression and was committed to an institution where he later died.

A few years later, Louis Pasteur greatly advanced the notion of germ theory and proved Semmelweis correct. While it wasn’t necessarily handling the cadavers causing childbed fever, it was pervasive germs that required more than soap to cleanse them.

The result from this is now known as the Semmelweis Reflex. This is a professional (and general psychological) reflex to reject new evidence that in some way threatens established norms or firmly held beliefs. Throughout my career, I’ve watched this play out while building freeways (what do we need ramp metering for!?), planning rail systems (why not just drive?!), contracting software projects (what do you mean you can’t say exactly what the software will look like?!), and introducing new process ideas (creating tests first is a waste of time!). People require an extremely high level of proof to offset a strongly held belief. And yes, sometimes those people were me.

— Benson, Jim. Why Plans Fail: Cognitive Bias, Decision Making, and Your Business

Here we are in 2020, 173 years after Dr. Semmelweis was driven out of medicine and into his grave for discovering a cure for deadly disease. (Will Dr. Zelenko suffer the same grim fate?) And, yet, our medical community has gone exactly nowhere when it comes to recognizing its own cognitive errors and overcoming the fear of peer pressure in order to save lives.

Instead, people die two feet from the cure.

If you want to do something to shorten the economic depression and save lives, demand the Trump Pills at the first sign of the infection. Scott Adams gave some tips on how to it, but I can’t find the Periscope now. (Periscope search is weak.) The killer line is, “would you prescribe this to a loved one?” (If they’re honest, they’ll say, ‘yes.') As the Washington Times reported today:

An international poll of more than 6,000 doctors released Thursday found that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine was the most highly rated treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Rest assured, there is a cure. Doctors just won’t use it, except on themselves.


UPDATE: All of the drugs and supplemnets in the Trump Pills prescription are approved drugs. Of course, they haven’t been approved for this specific disease because this disease is brand new. The FDA’s approval process is sloooooooooow. Off-label prescription of approved drugs is extremely common. From the FDA’s website:

Why might an approved drug be used for an unapproved use?

From the FDA perspective, once the FDA approves a drug, healthcare providers generally may prescribe the drug for an unapproved use when they judge that it is medically appropriate for their patient.

You may be asking yourself why your healthcare provider would want to prescribe a drug to treat a disease or medical condition that the drug is not approved for. One reason is that there might not be an approved drug to treat your disease or medical condition. Another is that you may have tried all approved treatments without seeing any benefits. In situations like these, you and your healthcare provider may talk about using an approved drug for an unapproved use to treat your disease or medical condition.

What are examples of unapproved uses of approved drugs?

Unapproved use of an approved drug is often called “off-label” use. This term can mean that the drug is:

  • Used for a disease or medical condition that it is not approved to treat, such as when a chemotherapy is approved to treat one type of cancer, but healthcare providers use it to treat a different type of cancer.
  • Given in a different way, such as when a drug is approved as a capsule, but it is given instead in an oral solution.
  • Given in a different dose, such as when a drug is approved at a dose of one tablet every day, but a patient is told by their healthcare provider to take two tablets every day.