By Daniel Bobinski
Is it possible that Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Coronavirus Task Force are suffering from temporal myopia? According to the Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, “Temporal myopia is the inability to consider the long-term outcomes of an action when making a choice.” I am a certified behavioral analyst, not a psychologist, so I’m not in a position to diagnose. But from what I can observe, Fauci and the Task Force have made some horrifically short-sighted choices. Either that, or we’re dealing with an agenda much more nefarious than most Americans would care to consider. That said, let’s save the second option for a different time and space. This is the second in a three-part series on medical misinformation regarding Covid-19.
In the first article of this series I outlined the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and raised questions about why Fauci and his followers discounted it. Throughout the piece I referred to the work Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, whose use of the drug cut the death rate in his New York patients by 90%. Zelenko himself retweeted the article.
The United Nations is telling us that “hundreds of thousands could die and tens of millions more be plunged into poverty” this year because of the coronavirus. The New York Times reports that due to the shutdown, by years’ end, 265 million people will likely face starvation.
If Fauci and the Task Force had heeded Zelenko’s advice, or the findings in a 2005 Virology Journal paper on record with the National Institutes of Health, Chloroquine is a Potent Inhibitor of SARS Coronavirus Infection and Spread (yes, Fauci and the NIH were already aware of the efficacy of HCQ), they might have saved 90 percent of the people who died from Covid-19-related issues in this country. In fact, they probably could have saved many more lives around the world, all without shutting down the economy.
But they didn’t.
Instead, for reasons yet to be fully uncovered, Fauci clung to a report by Neil Ferguson, professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, then stood at the White House podium and became Fearmongerer-in-Chief. Americans were told if we didn’t shut down businesses and “shelter-at-home,” 2.2 million Americans were going to die in a matter of months. Despite the fact that every single model ever published by Ferguson on previous pandemics has been “severely flawed” and incorrect, Fauci stuck with it.
And so, based the Task Force’s recommendations, Americans stayed home and shut down “non-essential” businesses. Within two weeks, President Trump was eager to get the economy rolling again. “We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem,” he said. Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, agreed. “We can’t shut the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great,” said Kudlow on a Fox News interview.
But Fauci, being described as the “lead voice” of the Task Force, convinced the rest of the rest of the team that the economy should remain shut down.
Sadly, these short-sighted decisions affected more than just the economy.
Just 10 days after the shutdowns began, Portland Police reported a 41% increase in suicide calls. In Idaho, where I live, one state representative informed me that she knows of at least two people who took their own lives because they lost their jobs in the shutdown and felt overwhelmed, afraid they could no longer support themselves or their families.
The Los Angeles Times reported one mental health organization went from 20 crisis help-line calls in February to more than 1,800 in March.
In Illinois, a man shot and killed his partner and then shot and killed himself because he was afraid they both had contracted Covid-19.
In Michigan last week, a 43-year-old security guard and father of nine was shot and killed simply for telling a woman she needed to wear a mask before entering a store.
In Oklahoma, two McDonalds employees were shot by a customer who became upset after being told she couldn’t eat inside the restaurant.
In their ivory tower focus on preventing the medical industry from getting overwhelmed, the Task Force appears to have been ignorant about the suicides and murders that would inevitably occur as ripple effects of their “guidelines.”
As one healthcare worker recently told me, “We sacrificed the better part of 83% of our economy to keep 17% of our economy from being overwhelmed. But even that backfired, because now the 17% we were trying to protect – the health care industry – is laying off people in droves.”
Delayed health care will lead to additional deaths
Another research paper on file with the National Institutes of Health is titled, “Delayed Access to Health Care and Mortality” (published 2007). The researchers found that patients waiting “31 days or more [to receive care] had significantly higher odds of mortality.”
According to an April 2020 poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, nearly a third of Americans have delayed or avoided medical care since the shutdown orders began.
Healthline.com reports that since the United States started following Fauci’s shutdown and shelter guidelines, the country has already recorded 15,000 “excess deaths.” They tell us that excess deaths is “a term used to describe the number of deaths beyond what would typically be expected for that time of year.”
In my interview with Dr. Joshua Dopko, an emergency room doctor who works at several hospitals in Colorado and Arizona, Dopko said that the term “elective surgeries” is misleading, because elective surgeries can be necessary. He said someone might have severe cancer, but because it’s not causing an obstruction for processing food, it’s not an emergency, and therefore it’s an elective surgery. “That’s still a cancer you’d like cut out of your body. You’d like to start your treatment … your chemo … it’s still a treatment that needs to be done to better chances of survival – that stuff is being put on the back burner.”
Machelle Hamilton is a candidate to represent Idaho’s 22nd District. Her husband Bill is a stage four cancer survivor who found himself in the emergency room mid-March. She tells me his doctors suggested multiple tests, but because “the lockdown” had just been established, no one would do the tests. Bill’s issues were deemed not immediately life-threatening. Hamilton suffered for several months, even though the hospitals were empty. He finally went in for the first of his recommended tests on May 7. Time will tell how much damage occurred from the wait.
In an article titled, Cancer treatment delays could increase death rates due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Gordon C Wishart, Chief Medical Officer at Check4Cancer and Visiting Professor of Cancer Surgery at Anglia Ruskin School of Medicine says, “[P]atients with time critical conditions may experience a delay in their diagnosis or treatment, with an adverse effect on their outcome or survival.”
Rural and small private hospitals will also be affected, as they, too, are furloughing employees due to no business. According to Dopko, serious potential exists for those hospitals to close. If and when that happens, people will have decreased access to health care. “That’s going to increase morbidity,” he said. “When the city [hospitals are] two and three hours away, that can make the difference between life and death.”
The New York Post recently ran a story along these lines, titled, “We’re destroying hospitals in the name of fighting the coronavirus.”
Not-so-obvious consequences that can become deadly
Mental health services are declared “non-essential” in many states, so people with mental health issues are suffering in silence, isolated in their home, unable to see their counselors. Psychologist Lynn Laird says people are likely losing years of progress because of this.
There’s also an increase in domestic abuse. Writing in the New York Times, Amanda Taub says, “[W]ith families in lockdown worldwide, hotlines are lighting up with abuse reports, leaving governments trying to address a crisis that experts say they should have seen coming.”
There’s also child abuse. Writing on the American Psychological Association website, Amy Damashek, an associate professor of psychology at Western Michigan University, says, “The financial strain many Americans are experiencing due to business and other closures will also put children in many homes at a greater risk of abuse and neglect.” Tragically, the negative impact of increased abuse and neglect won’t disappear when the economy opens up. The adverse socio-economic effects will be felt for decades.
The financial catastrophe and coming food shortages
It’s not that difficult to think things though.
Consider a small company with 25 employees that’s deemed “non-essential” and closes its doors. That’s 25 families without income. In many states, unemployment takes a long time to process (Some people I know who’ve applied for assistance still haven’t received a dime). As such, there’s no money to pay bills or buy food. There’s also no money for emergency healthcare. Some of these “non-essential” people will fall behind on their mortgage or rent and wind up evicted or in foreclosure.
Did Fauci and the Task Force even consider these things? A 2012 paper published in The Lancet showed that suicides in America increased 65% between 2008 and 2010 (the last recession), and the numbers were still going up at the time they concluded their study.
One would hope the Task Force had thought about that regarding the hospitality industry, which has been hardest hit. Millions who normally “just get by” in this industry are in dire straits. On a message board I read recently, a single mom explained how she lost her waitressing job, and both of her kids are home all day and confined to the house because schools are closed. She applied for unemployment but was told she would have to wait weeks to receive the first check. Later she learned that the amount she was slated to receive would not cover even her basic expenses.
A hospitality manager I know, the sole breadwinner for his family, is now working at an Amazon Prime delivery warehouse to keep food on the table. A corporate manager I know is now stocking shelves at Walmart just to buy food for his family. Still, neither can keep up with their monthly expenses; they’re just falling behind less quickly, hoping nobody in their family has any major health issues.
Other consequences the Task Force apparently overlooked include:
- Ranchers all over are killing their cattle because they cannot afford to house or feed them
- The same is true about newborn piglets and chickens
- An estimated 2.7 – 3.7 million gallons of milk are being poured down the drain every day
- Farmers, without anyone buying their produce, are plowing under their rotting crops
These industries will not simply ‘bounce back.’ The Northwest Ag Network estimates that “financial losses in the livestock industry will skyrocket into the billions.” It will take years for many farmers to recoup their losses and for ranchers to replenish their herds. Our food supply chains are already disrupted, and places like Costco are already limiting purchase quantities because of shortages.
The headlines tell us that all this is all happening because of Covid-19. It’s not. It’s all happening because Anthony Fauci and the Coronavirus Task Force gave us bad advice. Territories like Hong Kong flattened their curve without closing restaurants and shuttering “non-essential” businesses. Countries like Sweden did the same. Had the Task Force recommended we do what the Prime Minister of Sweden did, telling his citizens to “behave like adults,” we would have been spared a nationwide devastation.
By the way, before anyone discounts the example of Sweden, please put that on pause. I will be discussing what happened to “Flatten the Curve” in my third installment of this series.
For now, let’s just say that Anthony Fauci and the Task Force didn’t appear to consider the long-term outcomes of their choices. The result? The cure will end up being much worse than the disease, with untold damage to America – and by extension, the world. To many Americans, the Task Force violated the number one rule of health care: “First, do no harm.”
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, best-selling author, columnist, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker. He’s also a veteran and a self-described Christian Libertarian who believes in the principles of free market capitalism – while standing firmly against crony capitalism.