The Twitter Files now turns to the medical debate, specifically on SARS-CoV-2, the agent of COVID-19. Your editor has a medical degree, and cannot imagine any area needing more open debate than treatment of infectious disease. This goes double for an apparently airborne disease with a reputation (deserved or not) for near-total lethality. But Twitter heavily rigged the debate, meting out punishments in some cases for sharing “official” data. This is wrong for two reasons: for censorship and for promoting bad public health policy.
Background of the medical debate
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Corona Virus Strain Two (SARS-CoV-2) exploded onto the world consciousness in December 2019. A hapless resident of Wuhan, in Mainland China, bought a bat at a “wet market” in that city. He took it home with him, made soup out of it, then sickened and died. But before he died, he had spread it to a critical number of people. Before authorities could react, the virus had stricken the entire city, allegedly killing most. Inevitably the disease spread to the city airport and from there worldwide.
That’s the official story. In fact we now have people admitting that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, on orders from President Obama, authorized the use of government funds for “gain of function research” on coronaviruses. Rumors have this research happening in Ukraine and possibly provoking Russia’s “Special Military Operation” in that country. At some point, the laboratories involved packed up their samples and notes and shipped them to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Who released it – most still say by accident, but some say deliberately.
In any case, that same Dr. Fauci, pretending to be Chief of All Chiefs of Staff of All American Hospitals (Capo di tutti capi di stato maggiore di tutti gli ospedali americani), advised President Trump to treat this agent as one that would spread impossibly fast and kill everyone, or nearly everyone, who caught it. This was a critical error. It ultimately cost Trump the election and definitely crashed the economy.
With that in mind, we now turn to Twitter Files Part 10. Herewith every other tweet in the thread, from a new reporter named David Zweig:
So ends the thread. But Elon Musk has already promised more to come next week on this subject.
A glossary of medical terms
This thread is full of medical terms that most readers won’t understand. Herewith a glossary:
Myocarditis is inflammation of the muscle wall of the heart. That’s a very serious problem, and can and does lead to heart attacks.
Cardiac arrest means a heart attack. It literally means the heart stops. That is the Number One Hurry Case in any hospital. When you hear the call “Cardiac Arrest” or “Code Blue” or simply “Code,” get out of the hallway! Find some doorway to duck into, but get out of the way! Before long, a team is going to come running, pushing a heavy four-wheeled cart, called the Crash Cart. They will bowl you over if you don’t duck. Your editor has never seen it happen, but wouldn’t be surprised. The Crash Cart is loaded with electrical equipment, oxygen cylinders, mask-and-bag devices, and all sorts of things to use to get the heart beating again and keep the patient alive while you’re doing it.
Now if it’s that serious inside a hospital, imagine how serious it is when it happens on the street, or in someone’s apartment. Public health authorities try to help by training ordinary civilians in Basic Cardiac Life Support. They also train all first responders, and many in high-contact professions, in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. If you have ever seen a device labeled AED, for Automatic Electronic Defibrillator, that’s what it’s for. Know where the nearest one is, at school, in the gym, wherever.
All that to say that this debate was as serious as a debate gets. In any debate, we expect a standard of the truth, and respect for it. That applies especially to medicine. Wrong decisions can cost livelihoods at least – and lives at worst.
This thread shows direct evidence of two things. First, obviously Twitter skewed the debate, as David Zweig said they did. Regular readers, of course, know that the Twitter COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy is no more. Twitter rescinded it shortly before it started restoring people’s accounts. (Contrary to what Andrew Torba at Gab might loudly declaim, Twitter couldn’t have done that all at once.)
Second, it shows that the United States government’s policy cost economic dislocation – and life. To judge Twitter’s old management, we must remember not only that Twitter was suppressing medical information, but what information it was suppressing. Worse than that, Twitter was promoting misinformation – like saying SARS-CoV-2 was the leading fatal infection in children. Which, to repeat, it never was.
David Zweig ends with the most important question. How might the pandemic worked out had Twitter and other platforms, and the legacy media, fostered an open debate? For answer, turn to the Swedish experience. They never locked down, preferring instead to isolate those who, in their judgment (probably sound), couldn’t afford to get COVID-19. Their economy survived, and so did their people. Whereas in our country, people have quit the labor force – and many have died who might not have had to die.
Most reactions in the immediate aftermath showed thanks to Mr. Zweig, and outrage at the U.S. government’s conduct. One person only suggested that Zweig showed bias against the Biden administration by “passing” the Trump administration.
Another user reminded him that Zweig does in fact implicate both administrations. Which brings us yet again to a point CNAV has repeated, and often. Donald J. Trump was not the best judge of character of all who have held the office of President. Having no experience, he came to Washington without his own “team” to pull the levers of government. Furthermore, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. has literally seen Presidents come and go at least since Reagan. And Trump could not imagine that anyone would lie as convincingly as certain officials apparently did. Previous installments of the Twitter Files have conclusively shown how deep the corruption ran in Washington, in addition to showing how the FBI made Twitter “roll over” and “get with The Program.”
Trump’s lack of imagination cost him, and the country, dearly. But then, Trump could not imagine America’s Top Doctor lying to him. Nor could he imagine a populace taking care of its own health, thank you very much, without a Big Medical Establishment to tell people what to do. And make no mistake: American medicine is at moral hazard. Its function is to collect fat fees for its members, not to keep people well.
Toward a wider medical debate
Twitter Files Part 10 will serve Americans (and other human beings) only as well as they learn its lessons. Twitter did more than serve the interests of the United States and most other Western governments. They served the interests of a profession at moral hazard, and having a governing council at least as tyrannical as the Central Committee of the Communist Party of any present or past Communist country. As badly as Twitter acted, various Boards of Medical Examiners have done, and continue to do, worse. After all, Twitter does not revoke licenses to practice medicine. Medical boards do that.
Nor does/did anyone at Twitter originate medical advice. They passed along the advice of others – passing on bad advice and suppressing good advice. But whom shall we condemn the more – a censor working from a false premise, or the authors of that premise?
Maybe a free people needs to overhaul, or abolish, organized medicine. Maybe we as patients would do well to learn how to take care of ourselves by ourselves. We have the incentive to stay alive and well, Doctors have an incentive to keep us sick and coming back, and back, for prescriptions. And modern American doctors, especially since Roe v. Wade, have watered down the Oath that Hippocrates of Cos made his students swear.
A useful paraphrase
Let us, then, paraphrase Thomas Jefferson once again. We hold these truths to be self-evident – that:
- All humans are created equal, and deserve equal dignity,
- They are endowed by their Creator with exquisite systems having a design to keep them safe from other creatures whom that same God placed on this Earth to serve as its cleanup crew,
- To secure good health, humans receive training as doctors, and swear an oath never to bring harm upon any, and:
- When the establishment of such doctors stands in violation of that oath, it is the right of the patient community to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new establishment, in such form and having such codes and standards of conduct as will seem to them most conducive to their safety and good health.
Prudence indeed will dictate that one does not abandon a central paradigm of physician’s regimen and training for light cause. Furthermore all experience has shown that humans are more disposed to suffer, while honest mistakes are sufferable, than to right themselves by throwing off those institutions to which they have long been accustomed. But when an establishment makes a mistake of the magnitude we have seen with COVID-19, it is the right, it is the duty, of patients everywhere to withdraw patronage from such an establishment and stand ready to patronize a new one. That is what we deal with here, and that is the most important thing Twitter Files 10 has revealed.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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