By Basab Dasgupta
It seems that the coronavirus pandemic suddenly provided an opportunity for the liberal political leaders in the USA to implement many ideological programs they always desired to introduce simply exploiting a fear of the unknown. There are several aspects of this trend towards what is essentially a framework for socialism. First is a lockdown and stay-at home order which mandates everyone to be confined to their homes except for critically needed visits outside. Two, massive amounts of money have been approved, not only for businesses to compensate for their financial losses but for all individuals to generously supplement their unemployment benefits, even including illegal immigrants. Finally, criminals have been freed from prisons, supposedly to prevent spread of coronavirus among prison population.
What is the rationale behind such actions? Apparently, all decisions are based on phenomenological models; first it was a model developed at the Imperial College of London and later the model pioneered at the University of Washington, which predict how the virus would spread over time and the corresponding death tolls. These are not theoretical models, based on precise knowledge of how the virus propagates (because such knowledge does not exist), but basically a statistical model based on empirical data about how an infected person can infect others. The models predict that the number of infected cases would increase, initially in an exponential fashion, reach a maximum peak and then rapidly die down. Much has been said in the media about “flattening” the curve, which means that it is highly desirable to have a relatively flat maximum as opposed to a sharp peak in these curves because a sharp peak would imply a huge number of potential cases at one time which our hospital system might be incapable of handling.
All the leaders, usually the governors of states, who issued such restraining orders proclaimed that their decisions were “based on science”. What was overlooked in the process was the accuracy of the model and the resulting consequence in financial loss and human suffering.
The liberal governors just loved this new-found power. It seemed that their life-long goal of achieving social equality and social justice were suddenly within their reach. They could mandate and dictate whatever they felt like and there was no one to object. Who wants to object to actions that would supposedly prevent tens of thousands of deaths? They almost unanimously favored prolonged continuance of lockdown of businesses and stay at home order. The economic devastation is of no consequence because that would mean more money flowing from the government to the less fortunate. The icing on the cake would be if they can blame everything, especially a possible recession, on President Donald Trump, leading to his defeat.
There are not too many medical people vocal about any scientific evidence or comments contradicting the medical establishment led by people like Dr Anthony Fauci of NIH. Interestingly enough, I found only two people who are offering dramatically different views and both of them happen to be Indian Americans.
The first person is Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. He is not a medical doctor but has a PhD in biological engineering as well as three other degrees from MIT. He is also a politician who ran as an Independent for the US Senate seat from Massachusetts against Elizabeth Warren and managed to get only 3.4% of the votes. He is running again in this November’s election for the same seat, but this time as a Republican. The guy appears to be very intelligent, articulate and outspoken. Many people describe him as a “crackpot”, partly because of his claim to be the “inventor of e-mail”. There is definitely some validity to his claim as documented on the internet.
He has appeared in many interviews which can be seen on YouTube, but not on any mainstream media or cable channel. His main point on coronavirus is that the so-called experts (including Dr Fauci, in particular) are completely wrong. They are advocating the position taken by the “Big Pharma” (BP — large pharmaceutical companies), which is geared towards finding vaccination which would generate huge financial windfall for BP. All the mainstream medical communities are in sync with this approach because their medical education has basically been structured by BP, according to Dr. Shiva, which can be summarized as follows: examine the symptoms, identify the responsible virus and prescribe a medicine according to some chart. They do not know or even do not want to know any other approach.
A more logical and fundamental approach should be boosting our natural immunity so that it can fight off the coronavirus. This can be accomplished by taking heavy doses of various Vitamins (including Vitamin C and D3, in particular) as well as a diet rich in green vegetables. It is unfortunate that this is not even mentioned in all the narratives we see on television on how to fend off coronavirus. The mainstream medical personnel do not even recognize the effectiveness of Vitamins. Dr. Shiva believes that all the PPE and related activities are simply a remedy for the symptoms but do not address the root problem, i.e. virus attacks anyone who has compromised immune system.
The second Indian American involved and vocal in this crisis is Dr. Jay Bhattacharya who is a medical doctor (with both MD and PhD degrees) and a faculty at the Stanford University Medical school. He not only theorized but also conducted large-scale experiment in Santa Clara county at the heart of Silicon Valley to detect how many people in the general population have antibodies for coronavirus. Presence of antibody would indicate that they were already infected with this virus but recovered without even showing any symptoms and therefore without reporting to anyone. Similar surveys were conducted in other large metropolitan areas including New York and Los Angeles. In all cases, it was discovered that a rather overwhelmingly large number of people fell under this category.
He concluded that, if these numbers are included in the total number of coronavirus cases, as they should be, then the percentage of fatalities is exceedingly small, comparable to death rates from ordinary influenza. For example, in Santa Clara county, tests reveal that the actual number of people infected was almost 85 times more than the number officially reported, which means fatality rate would be 85 times smaller.
Both of these gentlemen have pointed out the adverse effects, both physical and emotional, of prolonged home confinement on our health.
It is unfortunate that both of them have been largely ignored by the mainstream media but have been characterized as non-experts who are not to be taken too seriously. I am very optimistic that these views would eventually be embraced by everyone and that would bring to an end all the fear and paranoia about coronavirus, whether there is a vaccine or not. There is no question that this is a deadly, and in many ways a unique virus, but we must not let our country be totally ruined by irrational and unfounded fear.
It is not a coincidence that Indians are involved in a solution because they have not only the brain but also an ability for a wider comprehension about how our body and mind work together and value of alternate medicine. As Dr. Shiva points out, what happened in the USA, starting around early 1970s is an unholy merger of the BP, the hospital owners and the medical science in this country, which focused on mega profits and not on our health! To make the matter worse, this coalition has been in collusion with China for everything from manufacturing of all of our medicine to joint research programs, with a financial incentive no doubt.
In any event, it is likely that this pandemic would initiate a major reevaluation of our entire medical care system including what is needed in fighting a pandemic and usefulness of organizations like NIH and CDC.
Calcutta born Basab Dasgupta has a PhD in physics from University of Wisconsin. He retired as Vice President of an operating division at Sony Electronics. He now lives in San Clemente, CA.
Photo – left to right : (left)Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, faculty at the Stanford University Medical School, points to large percentage of people infected but asymptomatic and concludes that, if these numbers are included in the total number of corona cases, then the Covid-19 fatality rate is very low, comparable to that of ordinary flu.