Sunday, April 26, 2020

Two ER Physicians Lend Their Opinion on Reopening the Economy

Addendum: YouTube brought down the videos included in this blog post because they claimed it violated their terms of use. I found that very disturbing that non-anonymous US physicians were silenced during these unprecedented times. I believe we should promote (and not silence) legitimate, respectful, critical debate. Whether right or wrong (and certainly many of the facts delivered have been thoroughly debunked by others) their viewpoint opened peoples' eyes.

Because nothing is erased on the internet, readers will find links to the videos on a different platform below the YouTube video placeholders.
"Typically you quarantine the sick. When someone has measles you quarantine them. We’ve never seen where we quarantine the healthy."

"We’ve tested over 4 million… which gives us a 19.6% positive out of those who are tested for COVID-19. So if this is a typical extrapolation 328 million people times 19.6 is 64 million. That’s a significant amount of people with COVID; it’s similar to the flu. If you study the numbers in 2017 and 2018 we had 50 to 60 million with the flu. And we had a similar death rate in the deaths the United States were 43,545—similar to the flu of 2017-2018. We always have between 37,000 and 60,000 deaths in the United States, every single year. No pandemic talk. No shelter-in-place. No shutting down businesses…"

Dr. Daniel W. Erickson of Bakersfield, California, is a former emergency-room physician who co-owns, with his partner Dr. Artin Massih, Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, CA north of Los Angeles. They conducted a press conference regarding their opinions about reopening the economy and withstood many challenging questions by a hostile press. I encourage my interested readers to watch the entire hour-long press conference:

Addendum: Links to the above videos can be found here:

Part 1:

Part 2:
In a follow-up ABC news piece it is also interesting to note, "Dr. Erickson also claimed that state health department officials also agreed with his statements about reopening. 23ABC News reached out to the state to see if officials agree with Dr. Erickson about reopening and they have no(t) responded back."

We should acknowledge these physicians test patients and have a vested interest in doing so. Whether testing will ever really clear the way toward reopening the economy is debatable in my opinion, given that every test has false negative and false positive results. Yet testing is the popular narrative now.

As we sit in our living rooms staring at Netflix as the economy begins to creak forward, perhaps we should ask ourselves when we're told our salvation will occur after we test billions of people worldwide (which will never happen, in my opinion), who stands to benefit? Likewise, who benefits by promoting more fear and the isolation/distancing narrative?



Anonymous said...

Dr. Fauci said that the COVID virus is 10% deadlier than the flu. Using the numbers given here and multiplying by 10 seems alarming to me for a death rate. But the flu has a vaccine and the flu virus is a well studied virus. This is one we are learning about on the fly. If the rates of infection spike that means that are our already stressed health care system will even be more stressed. This puts the healthcare workers lives more on the line for longer periods of time.

Seems MOC becomes more irrelevant as does the ABIM/ABMS. I wonder than would the ABIM/AMBS put a permanent moratorium of testing and fees? Probably not. I have not head of any AMA, ABIM, ABMS or other board executives pitching in with direct health care. Would they state someone is out of compliance with MOC if working physicians are risking their lives and not being able to see their families during this crisis. Are they supportive of physicians who have their pay cuts or being furloughed? How can they afford with either time or money to keep the C suites adminidocs in luxury by keeping up with MOC? Do they care? Of course not.

Charity for the Poor ABMS? said...

CARES ACT 2020 - Who benefits?

Does the ABMS and 24 medical specialty boards stand to get free stimulus money in the form of loans that do not require repayment, which are essentially grants. Up to 10 million per organization potentially to help them meet payroll, benefits and retirement accounts
That would be 250,000,000 dollars just to meet payroll for the ABMS and member boards. One wonders if "foundations" attached to the medical boards and umbrella will qualify as separate entities since they all have their own tax identification numbers.

What about the for-profits associated with the ABMS medical boards such as ABMS Solutions. ABMS International, ABMS Singapore. Will they qualify for a grant-loan as well. This could be a significant amount of additional money. One can call the AMA since they seem to have been involved in writing portions of the legislation. Will they qualify as educational institutions as well and be eligible for additional money for the MOC programs? As ongoing education? (How much will the AMA get in loans? The NCQA? NQF? ACGME?)

The silence of the ABMS and its associate organizations is deafening on how they benefit.

"CARES Act for Nonprofits – What’s in the Legislation For Charities?

The CARES Act provides significant funding for 501(c)3 organizations. Here’s an overview of benefits:

Paycheck Protection Program Loans (emergency SBA 7(a) loans): Creates an emergency loan program providing loans of up to $10 million for eligible nonprofits and small businesses, permitting them to cover costs of payroll, operations, and debt service, and provides that the loans will be forgiven in whole or in part under certain circumstances. Section 1102.

Date Eligibility: Available to entities that existed on February 15, 2020 and had paid employees or paid independent contractors.

Charitable Eligibility: Available for nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees, counting each individual – full time or part time (not including Full Time Equivalents [FTEs]). The law does not disqualify nonprofits that are eligible for payments under Title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid), but does require that employees of affiliated nonprofits may be counted toward the 500 employee cap, depending on the degree of control of the parent organization.

Personal Guarantee: No personal guarantee or collateral will be required in securing a loan.

Loan Amount: The lesser of $10 million or 2.5 times the average total monthly payroll (including benefits) costs from the one-year period prior to the date of application.

Loan Use: Loan funds can be used to make payroll and associated costs, including health and retirement benefits, facilities costs, and debt service.

Loan Liability: Employers that maintain employment for the eight weeks after the origination of the loan, or rehire employees by June 30, would be eligible to have their loans forgiven, essentially turning the loan into a grant. Section 1106."

RetiredMD/USAMC said...

Dear Dr. Wes,

I have been following your brave fight against ABMS for quite a while so I say this with great respect. The researchers and physicians I respect on this issue do not find this video credible, given the other data coming in. For example, look at this recently published data set from the Financial Times:

The video generalizes from a largely white, spread-out 380k population town in a state that physically distanced first to the rest of the United States.

Also, public health officials do not agree with them:

With Great Respect,


Unknown said...

Ann if you are in fact an MD then why rely on "researchers and physicians" you respect instead of edifying us all on your own piercing analysis and refutation. This is no time for intellectual laziness. You have not rebutted one iota of their discussion but lamely tried to do it by proxy, using the FT no less! The issues are so basic to every MD. The point was that their stats were representively close to those of all other jurisdictions. Lockdown versus no lockdown juxtapositions for example between Sweden and Norway or different US states. This pair of ER docs agree with everything other docs around the country have been telling me personally. Our hospitals too are empty too with MD's and nurses furloughed. The Imperial College models were wrong by an order of magnitude, and contemporaneous clinical data confirm that. It troubles me that you failed to acknowledge this most obvious fact.

DrWes said...

Ann -

Thanks for providing those links. They are very helpful and add an additional perspective to these physicians' opinions. We should also note other have been critical of these physicians' remarks as well (see ).

As we have seen with the ABMS narrative, I believe it is important to challenge conventional "wisdom" in unusual times like these to verify facts as best we can. I remain concerned about the skewing of data using computer codes to "count" deaths from COVID19, especially since the impact of draconian social distancing tactics (and the deaths caused by delayed care it causes) are also not weighed against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

These are difficult times for everyone - both those impacted by unemployment and those impacted by the virus. Understanding BOTH sides of the social distancing narrative is important for all of us as engage in critical debate on the appropriate way forward.

Another anon MOC dissident said...

End MOC now. The lockdown of physicians and patients has failed to achieve a result. We know it for a fact. It has done more harm than good. Only the ivory tower elites fail to accept it and bury their heads in the sand. Too many conflicts $$$. If they want to serve, let them do some voluntary testing with a balanced sampling of the physicians population. For free as a public service. That's enough along with state mandated CME. No mandated MOC ever again.

Covid lockdown needs to end also. Otherwise we will have another bogus scam like MOC on our hands and we will be tested to death and our rights will be suspended perpetually. Let them do some voluntary testing with a balanced sampling of physicians and and the public. People don't want silicon social identity chips embedded in their arms. Get some ventilation systems with much finer (HEPA) filters, UV and ionization in place that can destroy/inhibit the spread of viruses- and allergens for those who suffer with asthma. Do it where people work closely together (like hospitals/clinics, nursing homes) or wherever there are vulnerable people. Create healthier workplaces everywhere. Get a program for nutrition, diet, exercise sleep hygiene in place that can be encouraged and spread instead of the panic. Find more ways to toughen the immune system and to inspire us to practice ways to get out of the vulnerable camps when it is caused by lifestyle. Use this crisis as an opportunity not just to dole out money to the banks, but to actually transform our society into a healthier one. We are missing a huge opportunity, if we don't

We need our lives back and our civil liberties. When we are told what to do without understanding we lose our sense of responsibility and society degenerates. Give me liberty or give me . . .

Michael Dowling said...

my gut agrees with much of this and I think the data is getting there... especially for parts of the country with low rates of infection. I also agree that there is collateral damage, eg the trauma effects of stay at home and that people are delaying care. Not to mention the debt our kids will incur for giving money to publicly traded and well financed companies.
However the statistics provided are not "THE DATA" Becoming a doc does not make you an epidemiologist, a microbiologist or immunologist. Many physicians are horrible at numeracy. The interpretation that if 20% of tests that have been done are positive means 20% of the population is positive is likely wildly inaccurate... and not scientific! Who is in the denominator. How much of the population was tested? I don't know, but I would bet mostly symptomatic people were tested. If other people in the community are not symptomatic, and therefore much less likely to seek testing, then the rate of infection may be 2%. I don't know but from his data neither does he.
I believe the hygeine hypothesis and have eaten off the floor my whole life...but I am not aware of any study that says being inside more than not for 2 months will make you prone to opportunistic' infections... new pathogens are not lurking just beyond your door.

Truth is fundamental to any remedy. said...

The ER docs spoke well about their observations and data. They really need to be commended for their efforts to jump-start some critical thinking about how to respond to Covid-19.

However, I think more data is needed about the origin and nature of the virus, especially when you have both the US and China accusing each other of leaking a man-made pathogen from a "highly secure" Wuhan lab or through visiting US military personnel. Very troubling, whichever version one believes, as these accusations are from high ranking government officials. Both the US and China have documented their quest and successes in creating novel corona viruses that can be transmitted to humans. Furthermore, the NIH appears to have funded both countries' efforts to study and enhance corona viruses for various purposes. Some of these efforts are dubious and possibly illegal under international law.

There are also recent reports of children in the UK that are infected with Covid-19 who are in critical care units. The report below refers to a "new illness" which might possibly be linked to Covid-19.

Probably we need a special meter which has an alarm that goes off when anyone is lying about the virus or what we need to do or not do for political or financial purposes. There is a great deal of that going around, obviously. Trust is at an all time low, while unprecedented new laws restricting our constitutional rights have been enacted by the states. The two doctors in the video did express that fact very succinctly. We are dancing on a precipice. The state laws being used to restrict our freedoms partly stem from laws adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent bio-terrorist events involving anthrax. We need to be clear if this is a bio-terrorist attack/unknown bio-threat that demands the suspension of our rights or an influenza-like wave that we are over-reacting to.

In the blink of an eye, the US taxpayer was made liable for trillions of dollars without any debate or referendum. We went to war against an unknown entity. I agree we need much more data. Some of those trillions being handed out should go toward an investigation of any wrongdoing by conflicted parties influencing public health policy for selfish reasons.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Wes -
Love your site and your efforts. You are a true genuine hero.

Since you posted this, the video has been removed from YouTube for violating their use of service rules. Absolutely nothing specific is mentioned.

When I found this out - a cold chill went down my spine. As a physician - I am becoming increasingly concerned about the squelching of legitimate debate in this country.

I was one of the 5 million Americans who saw this video on YouTube. The docs were professional, they were not promoting anything that would harm someone, they were not screamers. They brought up very legitimate points. In normal times in America, the other side would respond in kind. And they have. Leaving us all to stew on it. That is called medical debate.

However, YouTube has taken the extra fun step of deplatforming their entire talk. SHAME ON THEM. Can you believe we are politicizing medical science like this? Does everyone not realize that this is the first steps toward a totalitarian state?

I am very concerned for the America my kids and grandkids are going to inherit. THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA IN WHICH I GREW UP.

Youtube Strangely Allows An Edited Version With Dramatic Commentary said...

I tried to find the original video and found this interpretation of their press conference instead. It is from yesterday telling folks NOT to watch it.

And a news assault trying to discredit them. Local and state administration distancing themselves publicly.

Behind Our Backs said...

Unnerving realizations about free speech in America - understanding that we are losing it.

What is also disturbing, the ABMS is working with its partners behind closed doors to limit physician and patient rights even further. Certification cannot be a badge of honor when MOC is shoved down physicians' throats. Whatever novel name and time frame MOC is packaged with. They are taking advantage of the Covid Crisis to further their lock-hold over physicians and patients.

There is little that is inclusive at the ABIM, except being forced to pay them for their evolving medical minutiae, just to fill their deep pockets whether you want to test with them or not. This is not only reflective of the decay of democratic principles in America, shocking when one studies this and realizes that for 33 years the ABMS/ABIM has ushered in the era of policies and trends that ignore physicians' and patients' voices/right to care by stomping on our freedoms and constitutional guarantees.

The loss of our freedoms to choose our own CME and be forced to test and pay perpetually is not just from ABMS/ACGME/AMA malfeasance, it is by conscious and malicious corporate design. The ABMS is neither "of the profession or for the public, they are for themselves and the corporate and special interests they serve. Ironically we pay them to wear their nose ring as they double dip into specially created foundations investments and offshore hedge funds. Private equity has filled their offices and board seats at every level.

United Physicians said...

MOC, ABMS Extortion of US Docs said...

Thank you Wes for speaking out on our behalf, advocating for patient and physician rights.

We need to fight, because the ABMS is taking away more of our rights every year.

Anonymous said...

Dr Wes -
I wanted to share this link with you - I am not sure this should be a comment for your blog - or just a notification for you.

This is a national news outlet - The American Conservative - and this is one of their premier reporters. They have slanted opinions - but typically it is not the crazy right wing stuff. Pat Buchanan is on there all the time - and he is probably the most extreme of their writers - to give you an idea.

This guy Rod Dreher has had repeatedly over the past months since this pandemic started clips and excerpts from a commenter named Wyoming Doc. I have no idea who he/she is - though at times I have thought he/she was actually you - Dr. Wes.

This Wyoming Doc spares no quarter in his/her disdain for corporate medicine and especially the medical establishment and how they have handled this crisis. His prose is usually absolutely delicious to read. It is measured and clear - and I have never seen a thing that is incorrect. He/she clearly has a background in classical history and language and philosophy.

His/her take on this ER doc/YouTube scandal is something I hope gets preserved for all time when the history is written about this whole pandemic. It is amazing. I thought you and your readers on this blog would be particularly interested in his takedown of the ACEP - and the insulting statement they put out slamming their own members. This is atrocious. This is absolutely in line with all these boards and agencies have done before. I agree with WYOMING DOC - SHAME ON THEM ALL.

Please read his/her initial letter - and make sure you make it down to UPDATE 4 - It is long - but every paragraph is worth it.

Dr. Wes - you are a courageous fighter - I think sometimes people like yourself who have stuck the neck out - need to know they are not alone - and the battle has been joined.

Thank you for everything you do.

This is the link -

CDC: Science Fiction of Reality said...

The Spanish Influenza of 1918-19 was buried along with its victims, but is alive and well today in a "secure" lab(s) thanks to the successful efforts of the NIH and CDC to resurrect the original killer virus.

Read the story about the most deadly virus in recent history and why the CDC/NIH wanted to recreate it in a lab.

MOC Shutdown Should Be Permanent said...

COVID-19 forces cancellation of MOC exams

"Richard J. Baron, MD, president of ABIM, announced that all MOC exams scheduled for spring have been cancelled because physicians are already experiencing significant personal and professional stress and disruption due to the COVID-19 virus. 'Your expertise, skill and service are critical to our collective success in dealing with this pandemic, and your safety and wellbeing are ABIM’s primary concern at this time,' Baron said in a statement. “We did not come to this decision lightly, as we know that many of you have likely spent weeks or months preparing. Despite that knowledge, we believe that removing the potential risk and distraction of sitting for a spring assessment is the right thing to do for our ABIM Board Certified Physicians and for the country at this time of great uncertainty for our health care system and the patients we care for.'”

"Pearson VUE — ABIM’s exam delivery provider — has also independently announced that they will close their U.S. and Canada-based Pearson VUE-owned test centers for at least 30 days."

MOC News said...

Will the ABIM and other MSB's get "meaningful" stimulus/recovery money?

Certlink gains momentum in 2020

Reentry for Board Certification (ABMS taskforce to establish consistent definitions/terminology by 2020)

ABMS Task Force Update

Ms. Jennifer Michael from the ABMS provided a task force update. ABMS is working to establish consistent definitions/terminology related to reentry for board certification. The standards task force will develop a first draft of revised standards by February 2020, revised set by June 2020, and then a final draft to be presented to the ABMS Board in October 2020. However, before the final draft is presented, there will be a review for public comment.