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COVID-19 Update: A Point of Information

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

As readers of Real Answers know, a weekly update on the emerging new illness by a coronavirus, COVID-19, has been distributed.

This posting is special perspective, urged on us by the management of the emerging COVID-19 illness here in the US.

From my perspective, a crisis in credibility has emerged, and at a time when a new illness is making its appearance, credibility can be the especially valuable, even necessary.

Briefly put, the virus is a new germ in humanity, it only started infecting people a few months ago.  It remains uncertain how it will travel and how harmful it will be.  But these are facts that can be learned.   And so, we have a new germ, we have a new disease.  It’s appearance in humanity moves humanity in a variety of directions, some include the following:

  1. The infection.  This new virus will over time infect a certain number of people.  A certain number of us will be barely or only mildly ill, some of us will get very ill, and hopefully, as few as possible will die from this disease.   These are numbers that can be measured.
  2. The economy.  Customers and companies will act in response to fears surrounding the spread of this new germ and this new illness.  The more fear rises, the more closings, reduced travels, shrinking level of purchases, interrupted supply chains will occur.  These are trends that cannot be measured, they reflect more on human behavior than the straight science of the virus itself.
  3. The politics.  As the infection unfolds and the fears define the economic impact, there will be, as there always is for large events, an impact on politics, in every country affected, including ours.  This impact is certainly not measurable ahead of time, and also clearly reflects human emotions more than the straight facts on the virus.

In some nations, the forces of economy and politics will cloud the straight information on the infection. While in other nations, the forces of economy and politics will consciously be kept separate from information on the infection, to allow the one dimension of a new infection we can observe clearly to be just that, observed clearly.

This post is written today because the path our nation will take is now uncertain, and I thought it would be helpful to offer a relatively clear way for all of us to know, will the US allow the facts of the infection to be a guide, uncluttered by the forces that move our economy and politics?

The answer to whether the science of COVID-19 will be allowed to be presented, unfiltered, to the American people can be followed directly by watching the actual experts on this infection.  And the top American on this topic is easy to identify, it’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, the current head of the NIH institute devoted to infectious diseases.

Tony Fauci is widely regarded as the most trusted, deepest expert, in the field of infectious diseases, in the world!  His contribution to our understanding of inflammation by his research is some of the best work in the world, and has led to breakthrough successes in a number of very severe inflammatory conditions.  In the field of the AIDS epidemic Tony combined outstanding research on how the virus causes its harm with extraordinary leadership in the crafting of public policy to have a real impact in turning AIDS from a fatal disease to one that can be lived with across a normal lifespan.  These are incredible accomplishments, changing millions of lives.  This is why he is held in such high esteem across the medical world.

And so, as we approach this new virus causing a new disease, it is clearly urgent that we find people who actually know how to understand what this virus is doing, and the best actions we can take in response.

In every prior epidemic that has confronted the United States, we have turned to our top experts in infectious disease to guide our actions and inform us of the situation.

Sadly, this time, with this new illness, this week, we have seen our nation try to actually muzzle the voice of top experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci.  Take the example of how we are informed about progress on the vaccine.  Dr. Fauci made it crystal clear that the vaccine for COVID-19 is being developed faster than any other has, but even under the most rapid progress, a vaccine simply cannot be made available in less than 12 months from now, and perhaps even 18 months.   This simple statement of fact was met with an order that he no longer have direct access to advise the nation on our progress in protecting us from COVID-19, even an attempt to try to tell us a vaccine would be available sooner.

This is not acceptable, we must again be one of the nation’s that is strong enough to allow good, clean facts to be shared honestly about emerging dangers, such as COVID-19.

Watching how willing the government will be to let Dr. Anthony Fauci speak will be a good way to know if we are being given true facts to consider, or not.

BOTTOM LINE

  1. This posting is presented to encourage all of us to keep our eyes squarely on the nation’s very top expert on epidemics, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  2. Any new potential epidemic is best managed by experts in how infectious diseases actually operate who actually do know how are they tracked, how is their spread controlled, how should they be treated?
  3. In every instance where a nation follows the advice of those who know how a germ operates, the outcomes are better, and when a nation muzzles this expertise, bad things can happen.

So let’s pay attention to  Dr. Anthony Fauci, and hope he is given the freedom to let the great expertise of American medicine help us out in this challenge.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

 

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