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WAR


By: E.P. Unum

September 5, 2020


No sane person relishes the thought of War. 

War is the greatest scourge of mankind and anyone who has been to war will tell you that. But make no mistake, America is at war today. The guns are silent in this conflict but our nation has been paralyzed by fear from largely an unknown and invisible invader known as COVID-19. It was unleashed on the world by China who seized upon an opportunity to launch a virus manufactured in a lab in Wuhan, China and that virus, is a weapon of mass destruction equally as potent than any cyber or nuclear attack. We were caught asleep at the wheel as were 188 countries around the world. We have responded with typical American resilience, tenacity, dedication, ingenuity and resolve. But what if it happens again? Do we have the stamina, the will to achieve victory?


The other day while picking up a prescription from my pharmacy, I asked a very bright pharmacist how he would re-open America. Well, I wish I’d had a camcorder to record his emotional, justified tirade. “Joe I just don’t have the facts, and it seems that neither does anyone else. I turn to one source for information and they say one thing. I turn to another and they say something different. There are the “openers” and there are the “status quo” advocates looking at the same available information like economists and coming up with different conclusions. People are increasingly afraid – big time – and no one seems to be able to explain the true story to them because they are confused themselves. I’m frustrated as hell and give up on trying to figure things out. Frequently, the patients ask me for my opinion and I feel like I let them down for I have none.”


 So, this is an attempt to help clarify what is the broader message of COVID-19 and, in addition, suggestions on how to begin to open America, alleviate fear and focus attention on the things we can do to address this crisis.

                                    
THE TRUE UNTOLD COVID-19 STORY

This relatively benign virus, as far viruses go, arrived like a thief in the night, and all we had as a defense against it were questionably effective masks, gloves, social distancing and ventilators for when patients were in crisis.  Our nation’s military has satellite imagery capable of viewing a gnat on the ass of an elephant from hundreds of miles in space, sophisticated radar able to track missiles and aircraft, but none of these modern military technologies were capable of identifying this invader! Puzzlingly, few asked why we had no other weapons. More importantly, we have been lulled into incorrectly believing that a COVID-19 vaccine is the solution to this national continuing catastrophe. It is not! Not by a long shot. Let me explain. There are few vaccines that are totally effective against viruses and bacteria. Regarding viruses, to develop a single vaccine – to my knowledge no one has proposed administering two different types of vaccines together – requires an enormous effort, time and costs. Even if successful, it won’t be 100% effective as well as not lasting a lifetime. That is the nature of vaccines. Just think about the flu vaccine…people still get the flu and die from the flu…and we have a vaccine for it! Succinctly put, COVID-19 will not disappear but become dormant and will remain with us. That is a clinical fact.


Let us assume for the moment that the FDA proudly announces on October 1, 2020 that they have tested a vaccine and it is efficacious (it works!) and is completely safe. How do we go about insuring everyone in America is vaccinated? The hard-nosed answer is we cannot. There are people who will refuse the vaccine based on the fact that they feel it cannot be safe and because democrats and their media twits will say “Trump forced this into the market too fast.” Then there are those who will refuse vaccination for themselves and their children because they read someplace that vaccines cause autism. I have no doubt the machinery is in place to effectively distribute the vaccine but getting people to accept it is entirely a different subject. 


If you think giving Governors and Mayors power over people in their states and cities works, think about this: How about new rules which say restaurants cannot serve patrons who have not been vaccinated! So, all of a sudden you will need a card from a physician or clinic indicating you have been vaccinated in order to go out to eat. What about school? Can you imagine children being turned away from school because they have not had the magical COVID-19 vaccination? 


The list is endless and puts power into the hands of the wrong people who have demonstrated that they are woefully inept during this crisis. I give you Andrew Cuomo Governor of New York and Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey.


Now, just imagine if another different coronavirus is “accidentally” released into our country. I am not trying to create unnecessary fear but such an occurrence is not very difficult to imagine and must be viewed as likely to happen. When that happens, the entire lengthy vaccine process must begin anew with virtually zero probability of success for the total eradication of the infection. These are just the facts and Anthony Fauci, MD and Deborah Birx, MD know it full well.


Modern, inexpensive, relatively easy to perform technology such as CRISP and gain-in-action experiments makes it possible to create new, highly infectious and lethal microorganisms even in a hidden small rogue controlled laboratory. For example, the bacterium which causes the bubonic plague that historically has killed multi-millions of people and changed the course of history is still with us. 


Fortunately, current antibiotics are effective clinical treatments against this lethal bug. But, with modern bioengineering technology, however, the genome may be modified to make it resistant to such antibiotics. The unequivocal message of COVID-19 is that biological warfare, in addition to conventional, nuclear, and cyberspace warfare, has arrived, and we are woefully

unprepared to fight potential enemy microorganisms. A daunting challenge to any President regardless of political party or affiliation. 


Yes, we have the Biological Weapons Convention which prohibits the creation of lethal microorganisms and the dismantling of existing ones, but it is generally ignored and impossible to regulate.


Because of the power of our competitive, pervasive modern information-misinformation system, and a mainstream media who long ago scrapped the disciplines of journalistic integrity, the public and even our leaders have been lulled into believing that a COVID-19 vaccine is the answer to our problem. It clearly is not. We must continue to develop a vaccine, but let’s not be fooled. What then is the answer?


It is to develop pharmaceuticals or drugs like penicillin and insulin or biologicals which, for example, contain mixtures of immunological substances that will effectively treat and cure viral and bacterial infections. 
Unlike vaccines which require thousands of patients and long periods of time for testing of efficacy and safety, treatment remedies can be rapidly and inexpensively clinically evaluated to determine their effectiveness in a small number of patients within months. But, of course, continued research and development of vaccines must also continue for there is the possibility of discovering treatment vaccines however remote and, also because the scientific knowledge gained is invaluable.


Though treatment therapies are clearly the answer, for some reason this solution is generally ignored by the media and, therefore, the public is generally unaware of it. For example, physician and former Commissioner of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal emphasizing that treatment therapies such as pharmaceuticals or drugs are the best answer. To date, however, I have seen no media follow-up on this critical message which is a statement unto itself regarding our information system and understanding what we are dealing with. 


Fortunately, I do know that President Trump and the NIH has authorized ongoing research into therapeutics while the search for a vaccine continues but that one salient fact is largely unknown because the media hasn’t publicized it.


That brings us to the next question of what exactly is going on with research.
That’s difficult to precisely answer for we, with certain exceptions regarding controversial drugs, are inundated by information solely regarding vaccines. The good news is that expanding technology such as Artificial Intelligence coupled with our superb men and women scientists and research-oriented medical doctors are now in full gear. Stephen DeFelice, MD, a close friend and colleague, is now retired from a lifetime of medical research which included a time at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. DeFelice, among many other things, introduced a drug into the United States that saved the lives of thousands of children and adults with mitochondrial myopathy, a devastating often fatal condition in children and adults. Steve has been heavily involved with medical discovery and clinical research for over half a century. He tells me that our capacity to discover new therapies is now breathtaking and he would not be surprised if some major medical breakthrough of some type comes soon. 


Orchestrated by the swift action and leadership of President Trump, it’s marvelous to observe how our private pharmaceutical and biotech industries have, with never before experienced speed, teamed-up together with the government to meet the COVID-19 challenge. For example, because of growing antibiotic resistance and increasing deaths due to septicemia, particularly in the hospitalized elderly, private pharmaceutical companies have teamed up in a novel type of joint venture to conquer these stubborn superbugs, the discoveries of which can be applied to bacterial warfare. 
Regarding research, efforts on pharmaceuticals and biologicals, though with surprising little media coverage, continues unabated, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a treatment discovery for COVID-19 will be discovered before a truly effective vaccine is.


Now the gripping question is what do we do in the meantime? 



WHY AND HOW TO OPEN AMERICA

For a number of technology–driven reasons our country is in a phase of turmoil, fear and social unrest, much of it fueled by COVID19, but a great deal of it driven by well- funded Marxist and Communist groups who have seized upon the upheavals in our society to throw gasoline on the fire. If truth be told, much of this is encouraged by liberal/ progressive democrats who want to use this as a reason to drive President Trump and his administration from office. In this climate of hate and fruitless division, our domestic and international adversaries, and they’re more than a few beginning with China, are observing how this relatively benign virus is paralyzing our country and wondering about how an “accidental release” of another coronavirus or other type would play out. Make no mistake about it, we are at war with this virus and need a battle plan to defeat it, and that plan should also be helpful in responding to future microorganism attacks.

  A DECLARATION OF WAR

The first step is for the Congress to declare war on this virus; to justifiably label COVID-19 as an enemy of war similar to those of World War II where lives were both risked and lost in order to defeat the enemy. The famous Prussian general, Carl von Clausewitz, wrote that, “War is an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” Is there any doubt that COVID-19 is forcing us to bend to its will? It has permeated every aspect of American life from economic stability to defenseless children.

 
A long- time friend and colleague of mine, whose career has been exclusively dedicated to helping parents of children with disabilities and disease, told me how this virus is depriving children, such as children with autism, from receiving their critical therapies as well as causing familial turmoil among their parents and siblings. This exists for other conditions as well such as cerebral palsy, neuromuscular disorders, epilepsy, tourette’s, etc.. In America, that cannot continue. There are 6.0 million families in America caring for children with disabilities and special health care needs – conditions that medicine cannot cure – we cannot abandon them. I do not hold out much hope for the Congress to take such action, but, if they do not, the President should clearly call for it, and act as if we are indeed at war. As General Douglas MacArthur so ably reminded us, “in warthere can be no substitute for victory.”
The logical and compelling conclusion is to immediately have a strategy to re-open our country and to do so resolutely and with purpose. 


So let us take stock in what we have learned over these past ten months. What we have learned in dealing with COVID-19 is that we have developed excellent treatment regimens and therapeutics to deal with serious cases of the infection so that a relatively minuscule number of people actually die from the disease. We now know that only .003 of our population actually dies from this infection. We also know that the vast majority of serious level infections occur in the elderly, so we should be able to focus our attention on that segment of our population. We must remember that the vast majority of people who do contract the infection recover quickly and completely. That needs to be driven home often and with conviction because it is true. Two close personal friends, husband and wife, ages 77 and 78 were hospitalized back in February 2020 with COVID 19. They were in serious condition and on ventilators. They were treated with a cocktail of  Hydroxychloroquine, AZT and Zinc and recovered completely in one week’s time. Both are doing fine today.


AMERICA NEEDS TO OPEN:


Currently, there are two major paths regarding a national strategy:  (1) stay the course and continue our retreat until an unequivocal effective therapy is discovered, or, (2) boldly move forward with the opening. Regarding the latter, we need to stop the media’s attention to the rising level of those testing positive for COVID-19 because in many respects, the testing we are doing is extremely sensitive and picks up traces of bacteria that are actually dormant and have little consequence in terms of manifesting serious illness. Sort of like discovering a human hair in a room which the person has left. The likelihood that the infection will cause sickness in non- elderly patients with no comorbidities is remote. We must stop fear mongering and dwelling on the number of deaths 24/7 because it has now been established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that only 6% of the recorded deaths actually were due from COVID-19 as opposed to dying with COVID-19. There is a huge difference in these terms! It is a major distinction. 


President Franklin D. Roosevelt calmly and directly in his famous Fireside Chats, told a nation in the depths of the depression that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. His words seem fitting today. We must stop seeing shadows and put aside our fear and get on with living our lives. We are not facing an existential threat. Stop worrying about dying and start enjoying living.


Our schools need to open and our teachers need to get back into the classroom because it is safe to do so and because they owe it to those young girls and boys to provide them the best education possible. That is why they became teachers in the first place. Honor your commitment to education; it takes priority over your membership in a union. Again, the preoccupation with the number of cases is essentially irrelevant. There is more harm to our population in terms of depression, anxiety, fear, drug addiction and an inability to put food on the table and care for those in need by keeping our schools closed than by reopening. Ditto for small businesses, airlines, hotels and restaurants.


Machiavelli wrote that “in threatening times people are highly receptive to trustworthy leaders and will, despite the real or potential spelled-out hardships, eagerly accept and follow their leadership.” Emmanuel Kant echoed this in his writings as well. 


President Trump has demonstrated the skill, courage and will to guide us through this crisis. The democrats would have you believe that his actions have been deficient, but that is pure nonsense. He orchestrated a private sector/government partnership and quickly resolved the state deficiencies in PPE such as ventilators; ordered the retrofitting of two U.S. Navy Hospital Ships and deployed them in record time to New York and New Jersey and Los Angeles where they sat for over a month unused despite a 1,000 bed modern hospital/ surgical rooms. Trump used the Army Corps of Engineers to build massive 3,000-bed hospital facilities at the Javits Center in New York and Mosconi Center in San Francisco where they went essentially unused. He did the same in NYC’s Central Park.


Trump launched a massive effort to conduct research into development of a vaccine by streamlining to less than a year a process that typically takes 4-7 years before approval is given by the FDA. At the same time he authorized under “Operation Warp Speed” the simultaneous research into vaccines, biotherapeutics and treatment regimens. All have yielded remarkable positive results. 


Had Trump not taken immediate action to restrict travel to the U.S. from China and Europe, we would have had millions dead rather than 183,000!
So, regardless of your personal opinion about President Trump – he is the right man at the right time in the right spot. He gets things done, which is what we need in a leader. 

 
If we are to be successful as a nation, the media needs to put aside its unproductive hatred for our President and stop inducing fear through its pointed broadcasts and efforts to discredit the President at every turn. This is about our ability to survive and defeat an enemy just as we did in World War II. It is time to show courage.


Speaking of courage, it was Aristotle who rated courage as the highest virtue because of its quality to overcome fear in order to achieve goals and objectives and to help others. It was his student, Alexander the Great, when asked what was one of the greatest qualities of his leadership answered, “Do not hesitate in times of crises.”


The time for bickering and posturing is over. We are at war. Act accordingly.


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RIP MCINTOSH

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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