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By Tim Hunt

Cancelling opinions and people's jobs

Uploaded: Dec 29, 2020

The cancel culture that has infected colleges for years now sadly is spreading throughout the sciences and beyond.

The latest example, as reported by KTVU, is Dr. Michael deBoisblanc, a Walnut Creek-based surgeon who practices at John Muir Medical Center. At the request of parents, the doctor and two colleagues wrote a letter to the Contra Costa County Public Health Director questioning the latest lockdowns.

The result: John Muir eliminated his contract as the director of trauma services at the hospital. The John Muir statement read, “"The doctor is employed through an outside contract," And after careful consideration, John Muir Health is not continuing with Dr. Deboisblanc in that position." The statement, given to NBC Bay Area News, was read by Fox News anchor Sandra Smith during its report on the firing last Wednesday.
When I reached out to Dr. deBoisBlanc’s office asking for comment, my call Thursday was not returned and the woman who answered his office phone Monday simply said no when asked if I could interview him. Notably, the doctor is a member of the Army Reserve and has been deployed as a surgeon to the Balkans, Iraqi and Afghanistan combat theaters. That’s experience that’s ideal for a trauma center surgeon.
There’s no question that the continuing remote school is significantly damaging children’s education to say nothing of their mental health. That’s despite research that shows children are at almost no risk for the COVID-19 virus and do not spread it. As I reported two weeks ago, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association the spring shutdown alone resulted in 5.53 million fewer years of life based on educational attainment. The same report estimated 1.47 million years of life would have been lost if schools had remained opened.
Remember, that’s just the spring and the entire fall semester for most students has been remote as well. That’s nearly twice as many school days missed.
The Contra Costa physicians are certainly not alone in questioning the wisdom of the lockdowns. Dr. Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, who advised President Trump on the virus during the fall, has been an outspoken critic. He wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “… nearly all states used the same draconian policies that people now insist on hardening, even though the number of positive cases increased while people’s movements were constrained, business activities were strictly limited, and schools were closed. Governors in all but a few states—Florida and South Dakota are notable exceptions—imposed curfews, quarantines, directives on group gatherings, and mask mandates.
Mobility tracking verifies that people restricted their movement. Gallup and YouGov data show that 80% to 90% of Americans have been wearing masks since early August. Lockdown policies had baleful effects on local economies, families and children, and the virus spread anyway. If one advocates more lockdowns because of bad outcomes so far, why don’t the results of those lockdowns matter?”
Public health directors and governors are viewing the virus through a myopic periscope instead of considering the broader effects of their actions.
Atlas later wrote, “Yet empirical data from the U.S., Europe and Japan show that lockdowns don’t eliminate the virus and don’t stop the virus from spreading. They do, however, create extremely harmful health and social problems beyond a dramatic drop in learning, including a tripling of reported depression, skyrocketing suicidal ideation, unreported child abuse, skipped visits for cancer and other medical care.
It adds up to a future health disaster. “For younger people, the lockdowns are so harmful, so deadly, there’s really no good justification,” says Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya, especially when considering their extremely low risk from Covid-19.”
Bhattacharya is one of three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which has been signed by more than 54,000 medical professionals as well as more than 712,000 other people. It argues the right action is to protect vulnerable populations, but let other people resume normal activities.
Dr. Atlas concludes his opinion piece, “The media has done its best to misinform the public with political attacks about who is to blame for this pain and misery even as it diminishes the great achievement of the new vaccines. The decline of objectivity in journalism has been evident for years. Now we see that even respected scientific journals, which are supposed to vet and publish the best objective research, have been contaminated by politics. Social media has become the arbiter of allowable discussion, while universities intimidate and suppress the free exchange of ideas necessary to uncover scientific truths.
It is not at all clear that American society with its cherished freedoms will survive, regardless of our success in defeating the pandemic threat.”
Well said.