It may surprise most of the general public to know that the American Medical Association is not the representative of physicians. Only 15% of MD/DO’s are members. The AMA does not require member dues to survive because it was granted a monopoly by the Federal government on the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding books used by all insurance companies over thirty years ago. Between the sale of these books and other related royalties, the AMS has non-dues income estimated to be over $100 million dollars annually. The AMA failed physicians during the negotiations about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and did not involve itself in the deliberations for this in a quid pro quo for repeal of the Sustained Growth Rate, a payment algorithm that continually cut back payments to physicians, even though the SGR repeal already had bipartisan support and needed to be repealed in any event. This was the last straw for me and I quit the AMA for good in 2010.
Since the Covid pandemic and George Floyd killing, the AMA has gone full woke. It claims that medicine is systemically racist and has embraced critical race theory in the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It has supported gender-affirming transitioning of young children and adolescents with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
Now, the AMA claims that the body mass index (BMI) scale is racist because of its “historical harm” and “use for racial exclusion.” What it comes down to is that the BMI charts were developed with data from non-hispanic white patients so, of course, it must be racist.
I recently received a form letter from the Surgeon General. This is my reply.
9 June 2023
Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA
Surgeon General of the United States
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201
Dear Dr. Murthy,
I am responding to the letter you mailed out regarding Covid -19. I assume this was sent to all practicing physicians in the U.S. The gist of the letter was a thank you for our efforts in dealing with the Covid pandemic and encouragement to vaccinate “all” patients including administration of bivalent boosters as well as treat with Paxlovid those who currently present with Covid symptoms.
I was not a frontline physician in the pandemic as my specialty is not primary care, but I have many colleagues who were, and I share your gratitude to them for doing all they could to prevent and treat illness in their patients, often under impossible circumstances and at risk to themselves. I had Covid twice and recovered uneventfully both times. My first bout was with the Delta strain and that was unpleasant, but I and my wife (I am 70 and she is 67, both in excellent health) remained at home for the duration. The second bout was with Omicron and was as mild a cold as I have ever had. I remain unvaccinated and plan to stay that way for the foreseeable future. I am not an “anti-vaxxer”, take the flu vaccine annually, and encourage appropriate vaccination in my patients. I chose not to get the mRNA vaccines when they were rolled out as I had concerns about the speed of development, inflated efficacy and safety claims, and absence of long term data on them. I was waiting for the Novavax vaccine, the rollout of which was continually pushed back until I came down with Covid in June 2021. After that, I chose to rely on my acquired immunity, which time and subsequent studies have shown to be as robust and durable as vaccination, if not more so. This was borne out with my second bout June 2022.
My reason for writing to you is to express my dismay and disgust at the public health response to the Covid pandemic. From an unprecedented nationwide quarantine of healthy individuals to Draconian measures such as school closures of a year or more, lockdowns that devastated small businesses and our economy, and relentless pushing of measures with no proven efficacy, such as universal masking and “social distancing,” I believe that our public health sector failed miserably and the Covid response will be viewed as one of the greatest failures of modern medicine. The dismissal of expressed concerns by experts who opposed many of these measures, e.g. Great Barrington Declaration, was unscientific and undeniably politicized what should have been a reasoned scientific discussion and debate among scientists and physicians. Demonizing physicians who were striving to do their best for patients using repurposed drugs, before vaccines were available, and ostracizing those who chose not to get vaccinated was truly appalling.
More than the initial missteps in managing the pandemic was the inability or unwillingness of the public health establishment, from Dr. Fauci on down, to adapt to change, especially that seen as the virus mutated and changed to a less virulent strain. The failure to admit and accept acquired immunity was inexplicable. The relentless push to keep schools closed and to vaccinate young children with a novel vaccine when it was clear that children were uniquely spared by this virus will be viewed down the road as unjustified experimentation on those who could not speak for themselves. Shame on those who did this.
Even now, the CDC pushes vaccines for children and boosters which have almost no data to support them. I fear that we have set a dangerous precedent for future pandemics.
I am astonished that, in the face of incontrovertible evidence of the complicity of the CCP in the origin and spread of the pandemic, the World Health Organization, governments, and physicians worldwide have not demanded that the CCP be held to account for the deaths of millions.
The Covid response by the public health experts in the U.S. was an embarrassment, probably cost more lives than Covid itself, and was responsible for destroying generations of trust in our public health institutions. I no longer trust the CDC, NIH, FDA, or those who head these organizations when it comes to Covid information.
I would suggest that one of your goals as Surgeon General should be to reform or dismantle these organizations so we do not see a repeat of this debacle in the future.