Flattening the Fear Curve

by | Jun 1, 2020 |

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There has been a lot of talk about “flattening the curve.” Well, I believe that what we really need to do in America right now is to “flatten the fear.”
Politicians beginning any response to a posed question with the dubious language “Let me be clear about this,” just before they attempt to beguile you with nonsensical “BS” always raises my eyebrows. I am no politician and in no way do I seek to minimize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anytime any disease affects over six million people, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and then claims the lives of over 367 thousand people globally is a serious medical, social, and economic issue. 
Currently in the U.S., the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Health (NIH) have documented approximately 1.81 million COVID-19 cases with over 105,000 deaths. No doubt those numbers will climb as we get universal testing in our country. I predict that we will eventually see that many more people have COVID-19 antibodies in their systems, but we will see fewer deaths. Keep that in mind; many more cases, but much fewer hospitalizations and deaths. You see, it’s really all about “context and perspective,” and that is the subject of this column.
There are three levels of knowledge: I know what I know; I know what I don’t know; and I don’t even know what I don’t know. My professional opinion based upon my observations of what some relied upon “medical experts” have been doing and saying; and in analyzing some very simple medical research provided by the CDC and NIH, is that despite all the excellent efforts and good intentions of the medical community; we are somewhere between levels two and three in the knowledge department. 
I am not faulting the majority in the medical community. The research they are conducting is absolutely phenomenal and extremely impressive. In fact, I have never seen physicians, epidemiologists, pandemic specialists, and Big Pharma work so hard to identify COVID components, methods of transmission and develop a vaccine to mitigate or eradicate COVID-19. We owe them all a huge debt or gratitude that perhaps can never be repaid, should they eventually find a cure and/or a vaccine that protects us all from COVID strains to come. My quarrel is not with them.
My quarrel and I think yours as well is with the unscrupulous, pandering pandemic politicians and the mainstream press who have seized upon the COVID chaos in a clear attempt to polarize, politicize and weaponize the pandemic emergency in yet another effort to unseat President Trump and to seize control over American citizens. This is another bloodless coup attempt. Their weapons of choice are not guns, bombs, or assassinations; it is propaganda and fear. What is worrying me is that their strategy in many areas of the country appears to be working. All you have to do is to turn on the TV to watch the news and then compare it to the behaviors of politicians and people you see in the news clips to confirm that.
Unfortunately and sadly, we have a lot of sheep and lemmings in this country. The Chicken Little’s, the ignorant, and the politically biased who lap up every morsel of COVID “news” that our libtard, mainstream media pundits and power-hungry politicians feed them. What is troubling is that they are also voters, some of whom are completely willing sans vetting the propaganda that “news sources” like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, et al. dish onto the brain pans.
I believe in the “KISS” Keep It Simple, Stupid, principal, so I believe that without the proper context and perspective, the Chicken Little’s and the sheep out there will continue to be emotionally captured by media-induced fear and controlled by political tyrants with a hidden agenda. So let me share with you some accurate COVID statistics to provide you with context and perhaps a meaningful perspective. Life is about choices and each of us needs to take time to educate ourselves and make decisions that affect their lives and those whom they love. I am not the COVID guru, so do your own research. Unlike politicians and the media, I always provide the reader with the best scientific sources available and will never tell you how to think. That’s your job.
Cause and Manner of Death – CSI 101
As a forensic death investigator, when I deal with the subject of death, I always ask my self a couple of questions: (1) What was the cause of death (COD) of patient or victim? (2) What was the manner of death? (3) What was the forensic methodology employed or in other words, how was COD scientifically and forensically established? And (4) Was the cause and manner of death objectively or subjectively established?
Here are the problems I see with these “so-called” COVID death statistics. There have been a number of physicians who have come forward to reveal that while they found that a number of their elderly patients who tested positive for COVID died, they also had one or several pre-existing more overwhelming chronic ailments on-board such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, kidney disease, Parkinson’s and/or Alzheimer’s. These physicians report that they were pressured by their hospital administrators to list the cause of death of their patient as “COVID-related.” 
What does that mean? For context, it is important to know that in many states no autopsies are conducted if the patient dies under the case of a physician. So it is proper to ask the following questions: “Is a COVID-related” death the same thing as COVID-19 being that patient’s actual “cause of death?” No, not necessarily. Was an autopsy conducted and if so, what forensic objective (factual) connection did the pathologist or medical examiner make to establish that the patient died from COVID-19 and not one of the other on-board ailments they had? Clearly, “contribution” is not “causation. 

Just because a patient has COVID antibodies in their system does not necessarily equate to their cause of death. There must be clear and convincing medical evidence that COVID so acutely exacerbated a patient’s preexisting ailment(s) to the extent it caused a catastrophic medical emergency or a system collapse that directly led to death. 

Pandemic specialists from the CDC acknowledge that perhaps as many as 25% of all of the deaths so far attributed to COVID-19 have been speculative assumptions. In the U.S., that would reduce our COVID-19 death rate by roughly 26,000 deaths. The experts concede that deaths initially listed as “COVID-19 deaths” may have been “misclassified” where the causes of death were actually from pneumonia and/or influenza, due to a lack of positive test results. That concession should be very important to the reader. 
Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has been politicized and even monetized. Are some hospitals and medical establishments encouraging their treating physicians and medical examiners, absent a proper autopsy to list a patient’s cause of death as COVID-related to obtain increased COVID grant monies? Many of us professionals believe so.
Have you seen any statistics on whether a decedent was autopsied before a COVID death was established? Have you as yet seen any universally accepted medical autopsy protocols for scientifically establishing whether a decedent who tested positive for COVID-19 actually died from it; as opposed to another preexisting chronic ailment? Have you even once heard the mainstream media celebrities ask the President, a Governor, a Mayor, or their medical experts such as Dr. Fauci any of these questions? If not, then you should be asking yourselves why not. This is CSI-101 stuff.
COVID Context
For the past three months, we as a nation have been on near universal lock-down. Until recently, we have been held as hostages in our own homes. Businesses and restaurants shut down; many never to open again. We have in fits of emotional capture, governmental control and ignorance decimated a once vibrant economy. 
Many of our political leaders and medical experts tell us that this has been done for our own good and consistently remark that they are “just following the science,” but this is far from the truth. Much of the over-intrusiveness into our lives and the draconian measures taken to suppress our God-given freedoms and personal liberties are not supported by science at all. Some statistical cases in point.
Hawaii – The Aloha State has been totally shut down by their democratic Governor David Ige. All hotels, resorts, restaurants, and beaches have been closed. Officers have literally beaten, arrested, and dragged Hawaiians off their own beaches for so-called “violations of closure and social distancing orders.” So what are the COVID statistics pointing to any “exigent circumstances” that would support such draconian measures you ask? Hawaii with a population of 1.4 million people has under 600 confirmed COVID-19 cases and only 17 deaths. The Islands of Kauai and Hawaii have zero COVID deaths. Your chances of contracting COVID are roughly .000042% and .000012% of dying of the virus. So scientifically and medically speaking, your chances of contracting or dying from COVID in Hawaii are medically insignificant.
Now, I have no problem with Governor Ige shutting down the state to air travel because everyone in the world travels to Hawaii for pleasure and business. The Aloha State is the only state that is physically isolated from other U.S. states and nations. But to deny its own inhabitants the liberties of inter-island travel, business and recreation is objectively unreasonable since scientifically there is no credible threat nor any exigent circumstances to legally justify such measures.
California – The Golden State’s Progressive Left democrat Governor Gavin Newsome and several of his democrat mayors such as Eric Garcetti have done everything possible to completely shut down their state’s businesses, restaurants, parks, and beaches. Many of the imposed shutdowns have been seen to be arbitrary and capricious. While a number of counties in Northern California have been free of COVID-19 cases, they were until very recently forbidden to allow non-essential businesses to open. Many people in California including Sheriff’s, businessowners and common citizens have pushed back, taking their protests all the way to Sacramento. So what has been driving these ridiculous intrusions on civil liberties? 
Here are the state’s COVID stats. California’s population is 39.5 million. They have roughly 107,000 COVID-19 cases with approximately only 4.156 deaths. If you live in California, your chances of contracting COVID are .0027% and of dying from the virus are .000036%. In other words, medically insignificant. 
The County of Los Angeles where democrats like LA Mayor Garcetti rein as tyrants has a population of 10,119,000 and they have had 2,042 reported COVID deaths. If you reside in that oppressive county, your chances of getting COVID-19 are roughly .0042% and of dying from the virus are .0024%. Again, medically insignificant. Yet, Mayor Garcetti and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have discussed their plans to keep the city and county in lockdown possibly until August. An absolutely amazing demonstration of non-science-based oppressive behavior!
In contrast, in 2018, Los Angeles County experienced over 2,400 opioid-related overdose deaths – Yes, more deaths than from COVID-19 and the County did absolutely nothing to mitigate its death rate. One could also successfully argue that California and other equally oppressive states such as Michigan, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and others have done little if anything to bolster their atrocious mental health systems which greatly contribute to significant rises in people afflicted with mental health disorders, drug abuse, alcoholism, suicides, and homicides that far exceed their COVID deaths. Such hypocrisy. 
So, how scared have people become? Let me give you an example in my area which is referred to as the “Hill Country of Texas” located not far from San Antonio. To date, my county has had documented only 24 cases of COVID-19 with zero deaths. That’s right, NO deaths. Our County and City officials shut down everything except for “non-essential businesses.” It has proved to be an economic disaster that we may not soon recover from. 
Thanks to our Governor Abbott’s leadership, Texas has been one of the first states to “phase” back into opening. However, the initial shutdown in my area which in my opinion was unnecessary to the degree it occurred caused extreme panic buying, hoarding, huge inconveniences to seniors needing life-sustaining provisions, the denial of what was termed to be “non-essential medical services” and more. 
So what are my county’s COVID-19 statistics to justify our lockdown? Our countywide population is 47,300. If you reside in my county, your chances of contracting COVID are roughly .00048% and we have no deaths. Yet, when I joined a recent online social discussion on COVID-19, mentioned the CDC’s and local health department’s own statistics and opined that our citizens chances of contracting or dying from COVID-19 were medically insignificant, I was assailed by a surprising number of emotionally captured people who offered no medical argument in response. I have actually observed people driving around here with masks on! Now, that is my definition of “scared.” 
I don’t shame those who wear masks here. Mask wearing is circumstance, statistics, and location dependent. In fact, I completely understand their “What if,” behavior. It’s their choice. However, as I write this column, medical and pandemic experts are at odds as to whether the wearing of masks if even an effective method of protection from COVID-19. 

The truth is that scientifically speaking, Americans have a better chance of being struck and killed by lightning than dying from COVID-19. It’s just that no one has ever explained that to them because everyone is running around trying to CYA or forward an agenda.

As a professional, I am all for taking the proper steps to mitigate and protect us from pandemics. However, politicians, medical professionals and the media have an obligation to be accountable for the actions. 
Just look at some of the ridiculous restrictions that have been made to date. You can’t swim in the ocean, but you can walk on the beach. You can’t open a mom and pop grocery store, but you can visit a liquor store, a marijuana dispensary, or COSTCO. You can’t have more than fifty people worshiping in a church, but you can have three hundred people shopping together at Walmart. If you can’t figure out these are edicts to generate maximum tax revenues state by state, then you and I live on different planets.
Just what are “essential businesses,” and who are “essential workers?” You’ve got me. State and local governments should not be run by the roll of the dice. Remember this is not our first rodeo. Do the Spanish Flu, Ebola, SARS, and H1N1 “swine flu” ring a bell? Even though COVID is a different animal, we should have figured “pandemic response” out and been prepared by now.
The oppression of civil liberties and freedoms should not be subject to politically-motivated spin. Politics and science do not and should not mix. Law enforcement should not be placed in the middle as misdirected political puppets of some new National Socialism movement or agenda to control the ignorant masses. 
Finally, I hope my readers will share this column with politicians and judges because, it is a pretty safe bet that we will go down the COVID-20, 21, 25 and 30 road again as new seasonal strains emerge in the future. Americans are not going to do this again. This is America, not Amerika and we won’t tolerate severe, speculative, non-science based intrusions upon our liberties moving forward. 
This entire COVID disaster had better be a learning experience for some of our politicians, medical experts, and media pundits on what not to do. If not, I would not want to be in their shoes when COVID-20 hits our shores. We will remember.
For Further Insight:
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2016-2017.html
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2015-2016.html
https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83
https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/
https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Crime/state/IL
https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-6/table-6-state-cuts/california.xls
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/california-opioid-summary
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Center_for_Health_Statistics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/6/flash-facts-about-lightning/
https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS648US648&sxsrf=ALeKk01pih7xgZ5Ir7m9Gp2gohHrnMxdTg%3A1590428065678&ei=oQHMXubzKI_GsAWmnqPIDQ&q=people+struck+by+lightning+by+state&oq=people+struck+by+lightning+by+state&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzoECAAQRzoECCMQJzoGCAAQFhAeUJ-jA1jLuwNg3r4DaABwAngAgAHKAYgBkAuSAQYxNS4xLjGYAQCgAQGqAQdnd3Mtd2l6&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwimyJSfxs_pAhUPI6wKHSbPCNkQ4dUDCAw&uact=5
https://www.weather.gov/media/safety/Analysis06-18.pdf

Dr. Ron Martinelli

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, is a nationally renowned forensic criminologist and retired police detective with the San Jose (CA) Police Department. Dr. Martinelli directs the nation’s only Forensic Death Investigations & Independent Review Team and is the author of the new book, “The Truth Behind the Black Lives Matter Movement and the War on Police.”

The Show: A Thread of Evidence deals with real crime stories, their victims, violators, cops, and forensic investigators who solve those crimes and bring the bad guys to justice. Go out onto the mean streets, visit the crime scenes and work in the forensic lab with your host nationally renowned forensic criminologist and investigator, DrRon Martinelli.

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