Weíd like to look at how weíve responded as a nation, and why you responded. Our first initial response two months ago was a little bit of fear: [the government] decided to shut down travel to and from China. These are good ideas when you donít have any facts. [Governments] decided to keep people at home and isolate them. Typically you quarantine the sick. When someone has measles you quarantine them. Weíve never seen where we quarantine the healthy.
So thatís kind of how we started. We donít know whatís going on, we see this new virus. How should we respond? So we did that initially, and over the last couple months weíve gained a lot of data typically. Weíre going to go over the numbers a little bit to kind of help you see how widespread COVID is, and see how we should be responding to it based on its prevalence throughout societyóor the existence of the cases that we already know aboutÖ.
So if you look at Californiaóthese numbers are from yesterdayówe have 33,865 COVID cases, out of a total of 280,900 total tested. Thatís 12% of Californians were positive for COVID. So we donít, the initialóas you guys know, the initial models were woefully inaccurate. They predicted millions of cases of deathónot of prevalence or incidenceóbut death. That is not materializing. What is materializing is, in the state of California is 12% positives. You have a 0.03 chance of dying from COVID in the state of California. Does that necessitate sheltering in place? Does that necessitate shutting down medical systems? Does that necessitate people being out of work? 96% of people in California who get COVID would recover, with almost no significant sequelae; or no significant continuing medical problems. Two months ago we didnít know this. The more you test, the more positives you get. The prevalence number goes up, and the death rate stays the same. So [the death rate] gets smaller and smaller and smaller. And as we move through this dataówhat I want you to see isómillions of cases, small death. Millions of cases, small death.
We extrapolate data, we test people, and then we extrapolate for the entire community based on the numbers. The initial models were so inaccurate theyíre not even correct. And some of them were based on social distancing and still predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths, which has been inaccurate. In New York the ones they tested they found 39% positive. So if they tested the whole state would we indeed have 7.5 million cases? We donít know; we will never test the entire state. So we extrapolate out; we use the data we have because itís the most we have versus a predictive model that has been nowhere in the ballpark of accurate. How many deaths do they have? 19,410 out of 19 million people, which is a 0.1% chance of dying from COVID in the state of New York. If you are indeed diagnosed with COVID-19, 92% of you will recover.
Weíve tested over 4 millionÖ which gives us a 19.6% positive out of those who are tested for COVID-19. So if this is a typical extrapolation 328 million people times 19.6 is 64 million. Thatís a significant amount of people with COVID; itís similar to the flu. If you study the numbers in 2017 and 2018 we had 50 to 60 million with the flu. And we had a similar death rate in the deaths the United States were 43,545ósimilar to the flu of 2017-2018. We always have between 37,000 and 60,000 deaths in the United States, every single year. No pandemic talk. No shelter-in-place. No shutting down businessesÖ
We do thousands of flu tests every year. We donít report every one, because the flu is ubiquitous and to that note we have a flu vaccine. How many people even get the flu vaccine? The flu is dangerous, it kills people. Just because you have a vaccine doesnít mean itís gonna be everywhere and it doesnít mean everyoneís going to take itÖ I would say probably 50% of the public doesnít even want it. Just because you have a vaccineóunless you forced it on the publicódoesnít mean theyíre going to take it.
Norway has locked down; Sweden does not have lock down. What happened in those two countries? Are they vastly different? Did Sweden have a massive outbreak of cases? Did Norway have nothing? Letís look at the numbers. Sweden has 15,322 cases of COVIDó21% of all those tested came out positive for COVID. Whatís the population of Sweden? About 10.4 million. So if we extrapolate out the data about 2 million cases of COVID in Sweden. They did a little bit of social distancing; they would wear masks and separate; they went to schools; stores were open. They were almost about their normal daily life with a little bit of social distancing. They had how many deaths? 1,765. Californiaís had 1,220 with isolation. No isolation: 1,765. We have more people. Norway: its next-door neighbor. These are two Scandinavian nations; we can compare them as they are similar. 4.9% of all COVID tests were positive in Norway. Population of Norway: 5.4 million. So if we extrapolate the data, as weíve been doing, which is the best we can do at this point, they have about 1.3 million cases. Now their deaths as a total number, were 182. So you have a 0.003 chance of death as a citizen of Norway and a 97% recovery. Their numbers are a little bit better. Does it necessitate shutdown, loss of jobs, destruction of the oil company, furloughing doctors?
I wanted to talk about the effects of COVID-19, the secondary effects. COVID-19 is one aspect of our health sector. What has it caused to have us be involved in social isolation? What does it cause that we are seeing the community respond to? Child molestation is increasing at a severe rate. We could go over multiple cases of children who have been molested due to angry family members who are intoxicated, who are home, who have no paycheck. Spousal abuse: we are seeing people coming in here with black eyes and cuts on their face. Itís an obvious abuse of case. These are things that will affect them for a lifetime, not for a season. Alcoholism, anxiety, depression, suicide. Suicide is spiking; education is dropped off; economic collapse. Medical industry weíre all suffering because our staff isnít here and we have no volume. We have clinics from Fresno to San Diego and these things are spiking in our community. These things will affect people for a lifetime, not for a season.
Iíd like to go over some basic things about how the immune system functions so people have a good understanding. The immune system is built by exposure to antigens: viruses, bacteria. When youíre a little child crawling on the ground, putting stuff in your mouth, viruses and bacteria come in. You form an antigen antibody complex. You form IgG IgM. This is how your immune system is built. You donít take a small child put them in bubble wrap in a room and say, ďgo have a healthy immune system.Ē
This is immunology, microbiology 101. This is the basis of what weíve known for years.
When you take human beings and you say, ďgo into your house, clean all your countersóLysol them down youíre gonna kill 99% of viruses and bacteria; wear a mask; donít go outside,Ē what does it do to our immune system? Our immune system is used to touching. We share bacteria. Staphylococcus, streptococcal, bacteria, viruses.
Sheltering in place decreases your immune system. And then as we all come out of shelter in place with a lower immune system and start trading viruses, bacteriaówhat do you think is going to happen? Disease is going to spike. And then youíve got diseases spikeóamongst a hospital system with furloughed doctors and nurses. This is not the combination we want to set up for a healthy society. It doesnít make any sense.
ÖDid we respond appropriately? Initially the response, fine shut it down, but as the data comes acrossóand we say now, wait a second, weíve never, ever responded like this in the history of the country why are we doing this now? Any time you have something new in the community medical community it sparks fearóand I would have done what Dr. Fauci didóso we both would have initially. Because the first thing you do is, you want to make sure you limit liabilityóand deathsóand I think what they did was brilliant, initially. But you know, looking at theories and modelsówhich is what these folks useóis very different than the way the actual virus presents itself throughout communitiesÖ.
Nobody talks about the fact that coronavirus lives on plastics for three days and weíre all sheltering in place. Whereíd you get your water bottles from? Costco. Where did you get that plastic shovel from? Home Depot. If I swab things in your home I would likely find COVID-19. And so you think youíre protected. Do you see the lack of consistency here? Do you think youíre protected from COVID when you wear gloves that transfer disease everywhere? Those gloves have bacteria all over them. We wear masks in an acute setting to protect us. Weíre not wearing masks. Why is that? Because we understand microbiology; we understand immunology; and we want strong immune systems. I donít want to hide in my home, develop a weak immune system, and then come out and get disease.
When someone dies in this country right now theyíre not talking about the high blood pressure, the diabetes, the stroke. They say they died from COVID. Weíve been to hundreds of autopsies. You donít talk about one thing, you talk about comorbidities. COVID was part of it, it is not the reason they died folks. When Iím writing up my death report Iím being pressured to add COVID.
Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add COVID? To maybe increase the numbers, and make it look a little bit worse than it is. Weíre being pressured in-house to add COVID to the diagnostic list when we think it has nothing to do with the actual cause of death. The actual cause of death was not COVID, but itís being reported as one of the disease processes and being added to the death list. COVID didnít kill them, 25 years of tobacco use killed.
Thereís two ways to get rid of virus: either burns itself out or herd immunity. For hundreds of years we relied on herd immunity. Viruses kill people, end of story. The flu kills people. COVID kills people. But for the rest of us we develop herd immunity. We developed the ability to take this virus in and defeat it and for the vast majority 95% of those around the globe. Do you want your immune system built or do you want it not built? The building blocks of your immune system is a virus and bacteria. Thereís normal bacteria in normal flora that we have to be exposed to bacteria and viruses that are not virulent are our friends. They protect us against bad bacteria and bad viruses.
Right now, if you look at Dr. Eriksonís skin or my skin we have strep, we have stuffóthey protect us against opportunistic infections. Thatís why for the first three to six months [babies are] extremely vulnerable to opportunistic infection. Which is why, when we see a little baby in the ER with fever who is one month old, you do a spinal tap, you do a chest x-ray, you do blood cultures, you do urine cultures. But if you had a fever I wouldnít do that for you. Why? Because that baby does not have the normal bacteria and flora from the community, whereas you do.
I guarantee when we reopen thereís going to be a huge, huge amount of illness thatís going to be rampant because our immune systems have weakened. Thatís just basic immunology.
Do we need to still shelter in place? Our answer is emphatically no. Do we need businesses to be shut down? Emphatically no. Do we need to have it, do we need to test them, and get them back to work? Yes, we do. The the secondary effects that we went overóthe child abuse, alcoholism, loss of revenueóall these are, in our opinion, a significantly more detrimental thing to society than a virus that has proven similar in nature to the seasonal flu we have every year.
We also need to put measures in place so economic shutdown like this does not happen again. We want to make sure we understand that quarantining the sick is what we do, not quarantine the healthy. We need to make sure if youíre gonna dance on someoneís constitutional rights you better have a good reason. You better have a really good scientific reason, and not just theory.
One of the most important things is we need our hospitals back up. We need our furloughed doctors back. We need our nurses back. Because when we lift this thing, weíre gonna need all hands on deck. I know the local hospitals have closed two floors. Folks, thatís not the situation you want. Weíre essentially setting ourselves up to have minimal staff, and weíre going to have significant disease. Thatís the wrong combination.
Iíve talked to our local head of the Health Department and heís waitingÖ for the powers that be to lift. Because the data is showing itís time to lift. I would start slowly [open up schools sporting events] I think we need to open up the schools start getting kids back to the immune system you know and the major events the sporting events these are non-essential letís get back to those slowly letís start with schools letís start with cafe Rio and the pizza place hereÖ Does that make sense to you guys and I think I can go into Costco and I can shop with people and thereís probably a couple hundred people but I canít go in Cafe Rio so big businesses are open little businesses are notÖ.
Eventually we treat this like we treat flu. Which is if you have the flu and youíre feeling fever and body aches you just stay home if you have coughing or shortness of breathóCOVID is more of a respiratory thingóyou stay home. You donít get tested, even when people come with flu a lot of times we donít test them. We go, ďyou have flu. Hereís a medication.Ē You have COVID, go home, let it resolve and come back negative.
If you have no symptoms you should be able to return to work. Are you an asymptomatic viral spreader? Maybe, but we canít test all of humanity. Sure weíre gonna miss cases of coronavirus, just like we miss cases of the flu. It would be nice to capture every coronavirus patient, but is that realistic? Are we gonna keep the economy shut down for two years and vaccinate everybody? Thatís an unrealistic expectation. Youíre going to cause financial ruin, domestic violence, suicide, rape, violence and what are you going to get out of it? Youíre still going to miss a lot of cases. So we need to treat this like the flu, which is familiar, and eventually this will mutate and become less and less virulentÖ
I donít need a double-blind clinically controlled trial to tell me if sheltering in place is appropriate, that is a college-level understanding of microbiology. A lot of times in medicine you have to make you have to make educated decisions with the data that you have. I can sit up in the 47th-floor in the penthouse and say we should do this, this, and this, but I havenít seen a patient for 20 yearsóthatís not realistic.
If youíre healthy and you donít have significant comorbidities and you know youíre not immunodeficient and youíre not elderly you should be able to go out without any gloves and without a mask. If you are those things you should either shelter in place or wear a mask and gloves. I donít think everybody needs to wear the masks and gloves because it reduces your bacterial floraÖ and your bacterial flora and your viruses are your friends that protect you from other diseases [if they] end up going away and now youíre more likely to get opportunistic infections infections that are hoping you donít have your good bugs fighting for you.