UPDATED August 14, 2014 – Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in today. I’m going to talk a little bit about the Ebola crisis. We have a bit of a crisis in Ukraine. We’re very much involved in getting more engaged in Iraq. But there’s also a lot in the news about Ebola and a lot of frightening reports about Ebola.
There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s a very, very serious illness and I don’t doubt it for a minute that it is very hard to treat, and they have no magic pill, and it’s quite deadly. But I’d like to put it in a little different perspective than the way they advertise it in the headlines. “Scale of Ebola Crisis Unprecedented, CDC Director Says.” Well, so far there has not been a case in the United States other than the two individuals that were brought here. So it is not exactly unprecedented in the United States. And also, they know pretty much how it spreads. So, with caution, I think a civilized nation can protect against it.
But it reminds me of 1976. One of the first votes I cast, and Gerald Ford was president at the time, was the threat of the swine flu, I believe, was coming in and it was going to be epidemic and a horror to the United States. So they quickly passed a bill to inoculate everybody in the country. There were two of us who voted against it—another physician, Larry McDonald, who was a Democrat, and myself. We thought it was unwise to inoculate everybody and we didn’t have the evidence that it was going to be deadly.
It turned out that it was a false alarm. The crisis was never materialized, and more people died from the shots than people got sick with the flu. So there’s always this chance that they overreact to some of these crises.
The one thing good that has come out of this Ebola crisis is that the FDA has recently said, “well, you can use the experimental drugs,” which the FDA should ever prevent. As long as there is full disclosure, whether it’s a cancer drug or an infection, and as long as the doctor and the patient knows exactly the risk that goes on. The FDA should be always holding back. So I think it’s good that the FDA has actually gotten rid of that regulation.
But to put it in further perspective, I mean, there are 1,700 or so that have been infected in southern Africa. Also there has been over 900 deaths. So it’s nothing to laugh at. But there are 627,000, mostly children, who die every year from malaria in the same region of the world, in the southern part of Africa. And there are 207 million cases every year. So that’s a big issue. But we can sort of forget about that and not worry about it. Some people get involved in a controversial argument about this and say there hasn’t been a lot of help since the DDT has been removed from the market. That’s very controversial, and nobody wants to hear about that.
The actual, absolute proof of the danger of DDT was never completed, as far as I’m concerned. DDT was cheap and it was never known to kill anybody. Instead, what we use is very expensive organic phosphates, which do kill people. They are very dangerous to the human being. But I think if we try to put this in a better perspective, if DDT isn’t quite as dangerous as they said, and you could save a million people a year from getting this illness, maybe we should think about it.
Could there be a possibility that making the organic phosphates, maybe there is a profit in this and maybe that is the reason that we end up doing this. So this is a serious problem. I don’t think it should ever be laughed at. I’m not saying I know the final answer on DDT, but I do know that governments deceive us and sometimes they hide things. I don’t think we’re going to see in the next year a horrendous breakout of Ebola in this country. That would be my suspicion. But in the same sense, we should not ignore the fact that it is a very deadly disease. But I’m glad at least the FDA is backing away and allowing treatment for this to be more readily available and maybe a quicker answer to this disease will be found under these circumstances.
August 12, 2014 – There’s no doubt in my mind that Ebola is a very serious illness. I don’t doubt for a minute that it is very hard to treat. They have no magic pill. It’s quite deadly. But I’d like to put it in a different perspective than the mainstream media uses to advertise it in the headlines.