QuackWatch.org's Stephen Barrett smears Dr. Kelly Victory with dangerous hit piece

 

Fact-checking geriatric 'investigator' Stephen Barrett

 

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5/13/2021 - A faulty, anti-science opinion piece about Dr. Kelly Victory was written by a retired psychologist in his late 80's named Stephen Barrett, M.D. and he posted it on his website Quackwatch.org. Barrett hasn't practiced since 1993. Barrett writes, "This article tells why I believe her advice is dangerous and should be ignored."

 

Well, this article tells why it's actually Stephen Barrett's advice that could be interpreted as dangerous and should be ignored. His article flies in the face of the scientific method, appears to be frequently based on cherry-picked and/or deficient research, premature conclusions, and in using words like "dangerous", might lean more in the direction of defamation than a true objective fact check. At the very least, it's an example of shameful cancel culture. Barrett's words read like the ramblings of a lockdown and mask tyrant from the left-wing echo chamber.

 

Barrett failed to mention that Dr. Victory has served as Chief Medical Officer for Continental Airlines, Walgreens, and Harrah's. Perhaps Barrett didn't want readers to see the disparity of qualifications between those of Dr. Victory and his own as a retired psychologist.

 

Anyone who has ever listened to any of Dr. Victory's radio appearances, such as with Doctor Drew or on the John Phillips Radio Show, knows that she is highly knowledgeable about all things medical. On each one-hour John Phillips Show appearance, her knowledge is on full display as she fields impromptu questions from live callers. She has appeared as a regular guest on the show about 3 to 4 times per week, for over a year now.

 

Barrett begins by laughably implying that YouTube is some sort of legitimate objective authority on COVID-19. He cites the mere fact that YouTube removed one of Dr. Kelly Victory's videos, as some sort of exhibit 'A' proof that Dr. Victory is a quack. But, unless you live under a rock, you understand that YouTube is famously run by left-wing Silicon Valley censors -- not doctors, virologists, or other medical experts, as far as we know. And, YouTube has long been criticized for removing videos or demonetizing videos that don't fit the left's groupthink on COVID-19. YouTube has essentially banned videos that attempt to hamper the drive to get people vaccinated, even if the information is truthful or open to debate. In particular, YouTube removed videos that are not supportive of the views of the World Health Organization. In short, YouTube is anti-science. And so, by citing YouTube as a "fact-checker", Barrett quickly begins losing credibility.

 

Barrett then proceeds to address, what he calls, "at least twelve statements that are false" in Dr. Victory's 17½-minute video (which appears to have been posted as early as July 3, 2020). Most of Barrett's claims of supposed "false" information are in actuality just cases of difference of opinion, bickering over semantics, or sometimes he just makes strawman arguments. In short, his piece is generally argumentative, and not presentative of settled science. Now that more than a year has passed since the onset of the pandemic, more and more information has come to light that vindicates Dr. Victory.

 

1. Barrett takes issue with Dr. Victory's statement that "85% of people who contract COVID-19 have few if any symptoms at all". For starters, Barrett cannot declare this statement to be categorically "false" because the exact percentage figure cannot be calculated until we know 1) how many actual cases there are versus reported cases, and 2) how many reported COVID cases are duplicate positive tests by the same person.

 

For what it's worth, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said during a press conference on Feb. 17, 2020, that more than 80% of patients "have mild disease and will recover."

 

To the question of how many actual cases there are, the CDC estimated 8 times more infections in the US than reported between Feb. 27 and Sept. 30. Outside of the US, due to less prevalence of testing, this figure could be much higher.

 

Barrett goes on to argue that the CDC estimates that "about 40% of Americans have at least one underlying health condition that would put them at risk for severe complications of COVID-19". Nevermind that we have tests to identify these underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity (a mirror), etc. Never mind that people who are at risk can self-quarantine -- not the entire population. Dr. Victory has pointed out that we have never quarantined an entire population in order to protect the few. By Barrett's own estimate of 40%, that leaves about 200 million Americans who are healthy. If we take a high-end number of 20% becoming seriously ill with the virus, we could calculate 20% of the 131 million or so people with underlying health conditions, or about 26 million people actually at serious risk of the virus. That leaves 300 million people not at great risk! You don't strip away the livelihoods of 300 million people in order to protect 26 million! That's terrible public policy. Evidently, Barrett is not a public policy expert. And we're not even getting into the question of whether lockdowns and masks even work. We'll address that can or worms shortly.

 

2. Barrett's next bone to pick with Dr. Victory is her statement that “This particular virus doesn’t do well when exposed to warm temperatures or to sunshine. It simply can’t survive for more than a few minutes when the temperatures are above about 70 degrees and certainly not when temperatures are in the mid-80s or higher.”

 

One has to ask, if Barrett is even aware that Dr. Victory was reciting findings by the U.S. Army’s high-level biosecurity laboratory at Fort Detrick, MD, as reported by the Washington Post and MedicalExpress, both in April of 2020. Government scientists found that ultraviolet rays had a potent impact on the virus. So Barrett cannot declare Dr. Victory's statement as categorically "false".

 

"Our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air. We've seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity or both is generally less favorable to the virus." -- William Bryan, acting undersecretary for science & technology at the Homeland Security Department

 

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Source: Wash Post

 

Yet, in his short-sightedness, Stephen Barrett leaps to a hasty conclusion by merely citing anecdotal evidence that Summer surges of cases in Southern states, are supposed "clear" evidence that "that COVID-19 virus can spread easily in warm climates". But, Barrett doesn't know if Southern state transmissions took place outdoors or indoors!

 

If we are to talk about the poor half-life of the virus in the sunshine (outdoors), it is only logical that we would also examine outdoor transmission in general. Instead of being so focused on sunlight, if Barrett was actually a critical thinking man, he would have thought about this larger picture of whether outdoor transmission is even occurring in any great amount. In fact, to this day, there is not one single documented case of COVID transmission from casual outdoor interaction.

 

We also now know that the CDC grossly inflated outdoor transmission rates by using studies of Singapore construction sites that conflated indoor with outdoor transmissions. Dr. Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania estimates the possibility for transmission to occur outdoors in the right circumstances to be at "much less than 1 percent.” Therefore sunlight talk is a strawman discussion, and this underscores the importance of following the scientific method -- not refusing to challenge Draconian lockdown mandates. Dr. Victory has frequently pointed out that being outdoors is safer than being indoors, in response to politicians like California Governor Gavin Newsom absurdly shutting down beaches. The mentality of forcing people to spend more time indoors, instead of outdoors in the sun was dangerous and probably cost lives.

 

3. Barrett then claims falsehood with regard to Dr. Victory's subjective statement that "Outside of New York City, this virus has essentially been a nursing home problem. The general public has simply not been impacted the way the media and public health officials have led us to believe."

 

Dr. Victory's statement is absolutely with merit and backed by facts. Her mantra from the beginning of the pandemic has been that "the virus is real, but the statistics are not".

 

At the onset of the virus, we were famously told by modeler Neil Ferguson that 2.2 million Americans would die in the US by October 2020. The model also predicted 1 million US deaths even with “enhanced social distancing” guidelines, including “shielding the elderly.” This completely flawed model was adopted by health officials and used as justification for Draconian lockdowns.

 

Dr. Victory frequently points out that hospitals have a financial incentive to code non-COVID deaths as COVID deaths. For example, someone who dies due to trauma from a car accident or from heart disease but also just happened to test positive for COVID, might get coded as a "COVID death", thus inflating COVID death statistics.

 

By Barrett's own admission, 40-45% of deaths were from nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Barrett complains, "That does not make the general public deaths any less serious", but he completely misses the point. When you separate just nursing home deaths, the virus becomes less ominous for younger people. Yet, the media rushes to, for example, report on uncommon cases of young, healthy people dying from the virus.

 

It shouldn't come as any surprise that a survey by Kekst CNC in August of 2020 found that Americans believe that 9% of the US population (about 30 million people) had died from coronavirus. This figure was 225 times higher than the actual number of deaths of less than 155,000.

 

The 40-45% death figure may actually be higher. Democrat New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his health commissioner covered up the severity of nursing home deaths. Nursing home deaths were in fact 50 times higher than reported.

 

4. Barrett suggests that Dr. Kelly Victory made a false claim that social distancing is not necessary.

 

“Social distancing isn’t even an established health care concept … The whole idea of social distancing was based on a theoretical model explored by a high school student in a science fair some years ago.” - Dr. Kelly Victory

 

Barrett proceeds to get lost in the minutia of what he calls, the "very bright" high school student's model. But, models are not a substitute for actual real-life studies, such as actual contact tracing studies.

 

Barrett then cites a single cherry-picked study that claims that one day of social distancing adds 2.4 days to the length of an outbreak. This iron-clad study was recently debunked by researchers at MIT, who are now saying that you're no safer at 6 feet than 60 feet. Perhaps Stephen Barrett should write a hit piece on the well-respected MIT next?

 

5. Barrett suggests that Dr. Kelly Victory made a false claim that “Multiple medical organizations have now acknowledged that there is no scientific justification for normal healthy people to be wearing masks.”

 

Barrett doesn't refute Victory's "multiple medical organizations" claim. He instead proceeds to summarily claim fact that 1) "We now know it is possible for infected people to spread the disease before they develop symptoms" and 2) "that cloth masks also reduce the distance that infectious particles can travel" and 3) "there is near-universal agreement among experts that cloth mask use plus social distancing will greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19".

 

Please note that the claim of asymptomatic spread was/is the CDC's and the US Surgeon General's basis for requiring everyone to wear masks (otherwise we would just tell sick people to stay home).

 

With regard to Stephen Barrett's first claim of asymptomatic spread, as of June 8, 2020, the World Health Organization's top epidemiologist, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove made it very clear that she, along with her colleagues at the WHO, believed that asymptomatic transmission is "very rare". She based her opinion on actual contact tracing studies -- not "models". If the WHO's top epidemiologist corroborates Dr. Victory, then who is Barrett to label Dr. Victory as "dangerous"?

 

With regard to Barrett's claims about the efficacy of masks and social distancing, he cites a single June 1, 2020, cherry-picked study. One cherry-picked study does not settle science. There are in fact multiple studies that refute mask-wearing. In particular, the CDC itself admitted in late October 2020 that there was still no conclusive evidence that cloth masks protect against COVID-19, and that masks may actually increase the spread of the virus, as well as worsen other health conditions.

 

To top it off, researchers at MIT now say that indoor social distancing guidelines are unnecessary and not based on science!!! They also concluded that it makes virtually no difference whether folks are 6 or 60 feet apart. So much for the "near-universal agreement" claimed by Stephen Barrett! When both the CDC and MIT disagree with you, you're in trouble. Long before the MIT study came out, Dr. Victory repeatedly hammered home the idea that social distancing is something that during her career has never been done. Perhaps, Barrett was taught something different while in medical school way back in the 1950s.

 

We have documented many more studies about masks. Here's a just few to discuss:

 

The CDC reported in September 2020 that more than 70% of COVID-positive patients contracted the virus despite always wearing a mask in public. 14% of the COVID patients said they “often” wore masks. Just 4% of the COVID-positive patients said they “never” wore masks.

 

In October of 2020, the CDC also referenced a 2015 study on cloth masks that found that rates of infection were “consistently higher” among those in the cloth mask group versus that of the medical mask and control groups. The CDC writes of that study, “This finding suggests that risk for infection was higher for those wearing cloth masks.” And so, based on this study, we can argue tit for tat that Stephen Barrett's advice to wear masks might actually be dangerous.

 

The NIH reports that "masks don't work, and are actually harmful. The physical properties of medical and non-medical facemasks suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block viral particles due to their difference in scales. Clinical scientific evidence challenges further the efficacy of facemasks to block human-to-human transmission or infectivity. A meta-analysis among health care workers found that compared to no masks, surgical masks and N95 respirators were not effective against transmission of viral infections or influenza-like illness based on six RCTs."

 

6. Many masks “are not porous enough to allow carbon dioxide that we exhale to fully dissipate. So in every inhalation we breathe back in more carbon dioxide". -- Dr. Kelly Victory

 

Stephen Barrett says that this claim is "nonsensical", claiming that "masks are porous enough to allow passage of gas molecules like carbon dioxide and oxygen".

 

Anyone who has ever worn a mask can attest to the fact that masks restrict breathing to some degree. They make breathing uncomfortable! But, we have something much better than a simple anecdote. Barrett might want to check with a Stanford University study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which reports that masks make breathing more exhausting.

 

"Wearing facemask mechanically restricts breathing by increasing the resistance of air movement during both inhalation and exhalation process."

 

"Trapped air remaining between the mouth, nose and the facemask is rebreathed repeatedly in and out of the body, containing low O2 and high CO2 concentrations, causing hypoxemia and hypercapnia"

 

7. “Habitual wearing of masks decreases the body’s natural immune response.” -- Dr. Kelly Victory

 

Barrett admits that it has indeed been "hypothesized that exposure to germs throughout life can bolster immunity" and he then proceeds to make his own theoretical argumentative points. But, he provides no studies or data to prove his theory. Therefore, he cannot summarily declare Dr. Victory's statement as yet another proven false statement.

 

8. Barrett claims that Dr. Victory's subjective statement that “Children are at virtually no risk" is categorically false.

 

Barrett omitted to mention the next part of her statement that "Only a handful of children throughout the country have had any significant illness from COVID-19, and all of them had serious underlying health issues."

 

Barrett says that the "incidence of COVID-19 in children under age 10 is low but not zero". But, Dr. Victory never said "zero"! Barrett goes on to say that "the incidence among children ages 10 to 19 is fairly low, but some have had severe complications". So, Barrett is simply playing a semantics game. Can we subjectively describe 0.001% as "virtually no risk" or do we get defamed as making "dangerous" and "false" statements?

 

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As for those children with no underlying health conditions, the odds get even lower. This is the CDC's data from February 2, 2020, to August 22, 2020. Fundamentally, children are indeed at virtually no risk. At the time of Dr. Victory's video, the understanding of risk to children may have been even lower. Again, her video was posted as early as July 2020.

 

Age 5 - 14 -- Odds of dying for everyone in age group: 0.001

Age 5 - 14 -- Odds of dying if no comorbidities: 0.00006

 

Age 15 - 19 -- Odds of dying for everyone in age group: 0.003

Age 15 - 19 -- Odds of dying if no comorbidities: 0.00018

 

9. “There is a very low risk from exposure to children . . . . We don’t need to be concerned about being in close contact with them. . . . One of the best things we can do is allow children to be out and about, knowing that if they do get exposed, they have virtually no risk of actually becoming ill but they will develop antibodies that will protect them and others from future outbreaks by contributing to the overall immunity of the herd.” -- Dr. Kelly Victory

 

Barrett then cherry-picks a study out of South Korea that found that "children younger than 10 transmit the coronavirus to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero." He says that the study found that "those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do."

 

However, Barrett's cherry-picked study is refuted by Sweden's Public Health Agency, which refutes the claim of children being good vectors of the virus. The "closure or not of schools had no measurable direct impact on the number of laboratory-confirmed cases in school-aged children in Finland or Sweden."

 

To top it off, on November 29, 2020, the left's celebrated expert, Anthony Fauci essentially admitted that shutting down schools was unnecessary.

 

"If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not really very big at all, not like one would have suspected. So let’s try to get the kids back" -- Anthony Fauci

 

Dr. Kelly Victory has said that we have known since very early on in the pandemic that children are not strong vectors of the virus. In May 2020, researchers in Europe declared "children do not appear to be drivers of transmission, and we argue that reopening schools should be considered safe, accompanied by certain measures." Dr. Victory was right. Anthony Fauci was wrong until he corrected himself in late November 2020. And, once again, Stephen Barrett was on the wrong side of history.

 

10. Barrett attacked Dr. Victory for supporting hydroxychloroquine to treat patients early on in their illness.

 

“More and more doctors around the world have been using this drug for patients with COVID-19 and treating those patients early on in their illnesses. So we are gathering a tremendous amount of data that will allow us to say with certainty that it is effective." -- Dr. Kelly Victory

 

Dr. Victory has advocated for early use of low-dose hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with zinc, in part because she says that each week she receives real-time feedback from hundreds of other front-line physicians. She has first-hand insight into the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine. Barrett, on the other hand, has been a retired psychologist for the last 28 years.

 

Barrett writes of three cherry-picked studies that found no benefit to using hydroxychloroquine. He also says that "the FDA has warned about significant risks, including death" from hydroxychloroquine use. As a side note, does it not seem ironic that the FDA would warn about a drug that they approved in 1955, but tell us that all three non-FDA approved COVID shots are safe?

 

What Barrett failed to mention is that, as of Sept 25, 2020 (video 26:39), nobody had even conducted a study of early hydroxychloroquine use, in low dosage and with zinc, all despite the fact that doctors have been prescribing it hand-over-fist in early illness.

 

Dr. Victory has stated that these studies cited by Barrett are not to be relied upon because they either failed to couple hydroxychloroquine treatment with zinc, they treated patients too late (when they were already sick in the ICU), or they used toxic dosages. Hydroxychloroquine is FDA-approved to treat malaria and is also prescribed for autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Physicians routinely write off-label prescriptions for conditions other than what the drugs are approved for treating. Off-label prescribing accounts for 10 to 20 percent of all prescriptions.

 

Later, a December 2020 study was finally conducted. It did indeed find that "triple therapy of zinc, low-dose HCQ and azithromycin was associated with significantly fewer hospitalizations in comparison with untreated patients of the same community". So, if you followed Stephen Barrett's advice to not take the triple therapy, your risk of hospitalization increased!

 

[Video] A study out of Belgium found very strong evidence that hydroxychloroquine lowers the COVID-19 death rate by about 30%. This study looked at a very large base of 8,075 participants. Dr. John Cambell cites three additional studies (in video description) that showed efficacy that hydroxychloroquine appears to be an effective treatment. Yet, Barrett declares that Dr. Victory's claim of hydroxychloroquine efficacy is categorically "false". Keep in mind that this was a study of patients who were already in the hospital. It reasons that Dr. Kelly Victory's strategy of treating patients before they become seriously ill would produce even more effective results.

 

This was yet another study of patients who were already in the hospital. For what it's worth, according to researchers at NYU's Grossman School of Medicine, patients given hydroxychloroquine along with zinc sulfate and azithromycin were 44 percent less likely to die from the coronavirus.

 

In yet another study of patients who were already in the hospital, according to Henry Ford Health Systems, in 2,541 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and treated early with Hydroxychloroquine, 13% died, compared with 26% of those who did not receive the drug. 

 

Michigan Democratic lawmaker Karen Whitsett said that hydroxychloroquine saved her life. She was censured by Detroit's anti-science lawmakers for merely telling her story. Does this sound familiar?

 

11. “We know the things that are most useful in assuring that our immune systems are able to operate at peak efficiency. Healthy diet; adequate sleep; regular exercise; exposure to the sun; taking extra vitamin D, and vitamin C, and zinc particularly during cold and flu season.” Notice that Dr. Victory never said that these things were "proven" or a "cure". She said these are the "most useful" things people can do. At the time, there was no vaccine available. And, because this novel virus had first appeared only a few months earlier, data about COVID-19 was limited. Why wouldn't you keep an open mind?

 

Nevertheless, Barrett summarily declares, "Although adequate amounts of these factors help maintain immune function, normal immune function is not sufficient to protect against COVID-19 infection. Taking extra nutrients has not been proven beneficial against respiratory diseases." Barrett provides no studies or data to prove that having a normal or optimal immune system (versus compromised immune function) does not protect against COVID-19. And again, Dr. Victory never claimed proof. Also, Barrett is talking about flat-out stopping COVID-19. He conveniently didn't address whether a healthy immune system improves outcomes of respiratory viruses. Is illness less severe or shorter due to healthy immune function?

 

We have since learned that vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk and increased morbidities associated with COVID-19. So why wouldn't you take cheap vitamin D supplements and/or get your sun exposure, just in case it helps?

 

It was reported in JAMA Open Networkon on March 19, 2021 that a new research study from the University of Chicago Medicine found that having vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of COVID-19 infection, especially for Black people. So Stephen Barrett jumped the gun. Barrett's advice to skip taking vitamin D may literally have cost lives, if anyone followed his advice!

 

Healthline reports that regular physical activity, a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and spending time outdoors (to allow your body to produce vitamin D) can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off infections and viruses. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting exercise lowers one's weight. Obesity is in fact a top risk factor for COVID-19.

 

If we fast forward to April 2021, Harvard Medical School reported the following:

 

Based on the science, there is reason to be hopeful that supplements such as vitamin C or D, zinc, or melatonin might help in the fight against COVID-19. While there’s no proof yet that they do, additional research could show a benefit in certain situations, or with a different dose or formulation of the supplement. So it’s worth keeping an open mind. In the meantime, we should not dismiss the findings of negative studies just because the results weren’t what we’d hoped. Are you listening, Stephen?

 

On a side note, it is interesting how Barrett rushes to dismiss taking extra nutrients because he says that they have not been proven beneficial against respiratory diseases, yet at the same time he flip flops by rushing to adopt mask-wearing by tossing out all of our prior understanding about respiratory viruses not transmitting asymptomatically.

 

12. It is safe “to fully return to your lives, your businesses, schools, and places of worship without fear and without limitations.” -- Dr. Kelly Victory.

 

For starters, this quote is taken out of context. Dr. Victory has not encouraged those most at risk, such as the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, to return to their normal lives. It is a fact that healthy school-age children and young adults are not at any great risk of dying of COVID-19. The following is based on the CDC's own data from February 2, 2020, to August 22, 2020.

 

Healthy children (with no comorbidities) ages 5 to 15 have a 1 in 1,666,666 chance of dying of COVID if they get the virus.

 

Healthy people (with no comorbidities) ages 15 to 20 have a 1 in 555,555 chance of dying of COVID if they get the virus.

 

Healthy people (with no comorbidities) ages 20 to 25 have a 1 in 277,777 chance of dying of COVID if they get the virus.

 

Healthy people (with no comorbidities) ages 25 to 30 have a 1 in 128,205 chance of dying of COVID if they get the virus.

 

Healthy people (with no comorbidities) ages 30 to 35 have a 1 in 69,444 chance of dying of COVID if they get the virus.

 

Like a true lockdown tyrant, Barrett essentially argues that herd immunity is a bad strategy because he says, A) We don't know if people develop natural immunity after being infected with COVID, and B) Tens of millions would get very ill and millions would die unnecessarily, all due to not having mask mandates and social distancing.

 

Barrett is really grasping for straws to suggest that people won't develop immunity for a period of time after contracting COVID. According to research published on January 6, 2020, natural immunity can last for up to eight months and maybe longer. The operative words are "up to". Immunity might last for years. Keep in mind that in the US, the pandemic only began in March of 2020. It may be years before we understand how long immunity lasts.

 

Barrett falsely assumes that masks and lockdowns actually work, and in his short-sightedness, he ignores the collateral damage caused by lockdowns.

 

There are NUMEROUS STUDIES that have concluded that lockdowns and masks don't work.

 

The data says that lockdowns end more lives than they save.

 

Doctors worldwide are recording more deaths due to lockdowns than to COVID-19.

 

Lockdowns could kill more people than COVID.

 

Experts say that banning outdoor dining in California forced people to gather at homes, and this caused the virus to spread even faster.

 

Barrett is also short-sighted in that he doesn't seem to think in terms of making policies on behalf of the entire population -- not on behalf of the few. For example, about 78,000 people died of the flu in 2018, yet we never shut down schools, bars, gyms, and restaurants in an attempt to hopefully save lives!

 

The World Health Organization says that lockdown orders not only cannot curb the spread of the coronavirus, but the economic damage from the lockdown policies is unsustainable.

 

Barrett seems oblivious to respecting people's civil liberties, as well as people's abilities to make their own decisions rather than having the government micromanage their lives. As a retired psychologist, Barrett should understand that people who fear the virus are going to lock themselves up regardless of whether the government drops lockdown mandates. People who are not afraid of the virus are going to get together with friends regardless of lockdown orders. Perhaps that's in large part why so many studies show that mask and lockdown orders do not stop the spread of the virus.

 

BARRETT'S BOTTOM LINE CONCLUSION

 

In his closing, Barrett writes that Dr. Victory "asserts that (a) concerns about the  COVID-19 pandemic are overblown, (b) wearing a mask does more harm than good, and (c) it is safe to 'fully return to your lives, without fear, and without limitations.' Her ideas were being spread primarily through a YouTube video that was filled with false information and poor medical reasoning. Following her advice might kill you."

 

Again, as outlined above, (a) the Ferguson model was completely overblown, (b) the CDC and NIH report that mask-wearing may cause more harm than good, and (c) young, healthy people are not at any great risk of dying of COVID. What might actually kill you is failure to take hydroxychloroquine and zinc at the first sign of coronavirus symptoms. Following the advice of a retired psychologist to take no action until you need to be hospitalized might kill you. Following the advice of a retired psychologist to stay locked down in fear, instead of getting your regularly scheduled cancer screening or other medical check-ups, might also kill you.

 

One has to wonder if Barrett has a bone to pick. A reviewer (Alisha M) on SiteJabber asks if Barrett might have a vested interest in Big Pharma. Or does he just do lazy research? Does he simply get his information from CNN or whatever left-wing articles that Google's search results prioritize? Clearly, he has not done adequate research. At the very least, Barrett should issue a retraction regarding his hit piece.

 

What also is distressing, is Stephen Barrett's general anti-science mentality of making hasty conclusions -- Anyone who disagrees, be damned. The very basis of medicine is to be open-minded. Stephen Barrett is the opposite of open-minded. Barrett should reeducate himself about what the scientific method is. Science is never settled. The basis of healthcare is to have discussions with other physicians -- not shut down speech via character assassination and cancel culture, as Stephen Barrett is attempting. It is an ongoing process of gathering data, developing a hypothesis, then testing it through various means, and then modifying the hypothesis as needed -- Not ostracizing anyone who doesn't subscribe to the groupthink.

 

 

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