Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces
June 2020 Newsletter
Hello summer and goodbye flu season! Hope you survived the lockdown with at least some of your sanity intact. Now that the weather is warm and sunny, I hope you are outside getting your dose of sunshine daily. Remember, there is NO Vitamin D in sunlight. It is the ultraviolet rays that interact with (that deadly, horrible) cholesterol in your skin to produce vitamin D in your liver and other tissues of the body. Check out my past newsletters on the cholesterol myths that abound in medicine and how cholesterol is vital to your health, nerves, brain, etc.
The old joke about doctors is that if you ask 5 doctors their opinion on a subject you will get 6 answers. Seems a bit like when we were told “no masks” in the beginning to “must wear masks” now. If we don’t lock down,people will die…If we stay locked down, people will die.
New York Governor Cuomo recently sited what he called “surprising statistics” when it was revealed that 66% of the COVID patients got the virus at home. Only 2% of the infected were homeless people. I guess it was better to be sleeping on the streets than locked in your house in New York. Yes, but how many homeless are in NYC? “In March 2020, there were 60,923 homeless people, including 14,097 homeless families with 20,939 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system”. (https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city)
Deja Vue All Over Again
Yogi Berra’s famous quote seems appropriate when I hear all the politicians and doctors parrot the same, “we must have a vaccine before we can get back to normal!” This was the same panic they spread for the 1976 Swine Flu debacle:
In January 1976 several soldiers at Fort Dix complained of a respiratory illness diagnosed as influenza. The next month, Private David Lewis, who had the symptoms, participated in a five-mile forced march, collapsed and died. The New Jersey Department of Health tested samples from the Fort Dix soldiers. While the majority of samples were of the more common A Victoria flu strain, two were not. The atypical samples were sent to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, which found evidence of Swine influenza A, related to the 1918 flu pandemic which killed 50-100 million people worldwide.
The Center for Disease Control (now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) verified the findings and informed both the World Health Organization and the state of New Jersey. On February 13, CDC Director David Sencer completed a memo calling for mass immunization for the swine flu…The House Appropriations Committee reported out a special appropriations bill including $135 million for the swine flu immunization program. It was approved on April 5. Two days later, the World Health Organization held a conference to discuss the implications of a swine flu outbreak for poorer nations.
On April 8, an official from the Federal Insurance Company informed Merck & Co., a manufacturer of the swine flu vaccine, that it will exclude indemnity on Merck's product liability for the swine flu vaccine starting July 1, 1976. T. Lawrence Jones, president of the American Insurance Association, informed the Office of Management and Budget that the insurance industry will not cover liability for the vaccine unless the government extends liability protection.
The chairman of Merck wrote a memo a day later, April 13, to various government agencies including the White House emphasizing the "duty to warn". In May, other vaccine manufacturers including Marion Merrell Dow, Parke-Davis, Wyeth were notified of indemnity problems by their respective insurers. Assistant Secretary Theodore Cooper (HEW) informed the White House on June 2 that indemnity legislation will be needed to secure Merrell's cooperation. During June other vaccine manufacturers requested the same legislation. A little more than two weeks later, the Ford Administration submitted a proposal to Congress offering indemnity to vaccine manufacturers.
Bruce Dull stated at a flu conference on July 1 that there were no parallels between the 1918 flu pandemic and the current situation. Later that month, J. Anthony Morris, a researcher in the Food and Drug Administration's Bureau of Biologics (BoB), was dismissed for insubordination and went public with findings that cast doubt on the safety of the vaccine. Three days later, several manufacturers announced they had ceased production of the vaccine. In the latter part of the month, investigations into alleged swine flu outbreaks in other parts of the world found no cases of the strain. On July 23, the President sent a letter urging Congress to take action on indemnification.
In early August an outbreak of illness in Philadelphia was thought to be related to swine flu. It was later found to be an atypical pneumonia thereafter called Legionnaires' disease. On August 6, President Ford held a press conference urging Congress to take action on the indemnification legislation. Four days later, both Houses of Congress passed the legislation.
Merrill became the first company to submit samples to the FDA's Bureau of Biologics for safety testing, which approved it on September 2. Merck made the first shipment of vaccines to state health departments by September 22. The first swine flu inoculations were given at the Indiana State Fair.
In October, three people died of heart attacks after receiving the vaccine at the same Pittsburgh clinic, sparking an investigation and recall of that batch of vaccine. Investigation showed that the deaths were not related to the immunization…Also in early November, Albert Sabin published a New York Times editorial, "Washington and the Flu."  He agreed with the decision to create the vaccine and be prepared for an outbreak, but criticized the "scare tactics" used by Washington to achieve the goal. He suggested stockpiling the vaccine and having a wait-and-see strategy. Cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome affecting vaccinated patients were reported in several states, including Minnesota, Maryland, and Alabama.
Three more cases of Guillain-Barré were reported in early December and the investigation into cases of it spread to eleven states. On December 16, a one-month suspension of the vaccination program was announced by CDC head Sencer. William Foege of the CDC estimated that the incidence of Guillain-Barré was four times higher in vaccinated people than in those not receiving the swine flu vaccine. Furthermore, the incidence of swine flu among the vaccinated was seven times greater than among those who were unvaccinated, according to news reports.
I’m sorry but I’m not about to let them shoot some rush job, barely tested vaccine into me no matter how much political medicine screams, “it’s the only answer!” Actually, a strong immune system is the only answer!