My VIP for this week is Dr. David Drew Pinsky. He is also known as Dr. Drew on television where he is “a well-known addiction medicine specialist.” I chose Pinsky for my VIP because he is not afraid to stand up and tell the world the truth as he sees it.
Media reports have been saying that Vice President Mike Pence is not qualified to lead the Coronavirus Task Force because he “improperly handled epidemics as governor of Indiana.” He is being blamed for increasing problems in 2015 with a needle-exchange program. Pinsky thinks otherwise.
I don’t know what they’re talking about…. We used to point at the way Indiana responded to the opiate of the HIV epidemic as the model for the country. I don’t know what they’re talking about. The only reason I felt comfortable with Pence as vice president was [because] I was aware of his track record in Indiana in handling these serious problems, and they handled them better than most states did, almost any other states. So, I don’t know what the hell people are talking about. That is fake news.
Yes, it took everybody a while to respond properly to it, but they really took care of business in Indiana, so I have no idea what people are talking about. Whether Pence is the right person? Look, the right people are Anthony Fauci of the [Centers for Disease Control] …. Dr. Fauci will tell you what’s going on, when you need to worry … I worked with him on the HIV epidemic back in the 80s; that guy’s been on top of infectious disease for 30 years. When there’s a problem, he will let us know, and he’s been saying exactly what I’ve been saying the whole way. Look to him, not me, and not even Vice President Pence; look at guys like Anthony Fauci whose responsibility is to contain these things.
Pinsky did not stop at setting the record straight on Pence. In early February, he also expressed frustration and anger at the media for “overreacting” to the coronavirus.
The press should not be reporting medical stories as though they know how to report it… If we have a pandemic, I won’t know how to tell that we’re actually having a pandemic because everything is an emergency. People that are infectious disease specialists, the CDC, the epidemiologist[s], need to take this very seriously. The press needs to shut up because you’re more likely to die of influenza right now.
… Let me frame it this way: We have in the United States 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180,000 hospitalizations, 16,000 dead from influenza. Why is that not being reported? Why isn’t the message, “Get your flu shot”?
Pinsky did not say that the coronavirus is not serious, but he did call the media to task for spreading fake news. Pinsky admitted that the coronavirus is “coming here” and will be “widespread.” However, he also said that it will be “much milder than we knew; the 1.7 percent fatality rate is going to fall.” Then he asked the press where they were when there was an outbreak of the Mediterranean Corona with its 41 percent fatality rate. Why did they not have “overblown press-created hysteria” with MERS or SARS?
Then Pinsky said what the press really did not want to hear: “President Trump is absolutely correct.” Trump shut the borders to anyone coming from China. He allocated $2.5 billion dollars to fight the disease. He was preparing our defense against the disease while the Democrats were still pursuing his impeachment. The over-the-top hysteria about the coronavirus tells us that the Democrats are using it to try to gain political advantage. They never let a good crisis go to waste, and they will do anything that they can to bring Trump down.
The stock market took a nosedive last week with all the hyped-up reports. Its rebound today shows that investors are getting wise to all the hysteria. Maybe the word will spread, and people will stop hoarding food, medicines, and medical masks. Americans should learn to treat the coronavirus the same way that we treat the flu: stay away from infected people, keep hands away from our faces, and wash our hands frequently.