Board Certified Periodontist

50 – Time to Take Off the Masks

Hi there. Dr. Ben Young here and you are listening to The Perio Hygienist Podcast, a podcast for my professional colleagues and anyone else who cares to listen. And I am speaking to you in December of 2021. The date is important to my comments because I believe things will change very soon. In what direction, is not yet clear. It reminds me of patients who come in with something they describe as painful and new. It has just occurred. One of the things I often tell them is that things that come up suddenly can go away suddenly – and if they do, then it’s good we didn’t jump in and attempt to treat them. One thing is for sure. Whatever it is will not remain the same. It will either get better or it will get worse. It goes to that old saying that the only constant in life is change.  

I think it is time we as professionals take off face masks in public and even in our offices to show patients and the general public it is safe to do so. I know this is a bit uncomfortable because most of us do not what to create a scene. In my many months now of not wearing a mask I have had two encounters in public places. One was at the Post Office and one was at Chipolte’s. Both instances I was told I had to wear a mask to enter. So I didn’t enter. It was that simple. No point in arguing. On the other hand, I have resumed my normal life of going in and out of all sorts of buildings to interact with both the masked and unmasked and all of my encounters with everyone have been very friendly. Also, when I look at people wearing masks, I like all those who have been trained in infection control, understand that they are not stopping virus transmission. The only time in public, when people should be wearing masks is when they are immune compromised, like cancer patients on chemotherapy, or they must travel and are symptomatic with an upper respiratory condition. And where should symptomatic people go? To their medical appointments, not the local food court. I’m going to read you some excerpts from a new book you might want to read entitled The Real Anthony Fauci by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Now if your news consumption has been only Corporate Media outlets like CNN, the New York Times, and PBS then his name is on the blacklist. I understand this, and yet, if you will listen to his words and those he quotes, I think it will possibly replay in your mind the experience you and I have just lived through over the past two years.  

There is a well-studied phenomenon in psychology called “learned helplessness.” It occurs when events become unrelated to one’s ability to act to change them. In other words, when people, populations of people are placed into situations where they no longer see a solution, they hesitate to do anything more on their own behalf. When this occurs to a few individuals it can go by the name of the Stockholm Syndrome. This is where people who have been captured begin to take on the thinking and behavior of their captors. It is a way, at least it seems at the time, to survive. Learned helplessness is giving up attempting to push back or change in the face of things where, what we have tried in the past have not worked. Learned helplessness is known in many instances to lead to depression. 

So think with me for a moment on what we within our society have been through. We have been told we are going to die from a virus. We are told to wear masks, social distance and lock ourselves in for the good of the country. In addition we are told to close businesses, unless of course, we are considered by some in power as being essential. The medical community, within hospitals, were essential and yet no longer to treat those ill with all sorts of things, just one thing a virus. We are stunned and confused. We don’t understand and none of our internal explanations or rationalizations make complete sense. This leads us, as a society to become incredibly vulnerable and we are open more to authorities who promise to lead us out of this dilemma. So we accept this. Afterall, they know what is best and also they are in positions of influence you and I do not have. That was me back in March and April of 2020. From that point on we tried to survive and keep our businesses afloat in the hope we would be able to return to normal. The problem is that the goal posts continued to be moved and we were told to get used to a new normal.  

My personal conclusion has been that we are in probably the most dangerous situation as a nation we have ever been since the Revolutionary War, maybe the Civil War. As terrible as World War II was, it was not fought here in the US.  

We have within our own land have felt fairly safe and protected within our own boarders. This has all and very recently changed – and yet it is hard to get our heads around. It is like no other conflict we have ever seen in world history, but then, one of the great and repeated mistakes of all generations when it comes to warfare is that when one war ends, planners begin to prepare for the next one thinking it will be like the last one. And every time, warfare changes. It advances in terms of weaponry and other levels of technology – to the point where one day, armies could consist of robots and people will be captured and controlled without every leaving their homes.  

So, it’s time to wake up. Take off the masks. Refuse to comply with rules intended to just make us weaker as individuals and as a nation. 

Now let me inject some good news. I am seeing people take off the masks more and more, I just want us as professionals to be on the right side of this going forward, not catering to the fear of the few who have become comfortable with a new normal and are in fact wearing the mask as a sign of something having nothing to do with infection control.  

I really don’t care about the politics except to say that you and I and those around us who are closest to us are not the enemy, regardless of our politics, unless you are a member of an elite class who has actually profited from this pandemic. In addition, we cannot see those who continue to wear a mask as our enemy and treat them differently from those who are not wearing masks. What they choose to do is their own business and their own right to decide. But would I like them to wake up and be persuaded that it is safe to throw the masks away? Absolutely.  

So now, let me read to you a few interesting sections from the first section of the first chapter of Robert Kennedy Jr’s book. I have edited what I am reading to you, but my edits do not alter the information. They just make it clearer since I am lifting from a larger document. I encourage you to get the book and read it for yourself.  

[The US] strategy for managing the COVID – 19 pandemic was to suppress viral spread by mandatory masking , social distancing , quarantining the healthy ( also known as lockdowns ). 

This approach to ending an infectious disease contagion had no public health precedent and anemic scientific support .  

Peer – reviewed science offered anemic if any support for masking , quarantines , and social distancing , and [we were] offered no citations or justifications to support [these] diktats .  

Both common sense and the weight of scientific evidence suggest that all these strategies, and unquestionably shutting down the global economy, caused far more injuries and deaths than they averted.  

During a January 28 speech to HHS regulators , [Dr. Fauci] explained the fruitlessness of masking asymptomatic people .  

“The one thing historically people need to realize, that even if there is some asymptomatic transmission, in all the history of respiratory borne viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. The driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person. Even if there’s a rare asymptomatic person that might transmit, an epidemic is not driven by asymptomatic carriers.” 

[The] peer – reviewed scientific literature has steadfastly refused to support masking the healthy as an effective barrier to viral spread. 

A December 2020 comprehensive study of 10 million Wuhan residents confirmed Fauci’s January 28 , 2020 assertion that asymptomatic transmission of COVID – 19 is infinitesimally rare .  

Furthermore, some 52 studies — all available on NIH’s website — find that ordinary masking (using less than an N95 respirator) doesn’t reduce viral infection rates, even — surprisingly — in institutional settings like hospitals and surgical theaters.  

Moreover, some 25 additional studies attribute to masking a grim retinue of harms, including respiratory and immune system illnesses, as well as dermatological, dental, [I’m not sure what the dental problem being referred to here is] gastrointestinal, and psychological injuries.  

Fourteen of these studies are randomized , peer – reviewed placebo studies . There is no well – constructed study that persuasively suggests masks have convincing efficacy against COVID – 19 that would justify accepting the harms associated with masks.  

Finally, retrospective studies on [CDC’s] mask mandates confirm that they were bootless.  

“Regional analysis in the United States does not show that [ mask] mandates had any effect on case rates, despite 93 percent compliance. Moreover, according to CDC data, 85 percent of people who contracted COVID – 19 reported wearing a mask,”  

Social distancing mandates also rested on a dubious scientific footing. In September 2021, former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gotleib admitted that the six – foot distancing rule … was “arbitrary,” and not, after all, science backed. The process for making that policy choice, Gotleib continued, “Is a perfect example of the lack of rigor around how CDC made recommendations.”  

Finally, the lockdowns of the healthy were so unprecedented that WHO’s official pandemic protocols recommended against them. Some WHO officials were passionate on the topic, among them Professor David Nabarro, Senior Envoy on COVID – 19, a position reporting to the Director General. On October 8, 2020, he said : We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of controlling this virus . We may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We’ll have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents in poor families are not able to afford it. This is a terrible, ghastly , global catastrophe , actually , and so we really do appeal to all world leaders : Stop using lockdown as your primary control method . . . lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle — and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer . 

Subsequent studies have strongly suggested that lockdowns had no impact in reducing infection rates . There is no convincing difference in COVID infections and deaths between laissez – faire jurisdictions and those that enforced rigid lockdowns and masks.  

CDC later admitted that only 6 percent of COVID deaths occurred in entirely healthy individuals. The remaining 94 percent suffered from an average of 3.8 potentially fatal comorbidities.  

Regulators misused PCR tests that CDC belatedly admitted in August 2021 were incapable of distinguishing COVID from other viral illnesses.  

Medicare paid hospitals $ 39,000 per ventilator when treating COVID – 19 and only $13,000 for [non-COVID] respiratory infections — [this means] hospitals contributed to the deception. 

[Authorities like Dr. Fauci] did little in the way of telling Americans how to bolster their immune response . He never took time during his daily White House briefings from March to May 2020 to instruct Americans to avoid tobacco ( smoking and e – cigarettes / vaping double death rates from COVID ) ; 31 to get plenty of sunlight and to maintain adequate vitamin D levels ( “ Nearly 60 percent of patients with COVID – 19 were vitamin D deficient upon hospitalization , with men in the advanced stages of COVID – 19 pneumonia showing the greatest deficit ” ) ; 32 or to diet , exercise , and lose weight ( 78 percent of Americans hospitalized for COVID – 19 were overweight or obese ) . 33 Quite the contrary, … lockdowns caused Americans to gain an average of two pounds per month and to reduce their daily steps by 27 percent . 34 [There were no recommendations to avoid] sugar and soft drinks, processed foods , and chemical residues , all of which amplify inflammation , compromise immune response , and disrupt the gut biome which governs the immune system . During the centuries that science has fruitlessly sought remedies against coronavirus (aka the common cold ) , only zinc has repeatedly proven its efficacy in peer – reviewed studies . Zinc impedes viral replication, prophylaxing against colds and abbreviating their duration.  

On April 30, 2021, Canadian Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons threatened to delicense any doctor who prescribed non – vaccine health strategies including Vitamin D. 36 “They are trying to erase any notion of natural immunity,” says Canadian vaccine researcher Dr. Jessica Rose, Ph. D., MSc, BSc. “Pretty soon the incessant lies and propaganda will have successfully instilled in the masses that the only hope for staying alive is via injection, pill – popping, so in sum, no natural immunity.”  

Throughout 2020, before vaccines were available, some 99.9 percent of people’s natural immune systems protected their owners from severe illness and death. The CDC and World Health Organization, indeed all global health authorities, have recognized that healthy people, with healthy immune systems, bear minimal risk from COVID. Indeed, many people, according to our health authorities , have an immune response sufficient that they don’t even know they have COVID.  

 “The Best Practices for defeating an infectious disease epidemic,” says Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch , “dictate that you quarantine and treat the sick , protect the most vulnerable , and aggressively develop repurposed therapeutic drugs , and use early treatment protocols to avoid hospitalizations . ” Risch is one of the leading global authorities in clinical treatment protocols. He is the editor of two high – gravitas journals and the author of over 350 peer – reviewed publications. Other researchers have cited those studies over 44,000 times. 40 Risch points out a hard truth that should have informed our COVID control strategy: “ Unless you are an island nation prepared to shut out the world , you can’t stop a global viral pandemic , but you can make it less deadly . Our objective should have been to devise treatments that would reduce hospitalization and death. We could have easily defanged COVID – 19 so that it was less lethal than a seasonal flu. We could have done this very quickly. We could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.”  

Dr. Peter McCullough concurs: “Once a highly transmissible virus like COVID has a beachhead in a population, it is inevitable that it will spread to every individual who lacks immunity. You can slow the spread, but you cannot prevent it — any more than you can prevent the tide from rising.” McCullough was an internist and cardiologist on staff at the Baylor University Medical Center and the Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital in Dallas, Texas. His 600 peer – reviewed articles in the National Library of Medicine make McCullough the most published physician in history in the field of kidney disease related to heart disease, a lethal sequela of COVID – 19. Before COVID – 19, he was editor of two major journals. His recent publications include over 40 on COVID – 19, including two landmark studies on critical care of the disease. His two breakthrough papers on the early treatment of COVID – 19 in The American Journal of Medicine41 and Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine42 in 2020 are, by far, the most downloaded documents on the subject. “I’ve had COVID – 19 myself with pulmonary involvement,” he told me. “My wife has had it. On my wife’s side of the family, we’ve had a fatality . . . I believe I have as much or more medical authority to give my opinion as anybody in the world.” McCullough observes that, “We could have dramatically reduced COVID fatalities and hospitalizations using early treatment protocols and repurposed drugs including ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine and many, many others.” Dr. McCullough has treated some 2,000 COVID patients with these therapies. McCullough points out that hundreds of peer – reviewed studies now show that early treatment could have averted some 80 percent of deaths attributed to COVID. “The strategy from the outset should have been implementing protocols to stop hospitalizations through early treatment of Americans who tested positive for COVID but were still asymptomatic. If we had done that, we could have pushed case fatality rates below those we see with seasonal flu, and ended the bottlenecks in our hospitals. We should have rapidly deployed off – the – shelf medications with proven safety records and subjected them to rigorous risk / benefit decision – making,” McCullough continues. “Using repurposed drugs, we could have ended this pandemic by May 2020 and saved 500,000 American lives, but for Dr. Fauci’s hard – headed, tunnel vision on new vaccines and remdesivir.”  

Pulmonary and critical care specialist Dr. Pierre Kory agrees with McCullough’s estimate. “The efficacy of some of these drugs as prophylaxis is almost miraculous, plus early intervention in the week after exposure stops viral replication and prevents development of cytokine storm and entrance into the pulmonary phase , ” says Dr . Kory. “We could have stopped the pandemic in its tracks in the spring of 2020 . ” Risch, McCullough, and Kory are among the large chorus of experts (including Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier) who argue that , by treating infected patients at home during the early stages of the illness , we could have averted cataclysmic lockdowns and found medicine resources for protecting vulnerable populations while encouraging the spread of the disease in age groups with extremely low – risk , in order to achieve permanent herd immunity . They point out that natural immunity, in all known cases, is superior to vaccine – induced immunity, being both more durable ( it often lasts a lifetime ) and broader spectrum — meaning it provides a shield against subsequent variants . “Vaccinating citizens with natural immunity should never have been our public health policy,” says Dr. Kory. 

Realizing that COVID had to be fought on multiple fronts, McCullough began contacting physicians in other nations who were reporting success against the disease, including doctors in Italy, Greece, Canada, across Europe, and in Bangladesh and South Africa. McCullough continues, “If this had been any other form of pneumonia, a respiratory illness, or any other infectious illness in the human body, we know that if we start early, we can actually treat much more easily than wait until patients are very sick.” McCullough says that the rule holds true for COVID – 19: “We learned quickly that it takes about two weeks for someone infected with COVID to get sick enough at home to require hospitalization.” Front – line clinical doctors quickly recognized that the disease was operating through multiple pathways, each requiring their own treatment protocol. “There were three major parts of the illness,” says McCullough: “1) the virus was replicating for as long as two weeks, 2) there was incredible inflammation in the body, and 3) that was followed by blood clotting.” He adds, “By April 2020, most doctors understood a single drug was not going to be enough to treat this illness. We had to use drugs in combination.” “We quickly developed three principles,” says McCullough; his three – step protocol was as follows: Use medications to slow down the virus; Use medications to attenuate or reduce inflammation; Address blood clotting. McCullough and his global partners quickly identified a pharmacopoeia of off – the – shelf treatments demonstrating extraordinary efficacy against each stage of COVID when administered early in the course of the disease. McCullough chronicles the rapid pace with which front – line doctors uncovered rich apothecaries of effective COVID remedies. HHS’s early studies supported hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy against coronavirus since 2005, and by March 2020, doctors from New York to Asia were using it against COVID with extraordinary effect. That month, McCullough and other physicians at his medical center organized, with the FDA, one of the first prophylactic protocols using hydroxychloroquine. “We had terrific data on ivermectin, from the medical teams in Bangladesh and elsewhere by early summer 2020. So now we had two cheap generics.” McCullough and his growing team of 50 + front – line doctors discovered that while HCQ and IVM work well against COVID, adding other medications boosts outcomes drastically. These included azithromycin or doxycycline, zinc, vitamin D , Celebrex , bromhexine , NAC , IV vitamin C , and quercetin . McCullough’s team realized that, like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, quercetin — that ubiquitous health store nutraceutical — is an ionophore — meaning that it facilitates zinc uptake in the cells, destroying the capacity of coronavirus to replicate. “The Canadians came on with Colchicine in a high – quality trial based on an initial Greek trial,” McCullough continued. “We learned more from experts at UCLA and elsewhere with respect to blood clotting and the need for aspirin and blood thinners. We got early approval for monoclonal antibodies. It was later learned that both fluvoxamine and famotidine could play roles in multidrug treatment.”  

Another meta – analysis supported the use of prednisone and hydrocortisone and other widely available steroids to combat inflammation. 56 Three studies supported the use of inhaled budesonide against COVID; an Oxford University study published in February 2021 demonstrated that that treatment could reduce hospitalizations by 90 percent in low – risk patients, 57 and a publication in April 2021 showed that recovery was faster for high – risk patients, too. 58 Furthermore, a very large study supported colchicine as an anti – inflammatory. 59 Finally, McCullough’s growing array of physicians had observational data from late – stage treatment of hospitalized patients with full – dose aspirin and antithrombotics… 

“We were able to show that doctors can work with four to six drugs in combination, supplemented by vitamins and nutraceuticals including zinc, vitamins D and C, and Quercetin . And they can guide patients at home, even the highest – risk seniors, and avoid a dreaded outcome of hospitalization and death,” said McCullough.