Blaming and Bickering IGNITED the government response

[ Letter to U.S. Surgeon General Adams ]

March 14, 2020 [revised March 15th, 2020]

VADM Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H.

re: Press Blaming and Bickering IGNITED the government response to COVID-19 [revised March 15, 2020]

Surgeon General Adams:

I am sending a copy of this letter to many of my contacts.

At today’s March 14, 2020 press conference with Donald Trump, you chastised the media for spending far too much time casting blame and criticism of the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 as opposed to telling people the information they need to personally respond and care for themselves. Specifically, you said the press has fostered “bickering” and “blaming”.

“We really need you all to lean into and prioritize the health and safety of the American people. No more bickering, no more partisanship, no more criticism or finger pointing, there will be plenty of time for that,” Dr, Adams said, adding  that “We all need to hit the reset button and lean into moving forward the health and safety of the American people as our top priority.”  MEDIAite

In fact, what you called bickering and blaming crescendoed just before the Trump administration sharply pivoted to change its attitude away from Trump’s lies and protection of Trump’s reputation towards scientific and medically validated facts. Prior to the highest pressure from the press:

February 26, Trump falsely said, “We are finding very little you treat this like a flu”

February 28, Trump falsely said that coronavirus will “disappear” like a “miracle” while speaking at a press conference for his coronavirus task force.

February 28, Trump claimed the crisis “was their [the Democrats’s] new hoax.” (Granted the news media widely falsely reports he meant that the crisis itself was a hoax.  Instead he meant to say that the Democrat's public statements about COVID was motivated by hatred of him personally [new impeachment] rather than care for the health of the American population.)

March 4, In a phone interview with Sean Hannity on March 4, Trump falsely contradicted public health experts’ estimates of the death rate for Covid-19 — based on a “hunch.”

March 7, while visiting the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, Trump falsely said that anyone who wants a test for Covid-19 can get one.

March 10, just one day before his first televised Oval office address to the nation about the crisis, he falsely told reporters on Capitol Hill that coronavirus “will go away.”

March 11, Trump gave a solo oval office address to the nation.

March 11 immediately after Trump’s address, the markets began reacting before the press could deliver its criticism and what you characterized as blaming and bickering.  The stock markets reacted immediately with overnight futures trading massively devaluing American stocks.

Then, on March 12 early morning, what you call blaming and bickering reached its height so far.  The intensity of press delivery reached a crescendo of accurate reports of numerous lies and extremely damaging statements that Trump and Trumpists made leading up to the oval address and especially by Trump during his scripted oval office address. Press of all political leanings sharply denounced Trump’s statements.

March 12th, the US stock markets to suffered a 10 percent drop in value the greatest single-day percentage fall since the 1987 stock market crash, and one of the largest in history.

March 12, Trump administration officials attempted to correct many of the false statements identified by the press and made by the president.   These corrections forced by press criticisms helped the stock market merely stabilize somewhat he next day March 13.

March 13 at 3:29 p.m., Trump began speaking to declare a National Emergency about a half hour before the markets closed.  Soon after the declaration of nation emergency, the stock market value rapidly increased about 9 percent.

March 13 after the close of markets, Trump wrote to his supporters,  'From opening of press conference, biggest day in stock market history!’.  The note included a chart of the rise which Trump signed.

March March 14, Trump falsely characterized the pattern of the virus as “washing away…and…flowing through” the population.  Certainly you would add to such a characterization that thousands and perhaps millions of Americans will metaphorical if not actually drown from the “flow” of the virus.

In the face of weeks of extremely anti-productive total LIES about COVID by President Trump, hapless errors, and the abject sycophantic groveling and self congratulations by all of Trump’s cohorts and minions which are and will continue to be discovered and exposed by the media’s ruthless pursuit of fraud and malicious intent, I wondered how you would DARE attempt to chastise the media when you are begging them to relay your messages to the public.

Well, it did not take me long to discover your actual motivation.  You are Vice President Pence’s hand picked loyalist.  In October 2014, Pence appointed you Indiana State Health Commissioner.  There your record as a physician shows that politics and non-science taint your judgement.  Likewise, your current performance combating COVID shows your loyalty to Trump pollutes your credibility.

How Mike Pence Made Indiana’s HIV Outbreak Worse, [[Politico], GREGG GONSALVES and FORREST CRAWFORD, March 2, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2020.

"Adams said, "There are people who have real moral and ethical concerns about passing out needles to people with substance abuse problems.To be honest, I shared that sentiment.” [19]

On March 8, 2020, "During the COVID-19 outbreak, Adams asserted on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper that he'd seen no indication that people who want to be tested for the virus cannot be. [25] During the same interview with Jake Tapper of CNN Adams stated that “The president (aged 73) sleeps less than I do and he’s healthier than I am" [26].

Could it possibly be that the UC Berkeley program for Masters in Public Health failed to educate you about the efficacy of needle exchange programs?  Quite hard for me to believe that.  Yet, your letter of October 1, 2015 to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine ( which responds to an article critical of Indiana’s preparation and response to HIV outbreaks falsely claimed "Needle-exchange programs are, however, indubitably a last recourse that reflects a failure to get people to stop using drugs.”.  The authors of the paper (Strathdee and Beyrer (July 30, 2015 issue)) rebutted your claim by pointing out that needle exchange programs are not last resorts but rather "a fundamental component of a comprehensive HIV-prevention program that should be implemented before [emphasis added, Ed.] outbreaks occur.”  You also defended the controversial Indiana law that requires a declaration of public health emergency before implementation of needle exchange programs.  Explaining that a conversation is needed before a jurisdiction decides that a needle-exchange program is appropriate, you wrote the "law simply facilitates this conversation for other communities”.  That is truly faulty logic as conversations can and do occur without laws as no laws are necessary for conversations.  In contrast, laws regulating conversations inherently limit conversations.  As medical facts do not support the Indiana law, one may presume and I believe moral, ethic, an political bias are the reasons for the law.  Those biased are thus the cause of needless infections and deaths.

To your credit, you did have an epiphany in 2015 when your mind allowed medical science to prevail over your loyalty to Pence and your own personal moral and ethical beliefs.

Perhaps most salient to today’s national situation with you as the Surgeon General of the United States appointed by Trump is your statement, "health officials must function within the culture and laws of their environment.”  You are functioning within Trumpist culture at the service of the most corrupt most sociopathic most narcissistic most juvenile person to ever hold the office of president.  Without the most dangerous public health emergency to reach America since the 1918 so-called Spanish Flu, Trumpism is one of most dangerous cultures to appear since the rise of Nazism.  Trumpism multiplied by COVID-19 portends disaster no matter what you do as Surgeon General.  And that harsh reality is all the more reason for you to think as you did when you faced the needle exchange controversy and act much more forcefully than you did then.

For instance, Trump used you, your credibility, and your office as backdrop to his numerous lies, falsehoods, and inane misstatements during the recent press conferences.  Every word he utters has consequence.  Your inaction to correct him on the spot allowed his false statements to stand leaving correction to … the press you insulted.

In another instance, please note the huge partisan divide in response to COVID-19 as shown by the NBC News/WSJ poll was conducted March 11-13:

As you suggested today March 14th, there will be more time for discovery and accounting for malfeasance of the Trumpists after COVID-19 is defeated.  In the meantime, there is more than enough time for the press, the public, and you as Surgeon General to surround the Trumpists and force the Trump administration into proper action.  Your un-hippocratic impulses towards loyalty to Trump/Pence will the entire county to hell unless your hippocratic impulses prevail soon enough to save a few hundred thousand plus lives by abandoning your loyalties to Trump and Pence and actually act in accordance with the oath hippocratic set thousands of years ago and the oath to the country you pledge upon commission as the Surgeon General.


Fritz Koenig
Palm Springs, CA

© covidmemo 2020 Nothing contained herein is tendered as nor should it be considered as legal or medical advice.  What is legal is not necessarily justice.  Almost all of reality is non-"published", ergo, what is legally affirmed is always a retarded misrepresentation of reality.   Use at your own risk!