Dangerous Demon Docs

The Dean of Admissions at my medical school liked to ask applicants why they wanted to be a doctor. Given the clichéd response, “Because I like people,” he’d ask, “Yes, but do you like SICK people?” I don’t recall that he asked me that one; if he had, I might have answered, “I can’t be a dentist, because my hands are too big to fit in a mouth.” Which reminds me of what I did say when my dad suggested I should consider being a proctologist: “I think I’m too tall for that.”

In any case, after talking to me for a few minutes, the Dean (Cactus Jack, we called him, for his gravelly voice and no-b.s. attitude) announced “We’ll take ya.” And that was that.

My point is that it seems there are lots of docs of the Trumpist persuasion who do, indeed, like sick people. So much so that they’re trying extra hard to create them. And there are plenty of state legislatures around the country doing their best to send victims their way. It’s hard to figure. Medical school, after all, is pretty rigorous; hard to get through without at least some understanding of the scientific method; i.e., the ability to distinguish between documentation and doo-doo. If not all doctors are brilliant, few are downright stupid. Is what I used to think.

In Congress are several doctors, at least one of whom falls hard into the stupid category. That’d be Rand Paul, who had to create his own ophthalmology board to become certified, and who’d need to acquire an additional wit to rise to half-wit level. The Republican remainders, who inveigh against mask and vaccine mandates (not to mention perpetuating Trump’s big lie) and who rarely argue for science-based approaches to the pandemic, have no such excuse. They must know the harm they’re causing.

Elected docs aren’t the worst among my chosen profession. Appearing regularly on rightwing media, other defrauding doctors regale the credulous with fairytale falsehoods, without evident shame. Mysteriously, they’d managed to get their medical degrees. It puzzles me.

All states have medical licensing boards, whose prime directive is to make sure doctors meet standards of competence and ethics. Anyone paying attention knows they’ve hardly covered themselves with glory, historically, in that regard; still, it’s been reassuring to see several state boards clamping down on doctors who spread Covid misinformation. Sadly, it’s happening in only in a third of states. For two-thirds, it must be no big deal. Welcome, even.

As of about a week ago, there’s one fewer doing the good work. Caving to pressure from its Republican-controlled legislature, Tennessee’s medical board has announced it’ll no longer rein in those dangerous docs. Amazing: actual elected representatives of the people, sworn to act in the interest of their citizens, pressured their medical board to stop disciplining lying or incompetent, willfully dangerous doctors. Let ’em lie; we like it. It serves our interests.

Nor is Tennessee’s the only legislature acting to ensure the pandemic continues. In pretty much every red state, by legislative or gubernatorial mandate, requirements for masking and/or vaccinations are being struck down, going so far as to threaten school districts and private businesses who want to protect employees, customers, teachers, students. So much for freeing them from government overreach, the be-all and end-all raison d’etre of Republican rationalizations for giving their megadonors every bit of hands-off they demand.

By now, even Trumpic Fox-watchers (what took you so long, Chris Wallace?) must know it’s mainly among the unvaccinated that the pandemic rages on. So, what has overtaken their brains? It can’t be those vaccine-embedded microchips; they’re not the ones getting them. And powerful and effective as unabated brainwashing by rightwing has come to be, it can’t have decerebrated so many millions entirely on its own. Even though it’s obvious their disinformation is doing the work of our global adversaries, can those enemies’ activities on antisocial media have been so thoroughly assimilated without some sort of amplifying force? It’s millions of people, convinced by bad doctors and lying media to harm themselves, their children, their families, friends, and neighbors. Weakening the country to which they claim singular loyalty. There had to be another explanation, and I’ve finally seen the obvious.

Aliens. From outer space. Beaming mind-control rays or drugging our soup, softening us up and dumbing us down for the coming invasion. Affecting, ironically, only the unvaccinated. Too crazy? Alex Jones just suggested President Biden used a top-secret “weather weapon” to cause those deadly tornados. He’s proof the aliens are already here. Same with the Trumpofoxified millions: Unknowingly, they’re pod people. Nothing else makes sense.

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Retired surgeon. Published author. Blogger. Columnist. Losing hope that American democracy can survive Republican attempts to end it.

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Sid Schwab

Sid Schwab

Retired surgeon. Published author. Blogger. Columnist. Losing hope that American democracy can survive Republican attempts to end it.

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