Just like they do with everyone else, opinions vary among medical professionals as to how soon or even if stay at home orders across the country should be gradually lifted to allow people to be able to go back to work and go about their personal lives.
One who is going against the grain is Dr. David Murdock, a research cardiologist from Wausau, WI. Dr. Murdock attended a reopen rally late last month in Wisconsin and was seen in a Facebook picture from the rally by a local
snitch resident. That person, Kevin Rusch, shared the photo on his Facebook page and warned others about his actions and mentioned where he worked. Others quickly rushed in to criticize the doctor. Many, including Rusch, contacted the hospital where he worked. Before Murdock knew it he was put on leave from his job.
I should note that the New York Times referred to people like Rusch and his mob as “social distancing informants.”
In response to the outcry, Dr. Murdock wrote a lengthy post on his Facebook page last week detailing why he went to the rally (to get a better understanding of where reopen protesters stood) and where he stood on extending stay at home orders. He also talked about how he had been targeted at his home, and how the vile comments posted about him left his wife in tears. Here are some excerpts:
… I learned of some of the comments made on social media about me and the orchestrated slander of my name and reputation. These comments had my wife and family in emotional turmoil and my wife, in particular, in tears numerous times. I was accused of taking action that would cause the death of children. I was accused of showing a total disregard for my patients’ health. These words and accusations do not in any way reflect my 33 years of dedicated service to my patients and my community. I was called a conspirator and an anti-science Trumptser.
But most disturbing was the vulgarity involved and a clear sense of an orchestrated political hit job. There were words said using language that I haven’t heard since high school. They vandalized my home by scattering feces on the front steps prompting me to file a police report. They also mocked Christianity. Nobody should have to put up with this evil. No human has the right to inflict this pain on others.
He also stated that while he agreed with the original stay at home order, he could not stand by extending the order after observing what was happening in his part of the state:
2. Fortunately, we have not seen nearly as many COVID cases as we had expected and were prepared to treat. As of today, there have been only 17 confirmed cases of COVID in Marathon County and only one mortality since the beginning of the pandemic. Those numbers have not changed for several days.
3. According to John Hopkins daily tracking data, in nearby counties–including Price, Taylor, Langlade, Lincoln, and Oneida–only a single instance of COVID has been recorded. Thus, large areas of Wisconsin have had minimal contact with COVID.
4. The forced lockdown has caused severe adverse health consequences locally, as it has prevented people from getting the care they need. This is likely to get worse as many health care organizations are facing financial collapse.
5. The forced lockdown has caused severe economic damage, and economists are already projecting that unemployment rates will be higher than in the Great Depression. If we don’t allow portions of the country to open, I fear that many jobs will be lost forever as businesses are forced to close.
Noting that “a poor economy has morbidity and lethality too”, Dr. Murdock says he favors a regional approach to reopening, rather than a one-size-fits all “solution” that punishes areas that have not been as hard hit as others.
Please make sure to read his thoughtful post below:
A few days later, Dr. Murdock posted about how “we can’t beat this by simply staying locked down”:
Good for him on not backing down. Last I checked, we still had the right in this country to have differing viewpoints on social and healthcare policy, and that includes disagreement within the medical community. The longer these lockdowns continue, the more we are going to be hearing from people like Dr. Murdock who are raising more questions about the official justifications from Democratic governors for keeping them in place.
(Hat tip: Penny Starr)