COVID-19 has been cured! Well, probably not. Here’s what I’m talking about.
Last night I had a Twitter conversation with Adam Gaertner, an independent virology researcher who claims to have cured COVID. As you can imagine, he had some pretty interesting things to say.
Our conversation began when I sent out a tweet critical of Adam’s claim that hospitals are being negligent for putting COVID patients on ventilators, saying the ventilators do nothing for the patient and that hospitals should be treating the patient rather than ventilating them. He went on to encourage attorneys to file class action lawsuits against hospitals and doctors who don’t follow his recommendations. (Later in our conversation, Adam pointed out that the idea of a class action lawsuit wasn’t far-fetched, considering that the Indian Bar Association (in India) has sued a WHO scientist who made comments against treating patients with Ivermectin, one of Adam’s favored drugs for treating COVID patients.)
At this point, I had no idea who Adam Gaertner was. I was surprised when he responded to my tweet, and was impressed that he was civil and seemed to have a firm grasp of COVID infections and protocols. Of course, what do I know? I’m a liberal arts guy wading into a scientific world. All I know is he used big words and seemed to know what he was talking about.
So, I checked out his Twitter profile and Googled his name. Adam has a colorful history. His most famous claim is that he discovered the cure for COVID in April 2020. That’s quite a claim, and big if true.
Adam also claims that the coronavirus was manufactured in a lab. He sent an email to Dr. Anthony Fauci in March 2020 detailing the exact method used to manufacture the virus. However, he provided no evidence to support his contentions or to prove COVID had indeed been intentionally manufactured. That email went viral on Instagram, thrusting Adam into the COVID spotlight.
Since that time, Adam has been a controversial voice on the COVID front. He has written extensively about COVID and its supposed cure (which involves a few different drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin). I’ve read some of his writing, and despite the fact that much of it is well over my head, there is one claim that stinks of QAnon-type conspiracy theory.
Adam’s writing on scientific matters seems plausible, if not credible, to my liberal arts mind, but his contention that big corporations and world governments are working in concert to hold station with the pandemic colors everything else else he says about the disease.
For instance, when I asked him why hospitals would insist on using ventilators rather than his recommended treatment, Adam wrote this:
“Hospitals aren’t treating because of probably the most extensive campaign of corruption the world has ever seen, to prevent it. We are in the middle of WW3. Welcome.”
To be sure, that is a rather sensational, albeit vague, answer. But he has written more on the topic. Here is what he wrote on July 22, 2021 about the ulterior motives mega-corporations and governments have for keeping us in a state of perpetual pandemic:
“With the inane, arbitrary measures being imposed on the public, from nonsensical mask mandates, contrary to all scientific evidence of their lack of efficacy, to selective and limited lockdowns effecting the closure and destruction of countless small businesses, while leaving mega-corporations largely untouched and seeing record profits, to the halting attempts to implement movement licenses, under the guise of vaccine passports, it is quite clear, to most that are paying attention, that the pandemic is being used to implement a significant change in the political world order. Numerous world leaders have pledged their allegiance to the “Build Back Better” program, the brainchild of the World Economic Forum; with a view to the implementation of the “4th Industrial Revolution,” a vision of totalitarian, almost Star Trek-like automation and communism, political leaders across the world have every incentive to prolong the global state of emergency until this mission has been accomplished. Despite the real and present threat of the virus, it is abundantly clear that the various measures being taken are not in pursuit of ending the pandemic or returning to a normal way of life. Rather, the relentless push toward the “new normal” goes on, all premised on the plausible threat of COVID-19. Simultaneously to this, the above noted effective treatments and prophylactics have been subjected to a relentless campaign of propaganda, censorship, fake science and dishonest, unethically conducted trials, and in some countries outright bans, to muddy the waters around their effectiveness, prevent their use, and prolong the death and destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Kind of a dark vision of the future, isn’t it? It’s also a word salad of gibberish that adds up to nothing. Just a bunch of words strung together lacking logic or meaning. Let’s take a closer look.
First, Adam says that our current situation is some kind of conspiracy between “mega-corporations” and governments around the world (The entire medical profession is apparently in on the plot, as well). Does that ring true to you? Do you believe that there was some sort of conference were mega-corporations and government leaders (and doctors?) got together and agreed to anything? It’s preposterous on its face.
Next, this supposed agreement will lead to small businesses being crushed and mega-corps picking up the profits left behind. This could only be written by someone who doesn’t understand how the economy works. Mega-corps are dependent on small business. Without small businesses, what products will Amazon and Walmart sell? Where will GM and Ford get their parts and all of the other things from design to safety that they rely on small business for? These mega-corporations are getting wealthy (wealthier?) due in large part to the relationships they have with small businesses.
In Adam’s fantasy, while mega-corporations are reaping the benefits of no more small businesses, governments are controlling the movement of individual citizens through the use of a vaccine passport. Adam calls this a “movement license,” and it presumably allows governments to dictate where individuals can go and how they can get there. But why? Why would governments want this kind of control over their citizens? What benefit is there to the government? Adam doesn’t say. At least, not exactly. Instead, he claims that it somehow leads to the final goal of perpetual pandemic: the 4th Industrial Revolution.
According to Adam, the 4th Industrial Revolution is “a vision of totalitarian, almost Star Trek-like automation and communism.” Sounds like Adam has been reading too many sci-fi novels. Putting aside for the moment that the first three industrial revolutions took place without the necessity of totalitarianism, communism, or large-scale automation, let’s think through Adam’s picture of the future.
The pandemic rages on with no end in sight. Governments and mega-corporations work hand-in-hand to keep us sick, monitoring us and controlling our movements through the use of vaccine passports. Lockdowns are common and vaccines are mandatory.
Our One World communist government has ushered in an age of automation to run their factories and…
Wait a minute. How do all these mega-corporations own factories in a communist state? Doesn’t the government own the means of production in communist countries? Okay, ignore that. Let’s move on.
These mega-corporate-owned factories pump out products at breakneck speed, using automation to manufacture, warehouse, and distribute at a pace never seen before. The factories will…
Whoa, hold up. If people are sick because of the pandemic and jobless because of automation, who’s buying all of the mega-corporation products? Nothing about Adam’s dystopian vision of the future makes sense.
I haven’t even gotten to Adam’s contention that the mRNA vaccines we’re taking (like the ones from Pfizer and Moderna) contain prion proteins, which will ultimately kill most of us or turn us into zombies. It’s not really clear to me which, but in either case, it won’t help mega-corporations sell their goods.
I honestly don’t know if Adam Gaetner is a snake oil salesman or a good faith researcher who is simply misguided. In either case, his claims don’t hold water. Our best medical, scientific, and public health minds agree that our way out of this pandemic is through large-scale vaccinations. We don’t need crazy conspiracy theories or manufactured scare tactics. We need good, solid information (which we already have) and a willingness for everyone to do what is in their and our best interest (Sadly, that is lacking at the moment).
Believe what science tells you. Believe what the experts tell you. Ignore the noise and fearmongering. Get vaccinated.
UPDATE: Journalist Matthew Sheffield, had a Twitter take on this subject (Not about Adam Gaertner specifically, but some of the claims he made) that I thought was quite informative. Here’s what he had to say:
“Logical fallacies and Covid-19.
Everyone is susceptible to logical errors in our thinking, especially in areas in which we have no direct experience. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this tendency because of its high survival rate for most people.
Given that the vast majority of healthy people survive Covid w/o any medical treatment, some will conclude that anything they did made the recovery. This is “post hoc ergo proper hoc” thinking, the idea that a thing that came before caused the thing afterwards.
As finite begins, we’re also highly susceptible to esotericism, the idea that there is “hidden” knowledge that is being “suppressed” by nefarious elites. Sometimes, this does happen, but in the case of various purported cures for Covid, it’s simply that they haven’t been proven.
Advocates of ivermectin claim it’s being “suppressed” due to pharmaceutical companies’ profiteering. They never discuss how their argument is utterly disproven by the widespread use of cheap and readily available corticosteroids to treat some Covid symptoms. If the greed of Big Pharma was so powerful and authoritarian, steroid treatments for Covid would not be happening. But they are for millions of people. Because, for many of them, they actually have been proven to work.
Ivermectin advocates love to hype faulty research, or of India, and claim that it supports their theories. They never mention that India’s government has formally withdrawn all support for ivermectin and doesn’t believe it works.
Unfortunately, these types of logical errors are very common in public conversations about health and medicine, because most people have little direct knowledge of them. It’s easy to have opinions about things that affect you that you don’t understand.
Unfortunately, the American legal system has also deliberately tolerated the existence of junk medical science. The tragic irony of this industry is that its greed and power have shaped government policy against consumers! The FDA has been trying since 1973 to have the power to regulate and evaluate commercial claims that various supplements can cure or prevent diseases. The agency’s efforts have been thwarted at every turn by lawsuits and lobbying from dietary supplement companies.
People pushing junk medicine for Covid and anything else claim that conspiracies are suppressing their ideas. The literal opposite is true. Dietary supplements is a multi-billion dollar industry with very powerful connections to many of America’s top Republicans.
This Harvard Law School article is out of date on some of the numbers, but the history and policy analysis is still very solid, if you’d like to know more about regulation of dietary supplements.
As @RMCarpiano and I recently discussed on a @TheoryChange episode, some actual medical practitioners have also become convinced by medical falsehoods. Almost always, however, these doctors/nurses have no direct training or experience w/virology or public health. Believing their Covid opinions are credible is like asking a middle school English teacher for help with your college calculus assignment. Sorry @RandPaul.
Citing doctors and nurses with no relevant Covid credentials is an example of an appeal to unqualified authority, another logical fallacy.
I’ll end with another fallacy we often see here, the argument from incredulity. We see this most in opposition to MRNA vaccines via the idea that because the person doesn’t know of the technology, it must be unsafe. This is invalid reasoning. Personal ignorance isn’t an argument.”