Dr. Death on Biden's COVID task force?

Imagine your children being educated by teachers who hate children, your lawyer being an anarchist, or a soldier rooting for the enemy.  Imagine a doctor who believes it's not worth living a very long life being on the board of COVID task force.  That would be nonsense, right?

Yet here we are.  Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of ten advisory board members named to self-identified president-elect Joe Biden's coronavirus task force, is not a fan of seniors.  In his essay "Why I hope to die at 75," he argues that "living too long ... robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world.  It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us."  How ironic and bizarre is it that Dr. Emanuel accepted the position to advise an evidently declining 77-year-old about the virus that infects and threatens the lives of the elderly much more than any other age group?

The beliefs of Dr. Emanuel are astounding and reminiscent of the works of early eugenics theorists like Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow "the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable."  Following the most vulgar social Darwinism, which claims that life for humans in society is ruled by "survival of the fittest," Dr. Emanuel's disdain for the elderly is shocking.  In his essay, to validate his points, he on several occasions quotes a famous Canadian eugenicist, Sir William Osler, who, among other things, remarked that men older than 60 years not only should be retired, but be chloroformed (!).  After the infamous speech that contained those suggestions, a term, Oslerize, became a synonym for "euthanize."  Given the evident admiration that Dr. Emanuel demonstrates for Osler, I would not let him around my grandparents any more than I would let Joe Biden around my children.

In his essay, Dr. Emanuel agrees with his predecessor that, for example, pneumonia may well be called the "friend of the aged" due to its acute, short, often not painful nature, when "the old man escapes those 'cold gradations of decay.'"  "My Osler-inspired philosophy is this," wrote Dr. Emanuel — "[a]t 75 and beyond, I will need a good reason to even visit the doctor and take any medical test or treatment, no matter how routine and painless."  Further, he argues that he would stop getting any regular preventive tests, screenings, or interventions, including colonoscopies and other cancer screenings and flu shots, and also no ventilators (!), dialysis, surgery, antibiotics, or any other medication — "in short, no life-sustaining interventions."

Now, I rarely use examples of my personal life experience in my writing, but does not the doctor's philosophy speak to every single one of us?  Does it not insult our sense of respect and gratitude to our parents and grandparents, whose lives Dr. Emanuel views as inferior, worthless, pathetic?  My grandparents survived Hitler, Stalin, and the rest of the USSR leaders.  They survived World War II and post-war devastation.  Naturally, both of them had illnesses, and they passed when they were in their early 80s.  I cannot envision my childhood without their care and love, my grandma's unmatched cooking, my granddad's stories, games, and walks, as both of my parents worked full-time.  The way I remember them is nothing like what Dr. Emanuel pictures: not old and frail, but always supportive and optimistic.  Not a burden, but a vital part of my family that practically raised me and contributed to the core of my identity.  Perhaps almost all Americans have similar stories.  Unlike cynical and strictly utilitarian doctors and politicians, many believe in an absolute value of human life no matter how young or old it may be.

On November 9, America rejoiced at Pfizer's and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine having moved a step closer to approval, with the company announcing 90-percent efficacy in its Phase 3 clinical trial.  Not so fast, Dr. Emanuel would say.  According to a policy report published in Science magazine that he co-authored with 18 other public health experts and that laid out an "ethical framework" called the "Fair Priority Model," we should follow a "fair international distribution of vaccine" rather than what he and his co-authors characterized as "vaccine nationalism."  "Reasonable national partiality does not permit retaining more vaccine than the amount needed to keep the rate of transmission (Rt) below 1, when that vaccine could instead mitigate substantial COVID-19-related harms in other countries that have been unable to keep Rt below 1 through ongoing public-health efforts," the "experts" argue.  "Associative ties only justify a government's giving some priority to its own citizens, not absolute priority," they believe.  The globalist tendency to hold American interests secondary to everyone else's is certainly upsetting but not surprising.

And isn't it all such a striking contrast to President Trump's stance on taking care of the most vulnerable Americans first?  After recovering from COVID, the first thing he did was to address his "favorite people in the world — the seniors," saying he wants them to get the same incredible care that he got — for free.  Seniors and people in private health insurance plans are among those who won't be charged for getting a coronavirus vaccine under a Trump administration rule designed to ensure that as many people as possible get vaccinated once a shot becomes available.  Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar commented: "Protecting the vulnerable has been the number one priority of the Trump Administration's response to COVID-19, and that commitment will continue through distributing a safe and effective vaccine earliest to those who need it most."  Earlier, he noted that the U.S. will share any coronavirus vaccine it develops with other countries after American needs are met and that the U.S. will not coordinate with the World Health Organization on distribution.  "Our first priority of course is to develop and produce enough quantities of safe and effective FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics for use in the United States."

The U.S. government has already purchased for $1.95 billion — for Americans, on Americans' money — 100 million doses of the vaccine, but Joe Biden's advisers propose that a part of them be redistributed.  Those are the same people who shed crocodile tears over the "empty chairs in the kitchens and dining rooms," who called Trump-supporters a "death cult" and "grandma-killers."

Now, combine the leftist eugenics that views the lives of seniors as a nuisance with globalism that prioritizes financial interests of the global elites over their people, and you get a Malthusian Utopia where the "useless" population would be wiped out in order to preserve shrinking natural resources.  Add to this Joe Biden's intent to impose more lockdowns on the economy, which has already been hard hit and just begun to recover.  Getting rid of the "ballast" that does not produce anything, but only consumes, would make sense.  I pray that it all remains their sick, inhumane dream that never comes true, with the election results leaving Joe Biden and his team where they belong — in the dustbin of history.

Follow Veronika Kyrylenko, Ph.D. on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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