Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy group, ran an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal Thursday urging Dr. Anthony Fauci, who’s played a key role in the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, to consult “a second opinion” regarding the economic response to COVID-19.
JCN noted that many medical professionals are raising concerns over the external consequences of sweeping lockdowns imposed to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. The group is also recruiting those second opinions on their new site “FauciSecondOpinion.com.”
In the letter addressed to Fauci, who also serves as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, JCN’s President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz made clear that it was important that all medical concerns regarding the shutdown be heard.
“You are the nation’s leading medical voice on how and when society reopens from the pandemic-induced shutdown,” said Ortiz. “And while Americans appreciate your service, your voice represents one of many important perspectives in the medical field. Just as Americans routinely seek a second opinion regarding any serious medical procedure, we need a second opinion regarding on this urgent issue before us.”
Further, Ortiz cited Dr. Scott Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University, who emphasized the importance of following the facts amid the pandemic and who advocated for taking “sensible precautions” to allow most businesses to reopen.
“We’re not just concerned about the 30 million small business owners and the 60 million people they employ,” Ortiz explained. “The economy is certainly a concern, but so is the health of all Americans not threatened by the virus. The shutdown has broad health, economic, and societal impacts that have been largely overlooked in the official reopening debate.”
The delay in reopening, Ortiz wrote, is forcing some hospitals to close as elective procedures continue to be banned in many states, forcing some patients to delay important procedures.
Daniel Murphy, an emergency doctor in New York, who advocates for the reopening, says “the growing numbers dying at home during the crisis must include fatal myocardial infarctions, asthma exacerbations, bacterial infections, and strokes,” Ortiz noted.
The mental health toll has also been significant as suicide hotlines are experiencing exponential call volume increases.
Moreover, the unemployment rate, which is currently 14.7 percent, is the highest its been since the great depression as businesses close and say they may never reopen, the ad notes.
“Millions of us, Dr. Fauci, don’t recognize our lives anymore. And the desire to return to work and normal life is not driven by greed. It is driven by biological need. Human beings are hardwired for work, and derive meaning from work. But it wasn’t just work that was stripped from life. The social aspects of our life that give it meaning and purpose were stripped, too,” Ortiz wrote.
He added, “This is not a question of life v. the economy. The real choice is life vs. life. Shutting down society was intended to flatten the curve and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. It has achieved these goals at immense economic and social cost. The shutdown was not intended to continue until there is a cure or zero deaths. By using strategic testing, tracing, and smart business innovations, we can isolate the few to protect the many instead of isolating the many to protect the few.”
“We know that you have America’s interest at heart but fear your limited view is causing too much unneeded pain. In view of the serious economic and medical consequences of not re-opening our economy immediately, we need a second opinion!”