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A lot can change in two years. Just before Christmas 2021, Dr. McCullough came over to my house to spend the day discussing the events set forth in our book, The Courage to Face COVID-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex. He arrived in characteristically good spirits, even though he’d just been hit with the most outrageous attack. That morning, Medscape—a popular medical news agency—published a report titled “Physicians of the Year: Best and Worst.” An e-mail blast of the report went out to doctors all over the country. The e- mail’s subject was, “Worst Physicians of 2021: Who disgraced the profession? See who made the list and how many of them you know?”
By itself the subject was foul, and under normal circumstances McCullough wouldn’t have opened the e-mail. However, as it arrived on the heels of his Joe Rogan interview, which had sparked a flurry of negative communiques about him on the internet, it couldn’t be ignored.
He went through the report’s slide show of the “Worst of 2021.” The first 8 were a rogues’ gallery of doctors convicted of performing fraudulent, unnecessary surgery, mass murder, making false diagnoses while under the influence of drugs, sexual harassment, and assault. Peter clicked on slide number 9 and saw a photo of himself under the headline, “Baylor Gets Restraining Order Against Covid Vaccine Skeptic Doc.” The report explained that “Baylor was the first institution to cut ties with McCullough, who promoted the use of unproven therapies for COVID-19 and questioned the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.”
Peter laughed this off with his usual Stoicism, but I could tell he’d found this repugnant attack to be painful.
“Nobody with any common sense or decency believes this,” I said, trying to cheer him up. “Medscape is clearly a gutter publication.” Already then, in December 2021, I was confident Peter would ultimately be vindicated. I am gratified to see that this is happening far faster than I predicted it would.
Yesterday the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) in New York City held its annual awards ceremony and gave Peter its Top Internist and Cardiologist of the Year award. Before the ceremony, IAOTP displayed his photograph on the seven-story Nasdaq Tower in Times Square.
I’ve spent forty years studying history, and I am very familiar with how discerning dissidents have been relentlessly persecuted, only later to be vindicated. When the English statesman and poet, John Milton, visited Galileo in the summer of 1633, shortly after Galileo’s trial for heresy, Milton perceived that the astronomer had been unjustly persecuted for simply stating what he’d observed. It was a moving experience that influenced Milton’s famous defense of free speech that he published in a 1644 pamphlet titled Areopagitica. In this speech Milton described censors as “oligarchs” who “bring a famine upon our minds.”
For the last three years, we have contended with a formidable array of oligarchs who have tried to bring a famine upon our minds. As long as a good portion of this nation’s citizenry retains its allegiance to free speech and the free exchange of ideas and observations, the oligarchs will never win.
With each passing day, Richard J. Baron and his fellow inquisitors at the American Board of Internal Medicine Committee—which continues its effort to strip Dr. McCullough of his board certifications—increasingly look like the Inquisitors who punished Galileo with house arrest for the last nine years of his life.
The news that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton suing Pfizer for fraudulent misrepresentation of its COVID-19 vaccine gave me hope that his discovery will explore a probable connection between Pfizer and the ABIM. On the face of it, this suspicion is highly warranted, because the ABIM, Pfizer, and Moderna all share the same powerful PR firm, Weber Shandwick. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if Weber Shandwick was behind the Medscape hit piece in December 2021.
If Dr. Baron has indeed allowed commercial interests to influence the ABIM’s certification and decertification of medical doctors, he should be carefully examined for possibly having civil and perhaps even criminal conflicts of interest.
In the meantime, congratulations to Dr. McCullough for his much deserved award.