The last 2.5 years of the pandemic have been dominated by unelected medical bureaucrats making proclamations about lockdowns, social distancing, mask wearing, and other draconian measures based on dogma not data. They are in positions of power in the 3-letter agencies of the NIH, FDA, CDC and WHO with unchecked influence over elected government officials around the world who are charged with making decisions about COVID-19 policies. Unfortunately, this process has been primarily directed not by following the science, but by following the money.

My former radiology fellowship colleague, Scott Atlas, MD, witnessed this situation firsthand during his four months on President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force beginning in August 2020. In his book “A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America,” he described walking into his first task force meeting armed with every scientific paper he could find on COVID, which would be typical for him as the most published academic neuroradiologist in the world prior to shifting his focus to health care policy at the Hoover Institute.

Much to his shock, Dr. Atlas soon discovered that the bureaucratic triumvirate of Drs. Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx and Robert Redfield operated in a science-free bubble citing only documents from the NIH and CDC without offering peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials as evidence to support critical policy decisions. To make matters worse, it was Dr. Birx who was charged with being the liaison to all the states in the country. It was she who provided marching orders to rollout the lockdown to governors such as Roy Cooper who relayed the policy for implementation to NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen.

Atlas was attacked by the media for not being a virologist despite the fact that he was the only one on the committee with any health care policy qualifications. Plus, he was careful to consult with top epidemiologists around the world who pointed out that these policies were not based on sound science and in fact, were causing more harm than good. It seemed that this bureaucratic trio did not even consider the potential collateral damage being inflicted on the entire country. The devastating impacts on civil liberties, the economy, mental health, and the educational system were ignored.

A likely explanation for these irrational policies is that they were following the money rather than the science due to massive conflicts of interest that exist between the agencies and the pharmaceutical industry. The FDA is a captured agency that gets 45% of its $5.7 billion annual budget from industry user fees, and the CDC profits from every vaccine it approves. Fauci and his NIAID own half the patent for the Moderna vaccine, and the extensive corruption at the NIH is documented in “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health” by RFK, Jr.

COVID, vaccination, Pfizer vaccination

These same bureaucrats colluded to suppress all early COVID treatments to guarantee a vaccine EUA despite scientific studies showing impressive success with the off-label use of repurposed FDA-approved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. President Trump’s attempt to make such game-changing treatments available to all outpatients was undermined resulting in thousands of preventable deaths as documented in “The Courage to Face COVID-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex” by John Leake and Peter McCullough, MD, MPH.

The promotion of vaccines above all else has proven to be a misguided choice that the nation is beginning to regret. False promises of safety and effectiveness have been replaced by back-pedaling from the CDC saying the vaccines do not prevent infection or stop the spread of the virus. Adding insult to injury, a massive list of adverse vaccine reactions has been compiled on the CDC’s VAERS database currently totaling over 178,000 hospitalizations and 31,000 deaths, as documented in RFK, Jr.’s “A Letter to Liberals: Censorship and COVID: An Attack on Science and American Ideals.”

It is important to note that the drug companies have been indemnified against any liability for these dubious products while pushing the agencies to mandate their use even in healthy children who have virtually zero chance of dying from COVID. The only state that has taken a bold stand against this policy is Florida via Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Surgeon General Joe Ladapo, MD, PhD, whose book “Transcend Fear: A Blueprint for Mindful Leadership in Public Health” features the many op-eds he wrote in the Wall Street Journal against lockdowns and promoting civil liberties.

The US COVID policies have been followed in lockstep by most countries around the world where many of the leaders are graduates of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders program, such as Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand which has had the most draconian policies on the planet. However, there is growing pushback against this totalitarian trend led by the recent election victory in Italy by Giorgia Meloni who ran on an anti-mandate platform. Perhaps the stage is set for a similar turn of events during the November midterm elections in this country away from fear and toward freedom. 

Larry Burk, MD, CEHP, is a retired associate professor of radiology. He is a certified energy health practitioner and online health/life coach. His books, TEDx talks, blogs and articles can be found at 

His political blogs can be found at Let Magic Happen Newsletter.