Dr. Siegel: CDC’s e-cig hysteria contributed to COVID death toll

Amid all the COVID-19 news, the lockdowns, and the ongoing debates over school re-openings, many of us might find it difficult to fathom that this is not the first respiratory disease scare of the year.  In late February 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was first identifying a mysterious outbreak of lung injuries seeming plaguing predominantly youth vapers in Wisconsin.  As it began spreading across the nation in the following months, the disorder would quickly be given the name EVALI (e-cigarette, or vaping-associated lung illness) by the public health organization.

Almost immediately, CDC officials began sounding the proverbial alarm on mainstream and social media of a “vaping related” respiratory ailment specifically targeting teen vapers.  Throughout its excruciating, months-long investigation of the EVALI outbreak, the CDC was regularly publishing public statements in record speed warning of the potentially deadly consequences of “vaping.”  

Related Article:  Milwaukee law officials uncover second illegal THC-vape operation in Wisconsin

They consistently reported, and television “journalists” were all too happy to repeat, that the CDC could not yet identify what specifically it was about vaping that was allegedly killing teens.  Since they could not pinpoint the precise ingredient, then the CDC “recommended” that Americans should avoid ALL vapor products.  By the end of the year, EVALI would claim 68 lives and hospitalize another 2.800 vapers.

Vaping bans by state governors quickly ensued.  Lawsuits filled by vaping advocacy groups and vape shop owners alike soon followed.  And the courts and their judges would be forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars battling over the right to vape – all these alleged 68 lives.

CDC still fearmongering over vaping as COVID hits China

The following year on January 22, 2020, the very first case of coronavirus in the United States would be reported to the CDC.  The virus had already been making international headlines for several months since its first documented case appeared in China on November 17, 2019.  As the threat of COVID began rearing its ugly head, the CDC would be forced to close the case on EVALI. 

Finally, in early March 2020, a mere month after COVID hits the United States, the CDC would be forced to admit that the EVALI outbreak had nothing whatsoever to do with nicotine-based vapes.  In fact, the diabolical perpetrator, they said, was actually black market THC (cannabis) cartridges secretly laced with vitamin E acetate as a dilatative.   

Related Article:  With a whimper not a bang, CDC finally closes the case on ‘vaping related’ EVALI

Of course, the CDC’s half-hearted admission was not a surprise to the cannabis community, and it was rarely reported in the mainstream media – naturally.  Yet the California bureau chief of Leafly.com had already determined the true cause of EVALI as far back as August of last year.  Almost immediately, Mr. David Downs and his marijuana-friendly e-magazine began aggressively warning its readership of the dangers of contraband cannabidiol and cannabis-based cartridges laced with vitamin E acetate.

It wasn’t the CDC that ended EVALI.  According to The Times and Democrat, it was probably Mr. Downs. 

“David Downs — the California bureau chief of Leafly.com — was almost single-handedly responsible for getting wholesale THC vape cartridge manufacturers (both licit and illicit) to stop using vitamin E acetate oil as a thickening agent. This not only led to the “eradication” of EVALI, but it has proven that e-cigarettes were never involved since the outbreak has ended but e-cigarettes continue to be sold in high volume and without any changes in their ingredients or manufacturing process.”

So, COVID hits the United States in late January 2020, and the CDC closes the case on EVALi about a month later.

Did the CDC begin blasting the airwaves with public warnings of a deadly pandemic coming our way like it did for the “vaping related” EVALI?  Famous vaping hater and former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb had been notoriously making the rounds of political talk shows for almost a year spreading his anti-vaping EVALI nonsense, and only 68 people had died form that disorder.  So, did Gottlieb show the same alarm, hysteria, and panic over the forthcoming coronavirus?  Of course not. 

Related Article:  Conspiracy or coincidence? FDA chief Gottlieb joins Pfizer/Chantix team

Perhaps the more important question isn’t whether the CDC and its minions SHOULD have warned us, but rather would it have mattered even if they had?  After months of EVALI fearmongering, would the American People even believe the CDC now that a real public health threat was on our doorstep?  One that would directly affect every American citizen regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, location of residence?  It these sorts of questions that began infiltrating the mind of a world class tobacco control analyst from Boston University, Dr. Michael Siegel.    

As of this writing, the United States has identified nearly 5 million cases of COVID-19 nationwide and at least 160,000 million deaths  An even more disturbing statistic, the United States makes up a mere 4 percent of the world’s population but is responsible for over 22 percent of the world’s total cases.    Where was the CDC, and did the agency drop the ball?

EVALI, Big Tobacco, and COVID

One of the nasty side effects of the CDC’s zeal to push conspiracy theories about vaping and EVALI was that U.S. sales of vapor products began plummeting.  Consequently, this newfound and widespread fear of vaping coerced millions of vapers to return to smoking.  Big Tobacco sales skyrocketed as a result.

What does this have to do with the coronavirus?  Even the CDC as well as the U.D. Food and Drug Administration publicly acknowledge that there is strong evidence that smokers are more prone to contracting the potentially deadly virus.  Moreover, their related symptoms and severity of the disease can be exponentially more severe. 

Related Article:  Siegel blasts AAFP for failing to acknowledge cause of EVALI – THC with vitamin E acetate

According to Dr. Michael Siegel, the combination of the CDC’s failure to adequately warning he American people about the virus during the early days of the pandemic coupled with the CDC’s and the FDA’s steady push to send vapers back into the loving arms of Big Tobacco by peddling EVALI disinformation likely led to more coronavirus deaths in America

“It means that due to the zeal of CDC and other health agencies to condemn electronic cigarettes, cigarette smoking in the United States got a significant boost just before one of the most devastating respiratory disease outbreaks in our nation’s history. And there is strong evidence that smoking makes COVID-19 significantly worse.
"Thus, the e-cigarette scare significantly worsened the health consequences of COVID-19, potentially resulting in more deaths than would have occurred if the CDC and state health agencies had simply told us the truth.”

Related Article:  Public health expert alleges ‘CDC coverup’ of teen THC vaping data

(Image courtesy of Boston University)

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