Dr. Bostom’s Oversight Event Highlights Absurdities of RI’s Covid Pandemic Response
By Mike Stenhouse
Thursday evening, in what should have been testimony in front of a legitimate Rhode Island House and Senate Oversight Committee hearing, speaker after speaker pointed out the abject absurdities of the Covid-19 response by state of Rhode Island and its hapless Department of Health.
The event at Cranston Public Library, organized by epidemiologist, Dr. Andrew Bostom, provided an ample evidence based re-examination of the state’s polices, along with stunning and cutting personal anecdotes.
By the end of the evening it became crystal clear that virtually every executive order, mandate, guideline, and policy recommendation by state officials has since been proven to be 100% in error or without any historical, research data, or scientific basis.
If there was even one iota of nonpartisan concern by General Assembly leaders to not repeat the same mistakes in the future, everyone of these speakers would be invited as witnesses in an honest and serious oversight committee hearing.
But Rhode Island suffers from a one-party ruling class that will never have the courage to discuss the truth if it might mean exposing some of their own.
In what proved to be a prescient moment, one speaker displayed a quote from a department of health official who admitted that most of the state’s polices were not based on science, but were indeed an “experiment”.
A “human” experiment, as it turned out, that harmed hundreds of thousands of students, workers, families, and other Ocean Staters … whether it be suffering from dying alone; from the depressing isolation of quarantines; from the unhealthy wearing of masks and educational failures of distance learning for our children; to medical professionals, first-responders, and teachers losing their livelihoods; to small business owners who lost most or all of their revenues; to parents whose rights were arbitrarily infringed upon; to lawyers and plaintiffs whose Constitutional arguments fell on the deaf ears of compromised judges; to the mainstream media who not only exhibited zero intellectual curiosity and independent journalistic research, but a media who were nothing more than cheer-leaders for each new tyrannical dictate that was issued, breathlessly begging for the next one.
And most state lawmakers did not care! They had the legal right to intercede, but they sat on their hands while the human suffering and the unconstitutional loss of freedoms amassed … and they just let it all be.
Dr. Andrew Bostom first laid out the mountains of actual data that flied in the face of virtually every decision made during the pandemic by Governors Raimondo and McKee, and as recommended by DOH directors Alexander-Scott and MacDonals; data that was largely available at the time, if the RI DOH or anyone else in the media other than my In The Dugout show bothered to look.
Next, there was a sobering discussion by Colleen Kelly, MD, who discussed the sad stories that she personally witnessed of so many senior citizens who were left alone and forced to die alone, without the comfort of anyone from their families, while others were forced into isolation in the same room for over a year.
Lead plaintiff in the school mask mandate lawsuit against Governor McKee, Rich Southwell, highlighted how ill-informed health officials, feckless school committee members, and teacher union bosses pro-actively twisted former Lieutenant Governor McKees’ arm into re-imposing mask mandates and remote learning policies in K-12 schools, and in doing so infringing on parental rights, over-stepping the concept of local control, and destroying student learning.
Brittany DiOrio, a former Barrington special-ed teacher, next recounted how she was not allowed a religious exemption to her school district’s bogus vaccine mandate and was summarily fired; her teacher union’s legal team refusing to represent her. The great irony and absurdity, of course, is that the vaccine regimen she was required to take … is now illegal, after the FDA rescinded its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Then, a little levity was provided by entrepreneur, cafe shop owner, and former Cranston HS East classmate of mine, Malcom Najarian. Najarian recounted how he openly defied the mandates, never closed his shop (despite suffering over a 50% loss of revenues), and had the Cranston Police call upon his business after he placed signs on his cafe door that cynically questioned the lockdown policies of the state. He encouraged Rhode Islanders to never again accept such abject and misguided tyranny from the state and to organize to fight back.
The most stunning absurdities were to follow, first, when Dr. Stephen Skoly discussed the arbitrary and illegal shuttering of his surgical practice. While well over 1000 other workers defied the state’s unsupported healthcare worker mandate, he was the ONLY person to be singled out and persecuted by the state by losing their job, and admitting that RI DOH punished him for exercising his 1st Amendment rights to publicly discuss why (for medical and natural immunity reasons) he declined to follow the ineffective and harmful vaccine mandate.
When after six months of not working, and after the compliance order that shut him down was legally removed, allowing him to see patients again … the State continued to harass him. To spite him, RI DOH kept the expired compliance order for Dr. Skoly’s posted on its website, which caused insurance carriers to not approve payment for services he rendered to patients, mistakenly determining that his license was suspended because of the RI DOH website posting.
Even more absurd, was when RI DOH officials invaded his office to conduct a “Covid checkup” of his business for compliance with state mandated procedures – a test his surgery practice almost failed. Here’s why.
First, he was cited for not complying with masking, because a patient who needed a tooth removed did not wear a mask throughout the procedure. Skoly quipped back that he could have “gone in through the brain” while the patient kept his mask on, but didn’t think that would be medically sound.
Next, Skoly’s practice was cited for him and his nurses not keeping to the requisite 6-foot distancing rule. “Doc Skoly” again quipped that he would need some pretty long arms and instruments for him to conduct, and his nurses to assist, in delicate oral surgery.
Finally, Skoly was cited for not keeping a weekly cleaning log. In fact, with a modern office and surgery rooms, and with a stellar record of keeping the safety of his patients as his number one priority. Every room was cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day, after each patient’s surgery was completed.
The next speaker was attorney Gregory Piccirilli, who is currently representing at least four sets of clients in constitutional rights cases against the Covid tyranny imposed by Governors Raimondo and McKee, as well as by RI DOH Directors Alexander-Scott and MacDonald.
Piccirilli discussed, how he was so alarmed during multiple hearings of his four cases, about the lack of apparent constitutional concern by the various judges … dismissing the law and, instead, practicing obeisance to the political Covid narrative.
The common themes among all the cases was the State’s complete lack of medical research, histoical best practices, or scientific data to support any of their (now proven to be wrong-headed) major pandemic policies. Former director James MacDonald even lied on the witness stand about three children dying “from” Covid, but fell short of perjuring himself, when upon cross-examination he retracted his false statement.
MacDonald also defiantly stated that if a person was shot in the head and killed, but happened to also test positive for Covid, that it would be listed as a Covid death. It doesn’t get much more ridiculous than this. Or does it?
Perhaps, most disturbing from Piccirilli’s presentation, was how the judges in most of the cases were completely incapable, or at least unwilling, to consider any medical argument that was presented and supported with data and research, which might have countered one of the state’s bogus political narratives … in large part due because they, as Judicial branch leaders, chose to hide behind the “emergency” declarations of the Executive branch, and cede all decision making to that branch.
In one recent case, a state Supreme Court Judge was still under the notion that the Covid vaccines prevented transmission and that children should be vaccinated in order to avoid spreading the virus to teachers and adults.
In the same case, a “friend of the court” amicus brief, submitted by a prominent Notre Dame law professor, and co-signed by over 70 prominent medical professionals from Rhode Island and across America, was summarily REJECTED by the Court. They obviously did want to hear any legal or medical argument, no matter how expertly developed and professionally cited, that might go against the State’s unsupported and false narrative.
Next up was representative Mike Chippendale (R; Foster, Glocester, Coventry), who decried General Assembly leadership for sitting on its heals and, like the judiciary, was content to cede all authority to the executive branch and its emergency declarations.
Chippendale mused how so many of their colleagues “dislocated their shoulders by patting themselves on the back” when they passed 2021 legislation that effectively ended the Governor’s state of emergency. Their faux and premature celebrations were quickly dashed when Governor McKee almost immediately double-cross them by simply (and illegally) declaring a “new” state of emergency; and as Chippendale stated, “we were right back where we started from.”
Finally, Mike Stenhouse (from The Ocean State Current) and Pat Ford (from Coalition Radio Network) went to bat with virtually no time left on the clock before the left-leaning staff at the William Hall Library literally started turning the lights on and off to force us evil conservatives out of their hallowed halls, never welcome to come back (as they told us). Stenhouse recounted how Senator Stephen Archambeault, at a Senate hearing, said he “loved it” when the Constitution was bypassed in the name of public health – unbelievable. Stenhouse, wearing his Harvard cap with the schools’ motto VERI TAS, was relevant because the media is supposed to be the “guardians of truth” and that no one bit of truth put forth at the evening’s event was ever reported by the mainstream media.
Pat Ford, with barely any time left, concluded the evening by playing an audio recording from a press briefing where ex RI DOH director, Nicole Alexander Scott, after being presented with a long litany of research that proved that universal masking policies are not effective, then asked why the mask mandates in Rhode Island persisted … in a perfect example of the absurdity of the state’s overall pandemic response … simple said, “masking works,” then she and her staff refused to take a follow-up question and quickly shut down the press conference.
It was an evening that put forth the truth and cast shame on the official response to Covid-19 by the State of Rhode Island, the political supremacists in the executive branch its ruling class, and the feckless inaction by General Assembly leadership.
Dr. Andrew Bostom is to be congratulated for putting this event together and for shedding light on the vital topics discuss.
The event also highlighted the need for official oversight committee hearings that would put the truth of Covid-19 on the public record.