The roads less traveled are questions never asked

Craig Hall

And with each passing day related to COVID-19, I have more and more questions. Perhaps it’s time to start asking them directly in some way, shape or form. After all, I’ve spent 20 years as the Michael Corleone of the media mob. You know, a member of the family, but a citizen. So conversations with me have always been off the record. 

This doesn’t mean I’m going to go out there looking for bad news, villains or the leftist made-up-of-whole-cloth conspiracy theories. Rather, I’d be looking for the truth whether it’s about COVID-19, Anthony Fauci, Donald Trump, Lauren Boebert, Tina Peters, Janet Rowland, Mesa County Public Health, Jared Polis, Joe Biden or any of the cast of characters or events acting or happening in our world. 

Experience tells me one thing: Most of them won’t like the questions. Here’s an example from a recent local story. 

I read a report in a local media source about the monoclonal antibody clinic opening in Fruita. Now, Craig Hall’s first take as a cub reporter is this is a great story. Let’s give the people a who, what, where, when, why and how of the facts from the press release. And on the basics, the news release did a decent job of explaining what monoclonal antibodies are, how they work, who the players involved are and who should be inquiring about them given their health or COVID-19 contact status — along with a quote from the Mesa County Public Health director. 

Frankly, the story read like a space filler to me. And in truth, it was basically a word-for-word regurgitation of the health department news release based on what the media source felt important — because there were a few important facts left out. Let me ask you if you know any of these additional facts I’ve not seen reported since this story hit a few days ago. 

Did you know monoclonal antibodies are meant to be taken within the first 10 days of having COVID-19 symptoms? I did, but I know that information from doing my own research from media sources outside our community. I also know there have been more than a few studies showing their effectiveness on recovery from COVID-19.

How about while the obese or overweight are indeed mentioned in the story, it does not include the health department’s statement including children aged 12 to 17 with a body mass index in the 85th percentile or higher for their age and gender based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines? I don’t know what those guidelines are or how to figure out what percentile a child that age might be in, but that might come in handy with at least a mention.

How about this one? The clinic is no cost and you can go with or without a physician’s referral. I don’t know about you, but that’s kind of a big piece of information which seems to be missing. I am completely baffled as to why this was left out of the story, and it raises serious questions above and beyond the ones I had. Are we trying to limit appointments or a run on the clinic? 

Finally, the story indicated the clinic can do about 50 treatments per day and possibly expand to 100 per day “depending on the availability of injections.” I don’t really need to give the follow up here, but I will. Why would a basic procedure for something readily available across the planet which requires no physician referral all of the sudden have a shortage? 

So permit me a few follow-up questions. Why does this medical procedure have clearance with no physician referral? Further, why do other medical therapeutics proven to work — like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin — which also have studies shown to be effective if taken at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms require a prescription? That is, if a patient can find a pharmacy willing to fill said prescription, especially considering these two proven, safe medications are actually sold over the counter in many countries? Given the success of monoclonal antibodies has been known for some time now, what took so long for Mesa County Public Health to get them available to county residents? Finally, if this treatment is at no cost, who’s paying the bill? 

Perhaps some of you think these questions harsh, sarcastic or a little over the top. That’s probably because they never get asked at any level to the folks and departments in charge of the news releases. To me, that’s exactly why they should be asked and why our health departments, local governments and health care providers should expect them. I’ve seen and read plenty from published,
well-respected, health experts answering them — even when using Google. 

The answers are out there. Answers to getting beyond COVID-19, specific health care concerns related to COVID-19 and why or why not your government and local leadership and media are giving you all the facts that are your right to know. The problem when it comes to COVID-19 is all too many, from the top down, think most of what they know you don’t need to know.

Worse, no one in the media seems to care more about getting you knowledge instead of getting their access to the power. 

Craig Hall is owner and publisher of the Business Times. Reach him at 424-5133 or publisher@thebusinesstimes.com.