Mike Weinberger: We Don't Need Medical Dictators


It is not unusual for people to consider what they do for a living to be very important.

For example, few people would argue with an electrical worker if he said: “Try living without electricity for even one day. It would be a nightmare. Electricity is essential to your well-being.”

Or if you were a farmer you could say: “Without me you would starve. I put food on your table.” Heck, even judges and lawyers could say: “You need me more than anyone else. Without me there wouldn’t be law. Instead there would be chaos and violence.”

So it’s only natural for people to think that their jobs are important. That does not mean, however, that we should give them total control over us if their industry is faced with a problem, even a big one.

Which brings us to the coronavirus. It created a big problem for the medical industry. Because the virus spread so quickly and was very dangerous to people with underlying medical issues, it created an over-demand for acute medical services.

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To ease that demand the medical industry said the spread of the virus had to be slowed — at all costs. So the industry convinced politicians to tell people to stop working, stay at home and avoid human contact. Instead, rely on the government for checks to pay rent, make car payments and buy food.

This worked, sort of. It slowed the virus down a bit because it can’t spread from Tom to Mary if Tom is three miles away from Mary. So this eased the burden on the medical profession, at least to some degree.

But what did it do to the rest of us? I doubt that the medical profession thought this through. They were focused on their problem, and rightly so. But I wonder if they considered how this would affect the economy — and how each part of the economy affects the other.

Did Dr. Fauci, for example, understand how wax paper plants are essential to dairymen, because dairymen need milk cartons made out of wax paper?

Do you think America's response to the coronavirus pandemic has been too focused on the opinions of medical experts?

Or did Dr. Birx understand how plastic factories are critical to meat processors, because meat is often shipped to stores wrapped in plastic? One may doubt it.

And I wonder if the medical profession understands the importance of “GTW” – going to work — for average people. Going to work is critical for mental health, and not just for doctors, but also for welders, roofers, editors and advertising executives.

So I understand that the medical profession is important, just like I understand that the electrical industry is important and the food industry is important, and all the other industries that provide people with work. But just because an industry is important does not mean its members should become dictators.

We don’t let electricians or plumbers or dentists have total control over us. Instead, we expect these people to deal with problems in their industries as best they can — and let us go on with out lives.

So here is my advice to the medical industry: If you are faced with a surge in demand, deal with it. Do what you have to, but don’t try to stop everyone from living, working, traveling and gathering. Triage if you have must, but allow life to go on.

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And one more thing: Don’t tell us we will all die if we don’t listen to you. We won’t. Yes, some people will get sick and some will pass, but what else is new? This happens every day. It has happened before and it will happen again. It’s part of human existence.

We understand that diseases claim victims, but that is no reason to destroy entire communities.

In short, we don’t need doctors to be dictators, even when they are faced with over-demand. Instead, we need to them to stay calm, be adults and do the best they can.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Mike Weinberger is a retired attorney and businessman who served as president of the Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society in New York City in the 1980s. He now lives in Louisiana, where he founded the Home Defense Foundation ( and co-founded the Committee for a Common Sense Judiciary (