No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.Jacob Bronowski
A free society is one in which individuals are free to discover for themselves the available range of alternatives.Israel Kirzner
One of the most prominent features of an unhampered market and arguably foremost aspect of human well-being is the role of variation.
The variation of products and services is a byproduct of human insight that is allowed to be developed into enterprise. So long as the public at large is comprised of individuals differing in culture, experience, perspective, etc., there will be differing consumption preferences based on these factors. Variation is necessary to satisfy these diverse consumer preferences.
Beyond consumer satisfaction, variation is critical for gaining a holistic understanding of subject matter. Drawing from a variety of sources and disciplines provides addition context and assists in clarification. For instance, if one researches the history of the wheel in the Western Hemisphere, they may discover groups (such as the Mayans) who crafted wheels for children’s toys but not for transport. Anthropological knowledge may give insight into the cultural significance of the wheels and toys, but economic reasoning is needed to understand why the wheels were used for toys instead of transport. Thomas Sowell covers this very topic in Wealth, Poverty, and Politics:
The issue is not the intellectual capacity to invent the wheel but the economic value of wheels in the absence of animals to pull vehicles, during the millennia before motorized transport.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos used a vast assort of literature to hone his leadership skills. Among his collection are autobiographies, novels, and analyses on business and technology.
Considering how practical a diverse application of methods and information can be, one would be inclined to believe the best possible way for the United States to overcome covid-19 would be to utilize its vast pool of knowledge and wide range of medical techniques. Alas, the government does not think so.
On the 23rd of April, the FBI raided Michigan’s Allure Medical Spa for allegedly “fraudulent” treatment of covid-19. The non-approved treatment in question is purported to be the use of intravenous Vitamin C injections. The rationale behind the treatments was to boost the immunity of front line workers who were either exposed to covid-19 or showed the virus’ symptoms.
While the exact reason for the FBI raid hasn’t been explicitly disclosed, this situation raises concern about if there should be an entity restricting treatment at all.
Considering the short amount of time the virus has been studied, the absence of a cure, and the devastating effects covid-19 protocol is having on the world, employing the far-reaching span of available resources would have tremendous benefits.
Allowing a diversity of treatments would provide medical practitioners with greater insight in terms of what works in successful covid-19 treatment. This in turn would provide a much broader body of data that could yield information pertaining to a cure.
The greater amount of covid-19 remedies would also mean more options for those seeking treatment. Considering the amount of people who are currently unemployed or who’ve had their income reduced, allowing medical practitioners a freehand could mean opportunities to develop economically feasible solutions for the financially unfortunate.
More treatment options may also mean less risky alternatives to more mainstream measures. Unwanted and potentially devastating side-effects are relevant possibilities with newly developed medicine, especially if the process is rushed. A notorious example is the vaccine developed for the 1976 swine flu, which increased the chances of contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Giving medical practitioners more discretion over treatment would make them more able to serve patients who are weary of newly developed medicine. This would result in more people receiving treatment since skepticism of newly developed medicine causes some to forgo medical attention entirely.
Unfortunately, the crackdown on Allure Medical sends a message that whoever does not fall in lock step with what the government deems appropriate will be punished. The forced conformity brought on by the government not only holds back medical discovery, it robs the public of medical options available to them. If covid-19 progress is truly desired, then it is nonsensical to condemn those who are striving to make breakthroughs with the virus.