“There’s going to be extensive COVID litigation for years to come.”
In this episode of Kash’s Corner, we discuss growing lawsuits and court battles over vaccine mandates and the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19.
Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania COVID-19 patient, Keith Smith, who fought for ivermectin treatment in court, died at the age of 52. The process of getting a court order, including waiting over the Thanksgiving holiday, delayed the opportunity for him to be given ivermectin by nine days, his wife said.
“That’s not to say ivermectin would have worked,” Kash Patel said, “but all they wanted … was the right to try.”
Kash Patel: Hey, everybody, and welcome to a special edition of Kash’s Corner. I’m coming at you from the United Kingdom on the other side of the pond, and my good friend, Jan Jekielek, is back stateside. How are you, Jan?
Jan Jekielek: Well, I’m great, and yes, no, it’s our first attempt at doing one of these remote. You’re doing something quite wonderful. You’re spending time with your giant family in the UK.
Mr. Patel: I am. I’m fortunate that I figured out this quagmire of travel restrictions. Well, I should correct myself. I don’t know if I figured it out versus got lucky and also that every government in the world doesn’t know exactly what to do when it comes to travel with Omicron, but we can get into that. But yes, it’s nice to see my family. One of my sisters got engaged, and so we’re having a great time over here.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, so let’s talk about that. So what are these, the restrictions, and the rules, and the travel? They all keep changing all the time. What was your experience?
Mr. Patel: It was not thrilling. Basically, you’re going to spend a fortune on COVID tests, and not just one, but at least three if you’re coming from… and I can only speak from coming from the U.S. to England. Within the United Kingdom, which has numerous countries itself, there are different levels of testing and restrictions. Scotland is different versus Wales versus England and whatnot. So you have to take tests before you land within… before you take off from the States within a certain time period. You have to take a test when you arrive within a certain time period. Then, you have to take a test multiple days after that, depending on the length of your stay.
Then, when you’re trying to get back to the U.S., you have to take another test before you take off within a certain time period. Of course, all these tests can’t just be taken anywhere. They have to be at certain designated sites, and then if you’re lucky enough to set all that up and make it to the test, you have to upload this information on a very specific system before they let you board the plane. So it is quite a pricey and time-intensive ordeal.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, okay, so just tell me. How much did you spend on this, out of curiosity?
Mr. Patel: Just on the testing for round-trips is going to cost me $500 to $700.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s pretty incredible because that’s like it could be double the plane ticket for some people. One of the things that we’ve been covering a lot on American Thought Leaders with folks is just basically how this whole regulatory system disproportionately affects the working class and just normal people. It makes their lives more difficult. This is something where if it’s double the cost of your plane ticket. That’s a serious issue.
Mr. Patel: No, and it’s not just the monetary aspect of it, right Jan. You, and I, and generation Y, and X, and whatnot are a little more savvy when it comes to apps and the use of phones, iPhones, and smartphones to facilitate travel. But for my parents’ generation, it was a three-hour uploading process nightmare because they’re just not familiar with that sort of stuff. I can’t imagine they’re the only ones who are trying to travel overseas to see their families.
So if you have the monetary means to do it, there’s a whole technical side issue that makes it… It’s probably even harder to just try to come over here, and most people maybe just give up, even if they have the money to take the test and prepare. As you pointed out just a while ago, it all keeps changing. So the UK is set to unroll out a whole new set of requirements tomorrow, and I’m supposed to fly out tomorrow. So I may get stuck on this island. I don’t know.
Mr. Jekielek: This is a really interesting point. A lot of people are talking about Omicron right now, obviously, and frankly, there’s a lot. Now, everything that I’ve read thus far, all the scientific papers I’ve looked at are basically saying that this is a much weaker variant, okay? Basically, in terms of symptoms and so forth, this is what we would expect over time. It’s not even clear if it’s going to replace the Delta or not. These are all questions.
But the big thing that I read in a paper by Andrew Redd et al. recently is basically, that the T-cell immunity, i.e. the immunity that you get, the natural immunity you get from having had COVID in the past is actually very robust against Omicron. So that is fantastic news and something that I’m frankly not seeing put out in too many media.
Mr. Patel: So I have a comment on that and an opinion. First, I’ll take it in reverse. First of all, I may be biased, but I think Epoch Times has been doing the best COVID reporting since the COVID outbreak. They’re actually reaching out to people who know the signs, who know the data, who aren’t willing to just make it up to get a headline. So when you cite a report like that and your deep knowledge in it, it actually… I want to tell our audience. I think it’s coming from a place of pretty intense research, and let me just juxtaposition that with how it’s being handled over here in England, right?
You would think Omicron is the second coming of the devil. People over here are terrified, terrified of Omicron more so than they were of COVID when it originally broke. That’s just an anecdotal example of me hanging out with my extended family, which is quite large, but that’s what the papers read like here.
The everyday newspapers read like here when they’re not talking about the F1 race, which just happened, but they are terrified of Omicron, and it’s causing a tectonic shift. I keep asking what you just pointed out. What’s the evidence to show the justification? How do we know Omicron, as you said, isn’t not as bad for you as the original form of COVID, or the Delta variant, or whatever next form of COVID is coming?
Mr. Jekielek: There’s data from a number of countries, including South Africa, that show… I think in some cases, I saw like zero deaths, mild symptoms. There’s no evidence out there that would suggest that it’s worse, and there’s plentiful evidence documented that it’s a lot milder.
Mr. Patel: Well, I hope our audience in England takes onto this because here’s an example of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is doing based on whatever data he’s being fed. He has now unrolled a plan to vaccinate one million people a day in England. Just to put that in perspective, England has a population of about 70-plus million people. America has 375 million. Now, the papers have already come out and said, “Well, that’s a good in idea in theory to respond to ‘Omicron.'”
They don’t have the capability, the logistical capability to even meet that measure, but it’s causing the public to stir because they’re saying… They’re reading, “Our prime minister is saying it’s so bad that we have to vaccinate a million people a day for the next 30 days. Otherwise, the end of time might come.” But what’s that based on?
That’s what’s not in the newspapers here. If that’s happening in England, one of the greatest countries in the world, why wouldn’t it be happening in other Western civilization countries? What about third world countries who don’t have the hard science and data that some of us have the luxury of reading?
Mr. Jekielek: This is very fascinating and disturbing, and I certainly hope that, basically, this work that’s being done is shared with the Prime Minister because I think if anything, again, from everything that I’ve read, which is a bit, the indication is that we should be very happy that this new variant is, as one might expect, much less of a problem for people than Delta.
Mr. Patel: I just want to comment on one more aspect of it that took the headlines here and across Western Europe was that they just reported their first Omicron-related death late last night or early this morning. So that’s been everywhere on the news, and that’s tragic. Of course, it is, but it was inevitable that a COVID related death was going to continue even if there was a variation in the virus, and I think it’s being overblown. The thing with these viruses is you have to wait and see what the actual results are of the vaccine, and its efficacy, and also the morbidity rate. So it’s unfortunate that there’s a loss of life related to Omicron, but it’s just too early.
Mr. Jekielek: I’ll comment on this briefly, but there’s also this element of dying from COVID or dying with COVID. I.e.. Basically, there’s been, at least in the U.S. for a long time, there was a policy of ascribing any death where someone actually was positive for COVID as being due to COVID. An extreme example would be someone is in a car accident, they happen to have COVID, and it’s marked as a COVID death, right, because that’s how the policy worked.
So these things haven’t been disentangled in many cases, and there’s a lot more, let’s call it, deaths with COVID than we’re aware of in systems, basically, in countries where the reporting or the policy around reporting worked that way. So, I don’t know. Was that a with-COVID death? Was that with-Omicron death or from COVID Omicron death? I don’t know because we don’t know what the policy behind the reporting was. All these things, you really need to be disclosed when you’re writing about these things. Otherwise, as you have said, you can spread fear and panic inadvertently, maybe even not intentionally when it’s absolutely not warranted.
Mr. Patel: No, and I know we’re going to talk about it, but the indoor mask mandates that are sweeping through the United States, right? Going back to your point real quick on what do we know, maybe it’s an innocent mistake on did you die with COVID or because of COVID. Hopefully, they don’t have any more Andrew Cuomos running around bearing statistics for political purposes, but that chance always exists. So, you’re right. We should be provided with that information both at home in the U.S. and in countries like England. So hopefully some of that info starts coming out.
Mr. Jekielek: So, Kash, something I really wanted to talk to you about is… There’s all these people that are actually being fired for, basically, not complying to various vaccine mandates. I’m not talking about mask mandates here, but vaccine mandates, including some pretty high-profile people. There was a Navy commander, Lucian Kin, who basically was fired for failing to abide by lawful order, and the lawful order was that he was supposed to be vaccinated. Now, how does this work? Are these reasonable expectations? What does the law have to say about this?
Mr. Patel: No, that’s a great point, and I’m glad you started with the Defense Department. I may be biased because having come out of there and being the former chief of staff, but I’m glad we start with the public sector because the law applies differently to the public sector versus private industry, I think. At least with the military has terminated over a hundred soldiers for refusing to take the vaccine mandate. Secretary Austin just announced that from the Department of Defense. So I think it’s problematic. We’ve talked about this before, but why is it problematic?
These individuals signed up to serve the country, our country, and now they’re being told because they won’t take a vaccination that is relatively new and hasn’t been tested that they can’t continue to serve. There has to be a showing by the government, and it hasn’t taken place because if we could just talk about procedurally real quick, right?
Everyone knew that the Biden administration was going to take this step. The step was taken, and then it had to take effect. Meaning, people had to actually be terminated in order for those individuals who were harmed to take their cases to court. It would’ve been premature to do so if they had not yet been terminated under the regulation, which has now just happened.
So I think a lot of these cases are now finally going to get to court because these people will have what’s called standing–a right to bring a cause of action. It would have been premature to do so earlier. So, while I think it’s some legal guesswork that’s going to be involved, generally, what has to happen is the courts have to adjudicate, does the government have sufficient authority in a time of “an emergency” as the Biden administration is couching this as under the law of… under OSHA and a couple of other laws that relate to this? Do they have the authority to do that? That’s a question for the courts, and it hasn’t been adjudicated yet, and I don’t think they do.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and I keep thinking about this, but if people were to explain, like if the people that are trying to impose these mandates try to explain their rationale behind why they would want to do so, right? Why would they want to enforce this? Why is it so critical, right, that people basically have to make decisions that they feel they’re unable to make presumably for the good of the military or the good of society? But I don’t feel that information is being shared. Some people argue that that information doesn’t… credible information doesn’t exist, and that’s the reason it’s not being shared. But I just would think that you could bring a lot more people on board if you actually provided your rationale.
Mr. Patel: Well, I think you’re right, and unfortunately, what’s happened is COVID has become the biggest political football of the last two-plus years now, right? What happens is when you muddy a subject such as a health scare… not even a scare, a plague with politics, then you forget the information or people intentionally don’t provide the information.
They want to leapfrog ahead of the information to fit a specific narrative defending it. And look, the media has reported on this from all sides of the spectrum in whatever position they want to take. But as you pointed out, none of them have the evidence. None of them have the information to support that.
So asking someone who signs up to serve and saying, “You’re going to get fired if you don’t take this vaccine,” but not providing them with the information for that firing is just why I think the courts are going to come down harshly against the Biden administration.
I firmly believe this is another politicization of the national security apparatus because it involves the Defense Department and they’re working off satisfying headlines with certain media outfits because they have sung that tune for two-plus years, and they can’t change that narrative now, and that hurts our defense department. That’s just one of the places that it’s going to hurt us tremendously.
Mr. Jekielek: Wait, let me see if I got this straight. Are you saying because they’re not providing detailed rationale as to why this policy is reasonable to the person that’s basically launching the suit, that actually provides a defense for that person?
Mr. Patel: Yes, exactly. You said it better than I did because what the courts are going to have, not getting into legal gymnastics of it, but there’s a bar of if the government wants to do X, it has to show Y. So what they’ll say, the plaintiffs, the DOD members will say, “Well, you, the government, told us we had to take this vaccine, and if we didn’t, we were going to get fired.” The court is going to say, “Why?” The plaintiff will then say, “Well, they, the government, didn’t even tell us, the Department of Defense soldiers, why they fired us. They just said, ‘You didn’t take the vaccine. You’re fired.'” That’s insufficient in court.
Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. Okay, and so what if a rationale was provided, but one can demonstrate the rationale is faulty?
Mr. Patel: That’s another avenue. Great point. So the standard is very high in court to show that there’s such an overbearing emergency to interfere with an individual’s right of health, that a plaintiff, in this case, again, the DOD soldiers, can go in and say, “Well, even though you provided X, Y, and Z, these reasons are poor, and they don’t serve the interest of the law or the public,” and a judge will adjudicate that matter.
It happens time and time again. If you take any sort of… Anytime a civil liberty or a right is abridged by the government, the judge applies three different standards, depending on the classification of that civil right or liberty, and they apply the legal standard to see if it’s been met. The only person that can adjudicate that is the judge.
Mr. Jekielek: Oh, fascinating. Well, so then what do you make of this? Right? Just yesterday, as we’re filming here, the U.S. Supreme Court basically declined to issue an injunction against New York’s COVID vaccine mandates for the healthcare workers. Basically, doesn’t let them seek religious exemptions for this, and this is the Supreme Court effectively making a statement here. Right?
Mr. Patel: Well, I think what the Supreme Court… If I’m hearing you correctly, you said the U.S. Supreme Court, and I think what happens in that instance is the Supreme Court is the last and final court. So they probably want the cases to be adjudicated by the lower level federal district court, or if it’s a state issue, if it’s a state court issue, it has to go through all the levels of state court. Then, it gets into federal court if there’s a federal constitutional issue. Then, it goes to the federal appeals court. Then, it goes to the Supreme Court.
So I think the Supreme Court was probably exercising some jurisprudence smartness there by saying, “We shouldn’t be the ones to jump in right away.” Also, this is going to be an issue that’s not just a New York issue, or California, or Texas, or Idaho issue, but all of these cases are now and have been starting to rise in these separate courts, and they have to come to a head somewhere. The Supreme Court can’t proactively decide the matter for them.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, okay. So let’s talk about something that is another one of these contentious, incredibly contentious issues. So we have a Pennsylvania COVID patient who basically has died in the process of trying to get Ivermectin, which was prescribed to him by a telehealth doctor administered while he was in hospital. The hospital said, “These are not our…” I mean, this is rough, right?
This is me giving the general picture, but the hospital basically said, “Well, this isn’t according to our protocols, so we’re not going to do it.” Subsequently, I believe a judge basically said, “No, this was prescribed by a doctor. It does need to be adjudicated.” But in the process, because this whole thing took nine days, it ended up… the patient ended up dying. So what do you make of this case?
Mr. Patel: It’s a terrible tragedy and that we have to talk about it as a tragedy and not as a win in the medical world. It only doubles that tragedy. Yes. This individual, I believe, is 50-some years old, married, and had kids. I think President Trump’s decision with the whole right to choose is sort of congress a little bit with what’s going on here. He would allow patients the right to choose different sorts of treatments in hospitals near the end of life to extend their life.
Well, this individual, even though he’s only 52, was experiencing a near-end-of-life experience, and I think what he was seeking was something that would’ve been extended to him under the Trump administration. But the Biden administration has changed the policy there. Tragically, it cost him his life.
That’s not to say Ivermectin would have worked. Even the family admitted they didn’t know if it would’ve worked, but all they wanted to do was the right to try. I can’t imagine he’s the only individual sitting in a hospital bed in the United States of America with COVID who’s asking the hospital to prescribe treatments that need them to help improve their status of life.
Look, we went through this with all the monoclonal antibodies, right? When those were first issued, half the country said, “That’s crazy science. That stuff doesn’t work.” If you fast forward now, 6, 8, 10 months down the road, there’s a line for monoclonal antibodies for people who have come down with COVID because it works so much. Ivermectin could be another six to eight months down the road in terms of that efficacy. We just don’t know, and seizing that right from a person I think is extremely bad judgment by the hospitals.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, a doctor… There’s another case where there’s a Mississippi doctor that was fired for basically trying to treat COVID-19 patients with Ivermectin at all.
Mr. Patel: That’s the other side of it, right? Not only are you attacking or seizing the rights of a patient, but you’re seizing the rights of a doctor who is board-certified, went to medical school, and has been practicing for so long. He’s on the front line seeing what COVID does, and he’s offering an option. I’m sure the doctor is saying, “Even though this isn’t fully tested and studied, this is an option.”
If the patient and the doctor decide together, it’s not like it’s being forced by one side or the other. If they both agree that this might work or could work, they should have the choice as a hospital and a doctor to administer it and as a patient to receive it. I think this is also going to be something you probably see land in the courts. There’s going to be extensive COVID litigation for years to come.
Mr. Jekielek: So, Kash, this makes me really think of something I’ve been talking about for a while, and it’s how we perceive medical treatment and the doctor-patient relationship, how that worked traditionally and how that’s changed even to the point where I feel I’ve been conditioned somewhat to accept the new model.
Traditionally, there’s the doctors who take the Hippocratic Oath, and there’s this doctor-patient relationship. Doctors learn a body of knowledge, they have their sources, and then they try to treat you. They have the responsibility for it, and they try to treat you as best they possibly can to save your life, to make you have a healthy and happy life, and so forth.
But there’s a lot of diagnosis and also, basically, deciding treatments at a higher level, like maybe at the organization that the doctor belongs to saying, “Okay. Now, these treatments are okay. These treatments are not okay,” taking that out of the hands of the doctor. To some extent, I’ve realized as I keep hearing media talking about this whole realm of discussion, I’ve realized that I’m being programmed suddenly to believe that that’s a reasonable way for it to work. What are your thoughts?
Mr. Patel: So that’s a great point, and I analogize that situation with police officers in places like New York City, Chicago, and LA. They’ve been told from the top, people above them, layers above them that we’re not to prosecute these crimes. We’re not to do X, Y, or Z. You’ve seen it. We’ve talked about it on prior shows. The crime rate has spiked in those cities, and a lot of my friends are cops in those cities. I ask them, “Well, why aren’t you guys trying to counteract the rising crime?” A lot of them have come up to me and said, “We’re not allowed to. We’ve been told from the top we can’t do our jobs effectively.”
So shift back to your example here in COVID land for hospitals. If organizations above the doctor-patient level are deciding what a patient and doctor can and cannot agree to, I think it’s akin to the problem the police officers face on the front lines in the streets. They’re removing the option of the patient and the doctor to treat that situation based on the facts and circumstances of that specific situation. They’re taking it out, and I think they’re taking it out for political reasons largely and less information as we’ve talked about previously that are based in fact. So it’s scary, and I think it’s unfortunately going to get worse, unless we keep talking about it.
Mr. Jekielek: Because off-label treatment is something that’s somewhat normal if the doctor believes the drug to have efficacy for a condition.
Mr. Patel: I think you’re right, and it used to be something that, outside of COVID at least, people were allowed to discuss with their doctor and come to a decision on. It’s not like they were prescribing extremely nefarious or illegal substances, and so I firmly believe that people should have that right with their doctor to have that conversation based on their own health and medical history, and the United States government, or hospital board, or an organization should not be getting in the way like they are with this, and with mask mandates, and other things we’ve talked about.
Mr. Jekielek: So, Kash, there’s been so many court cases around Ivermectin, around mandates, and so forth. There’s also been challenges to these. So, for example, there’s a judge that’s halting the mandate for the New York Police Department here in the city and for city workers as well.
At the same time, there’s new mandates being introduced for private sector workers and for private school teachers, including private school teachers. That’s how that was drawn to my attention. There’s this whole rigmarole of back and forth, and I guess you’re saying that this will all make its way up into the Supreme Court ultimately?
Mr. Patel: As our audience knows, there’s the state court system, and then there’s the federal court system, right? A lot of these matters, i.e. the NYPD, the New York Police Department, usually is a state court matter. The problem is these areas start getting murky because what happens is when a case is adjudicated through the state court system, i.e. let’s take the New York Police Department case, it can later be transferred into federal court even after it goes through the New York State Supreme Court, or the top court in New York is actually called the Court of Appeals.
But what they can do, they, either party, can say there’s a federal issue. So that federal issue can trump any decision in federal court that was made after three levels of scrutiny in state court. That’s just one example of why this matter could take so long and has to go so far and wide.
Then, there’s the cases that are actual federal court cases. I.e. why is the federal government mandating United States DOD soldiers be vaccinated or they’re going to be terminated? That goes straight to federal court, but all these issues are similar. It’s the right to work versus the right to not be vaccinated is basically what’s being posited against each other, and so there’s going to be hundreds, if not thousands of cases in state and federal court. The only place that can adjudicate it for everybody is the one Supreme Court.
So, Jan, to give you another example of why these legal matters are so complex, and so varied, and so numbered is because each state has different laws within each state. So Florida is going to have a different set of laws that might apply to COVID and COVID restrictions than New York, than California, than Texas, than Idaho. Then, the federal courts have to decide whether those laws are constitutional under the United States constitution. So individuals can go through their varied state court systems and end up in federal court. I know, and I think you and I have talked about it, the rules between, i.e. Florida and New York, are very different vis-à-vis COVID.
Mr. Jekielek: Something that strikes me here is this reality that still a lot of people aren’t aware of that COVID infections basically come in waves, right? Not too long ago, in Florida, there was a wave of COVID infections. In the media, what you saw was a lot of, basically, yelling at the policies of Governor Ron DeSantis saying, “Look, look at the horrible policies. Look at what they’ve resulted. Look at the high infection rates and death rates compared to, say, New York or a place like this.”
Now, of course, things are flipped around, and New York has the high infection and death rates, and Florida is doing incredibly well. Just to be clear, Florida’s policies actually have been very good, especially since it has an older population, and it’s done a much better job at protecting that older population, which is the at-risk population for COVID. But this particular reality around the waves, as you can see, is being used differentially by the media for political purposes from the… at least in my eye.
Mr. Patel: I think you’re absolutely right, Jan, and this hits to the theme that we’ve been talking about. This is what happens when people in power don’t wait for the information, the evidence to come out based on varied treatments, options to treat, hospital decisions. Florida and New York have taken almost diametrically opposite positions on most major COVID-related issues concerning treatment, and housing, and vaccine status.
As you said, they flip-flop, but the policies haven’t flip- flopped, right? Florida has maintained, under Governor DeSantis, the policies always had regarding COVID, and New York has taken an almost opposite approach and maintained that policy. So unless you give it time and put out the information correctly, you can’t analyze that data, and the problem you highlighted is also the media.
The media will invariably… Most of the media will go after Governor Ron DeSantis because he is a Republican and they see him in a stylistically pro-Trump matter. New York, of course, you had Cuomo, and now you have Governor Hochul who is taking on a different approach, and certain sectors of the media want to see her succeed no matter what the information actually shows.
This is the politicization at the expense of the American people and the world because the world is looking at America on what actually works and what actually doesn’t work. That just extends to the limitation of options, be it in hospitals, or should we or shouldn’t we vaccinate our soldiers, and things like that.
Mr. Jekielek: So, Kash, one thing I wanted to get your thoughts on, and this is something that’s pretty wild in my mind. There’s parents that have been reporting that their kids have been vaccinated without their consent. In one case, a mother reporting that vaccinated in exchange for pizza, for getting a pizza slice, and the parent was just simply unaware of this and wasn’t asked to consent. There’s a whole bunch of concerns about this. I want to talk about the legal element here.
Mr. Patel: Well, wow! That is just atrocious that someone thinks that they can take a minor child and vaccinate them against the wishes of their parents or without a discussion with the parent. The legal ramifications… Here’s a crazy thing, Jan, right? The legal ramifications are murky because I don’t know of a state legislature that has passed a law that says we’re permitted to do that or that forbids parents from getting in the way. That would be how you enter into court for something like that. This is almost the cart before the horse here.
Now, what the parents can do in civil matters is take that legal issue and go to court. I imagine these parents will, and people are going to listen when it comes down to our youth, to our children, especially when they’re being “forced vaccinated” without their parental consent.
You remember everybody that goes to school who’s under 18, you sign all these parental consent forms for your kid to do this activity or that activity, or take this medicine, or go on this field trip. There’s a reason [for] all of those, and the reason is legal that all those consent forms and interactions between the school and the parents occur. It’s a legal reason, and it’s also a child safety reason. So this is up there as something that’s probably going to leapfrog many of the other legal issues because it involves minors.
Mr. Jekielek: Here’s the thing, okay? There’s universal understanding in the scientific community, okay, from everything that I’ve… I’ve seen review papers on this. I’ve seen actual papers on this that children are at extremely low risk from COVID. I mean, much greater risk, for example, of being in a car accident or something like that. It’s actually good to sometimes lay things out that way so people understand the relative risk because everything is… There’s always a cost benefit question here, right?
Mr. Patel: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: So children are at extremely low risk from COVID, one, and two, and this is something else that there’s broad agreement in the scientific community around that children don’t transmit COVID in a meaningful way. That’s opposite, and this is something I was… everyone is wondering about like, “Why does it work this way exactly?” There are some theories, but influenza, children transmit it like crazy.
But with COVID, they don’t. So here we are. We have this situation where there are pushes to vaccinate. Like right now in New York City, there’s a vaccine passport, if you will, for children five to 11 recently. Basically, if you want to go to a restaurant with your five to 11 year old, they need to be vaccinated. There is no scientific justification for this that I could remotely find. This isn’t just me talking. This is like every scientific paper out there that I’m aware of.
Mr. Patel: That’s scary, and let me, again, bring this back to England, which is where I’m at and where a lot of my family is. Here, in schools, with minors, almost the entire school is coming down with COVID at some point in time, but the bounce back rate is tremendous. When children get infected with COVID, be it Omicron or whatnot, they don’t come down with the symptoms that the adults are coming out. Now, look, I’m not saying that’s scientific fact across the board, but I’ve been here for a while and I have extended family here, and that’s what happens.
All my nieces and nephews who have gotten it have literally bounced back very quickly without experiencing the troubling symptoms. They keep the schools open, and that may be a reason why they keep the schools open because of what you’re talking about with its infection rate and how it impacts kids. But I’m not seeing that drastic healthcare for minors, especially in schools over here in England.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, it sounds like they’re being more reasonable with the scientific reality around COVID and minors. That’s very heartening to hear that. I guess you’ve already answered this question somewhat, but the legal challenge to a mandate like that, given the overwhelming understanding of the science around COVID and how it interacts with children, say, five to 11. How does that play out for a mandate of the sort I just described? Can they just say, “Hey, okay, just don’t take him to the restaurants then?”
Mr. Patel: I mean, that’s what they’ll start saying, and then they’ll start being injunctions by state court and federal district courts. As I said, the ultimate issue is just going to have to go to the Supreme Court because it is a federal issue. The governments are saying they have a right at the state and federal level to interfere and remove a certain liberty that you have, or a privilege or decision that you have.
So a federal judge is going to have to hear it and decide it, but one federal district court ruling is not binding anywhere, but that district federally. So it has to go to this Supreme Court to make a decision that’s actually binding, unless, of course, Congress and the President pass a law that says otherwise.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, thank God for the U.S. constitution. That’s all I keep thinking over the last… however many months and years, frankly. Listen, Kash, I think it’s time for our shout-out.
Mr. Patel: Yeah. So, since we’re in such a unique situation, Jan, I thought I would give our shout-out to the Epoch Global Team here in London and back in New York for bringing us our first ever Transatlantic International episode of Kash’s Corner. So the shout out has to go to them for all their great work today.
Mr. Jekielek: Love it.
Mr. Patel: Well, everybody, thanks so much for tuning into this special international edition of Kash’s Corner, and we’ll see everybody back next week.
Mr. Jekielek: See you then.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
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