Restoring trust in public health

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

― George MacDonald (Scottish Poet, 1824-1905)


Trust is the backbone of society.


Without trust, society quickly breaks down.


Can you imagine walking into a store and not being able to trust the merchant?


That’s how it was in the former Soviet Union, grocery stores would have two scales so customers could ensure they weren’t being skimped. 


Thankfully, in the United States, we have a culture of trust and cooperation.


Trust creates economic prosperity. How could e-commerce have ever started if there wasn’t a substantial base level of trust established when shopping on Ebay or Amazon?


In recent weeks, the public trust in authorities has plummeted.


Part of the distrust comes from a hysterical media that’s intent on drumming up emotions rather than clear, critical thinking.


But also, the actions (or lack thereof) on the part of health authorities has also damaged their own credibility..


I’m hopeful to offer some constructive suggestions on how we can move forward rebuilding social trust.

Restoring Faith in Public Health Authorities


“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher, 1844-1900


January 14th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) now famously declared via Twitter:

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in#Wuhan, #China


Theories surrounding this virus have obviously been updated since January.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Allowing people to change their minds as new evidence emerges makes sense.


But when you’re a global health authority offering the world guidance, forgiveness can be harder to come by.


Indeed, this tweet, along with many other statements, is the basis for President Trump cutting-off funding for the WHO. This leaves Bill Gates as the largest source of financial support for the organization.


Narrative of the virus aside, there are many other omissions, and failures to inform, that call into question the reliability of health agencies.


Failure to offer any personal health strategy


The number one criticism I’ve heard of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is the failure to offer any guidance or suggestions on how individuals can bolster their personal health and immune systems.


It’s very strange when you think about it…


There are lots of tools and nutritional guidance available, backed by solid clinical evidence, to promote health.


Vitamin C


Vitamin D (+ sunshine)


Vitamin A






There is an overwhelming amount of information available that validates the medial efficacy of these approaches. Yet for some reason, press conferences go by day after day and public health officials never once mention it.


All of these supplements are very affordable, at least relative to conventional medicine and the cost of getting sick.


Why won’t a single American health agency mention this… at all?


The corporate controlled media is equally silent.


Medicine is a complex field with multiple considerations and contending possibilities...

Yet somehow it's been boiled down to a one size fits all approach for everyone.

Even promising reports and remedies, like the early administration of Hydroxychloroquine + Azythromycin + zinc, were viciously smeared by coordinated media efforts.

Politicizing potential treatments for viral disease is the peak of stupidity. 

There will always be many different avenues in medicine, and it's important for each person to tailor a health approach that works for them.

Failure to recognize this leads to theories that public health agencies and media won't substantiate any health protocol that rivals the patents and profits of pharmaceutical companies.


(visiting with former president of the Iowa Medical Society Dr. Marygrace Olson, OB/GYN at UIHCC, March 4th, 2020)


Restoring our National Health


We know that co-morbidities are driving virus fatalities. Obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all put a person at much higher risk for serious complications from the virus.


Back in March I innocently asked a doctor acquaintance of mine, "why can't public health social distancing requirements just apply to those with complicating conditions..."


"Well for one thing, you're talking about forty percent of the population!"


It’s imperative that we grapple with the fact that we are not the healthiest nation...


Would it then make sense for public health agencies to offer guidance and leadership in alleviating these glaring conditions?


Or some sort of serious effort to examine and identify systemic causes for our declining health?


At the very least, encouragement that it’s possible to live a healthier life?


I mean, if the public health agencies truly cared for the health of the people... this would be obvious.


It makes tremendous sense when looking at the future of healthcare costs.

The utilitarian benefits of having a healthy population are tremendous to the government and society.

Yet there is little urgency to reverse our declining health trends.


Health agencies are clearly willing to turn the world upside down, ‘even if it saves one life,’ as NY Governor Cuomo proudly declared.


The Babylon Bee satirically lampooned that the government would be shutting down fast food restaurants to prevent heart disease.


But all things considered, it would be fascinating to measure the health impact of such a strategy versus the policy of arresting people in their homes.


One silver lining of the COVID crisis could be a sober conversation on this difficult but important topic, helping Americans get back on a trajectory of health and well being.


It’s tough to take public health bureaucrats seriously when they fail to lead this dialogue.


Is it smart to blindly trust public health agencies when we’re witnessing our nation’s health deteriorate before our eyes?


Just to be clear, I don’t claim to have any easy solutions to our national health criss. 


Best idea I have is to pray about it, which I’m frequently reminded is not considered to be an acceptable political solution.


Second best idea was to include yoga and massage therapy with Medicaid.


I have no scientific evidence for that proposal other than a hunch that a little relaxation and flexibility can go a long way towards a healthy life.



Sincerely Yours in Freedom,


Jeff Shipley

Make Iowa God's Country Again! #MIAGCA


P.S. I am excited to lead on these issues, but I know being outspoken puts a target on my back. If you want to these values championed in the public arena, then please consider a generous donation to the Peace and Prosperity Committee, to help us hold our seat in the Iowa House. 

Peace & Prosperity Committee


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