What are the candidates saying about natural health?

| By Dr. Ronald Hoffman

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A stethoscope laying on top of a rumpled American flag over top of a graphic print paper of a cardiogram measuring heart beats

Electoral politics are a frustrating game, particularly when it comes to advancing our goals of freedom of choice in health care and prioritizing natural solutions to our enormous health care challenges.

With an ever-expanding roster of candidates for nomination, it’s clear that many don’t have a realistic chance. Nevertheless, a presidential run offers contestants an opportunity to stimulate a national dialogue about how we can rescue our costly and moribund disease-treatment system.

It’s almost as if those with the least likelihood of making it to the White House seem most unburdened from the need to sell their souls to Big Pharma, Big Agribusiness, Big Food, and Big Medicine.

Full disclosure: I don’t have a dog in the fight; I’ve neither contributed nor offered my meager support to any of this year’s field. But that doesn’t prevent me from kicking the tires.

Take, for example, Marianne Williamson. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable having her helming our foreign policy, our military preparedness, or the Federal fisc. But I sure resonate with her detailed health manifesto:

“Today’s healthcare system puts an unbalanced focus on treating the symptoms of illness at the expense of treating their cause. Until we ask why so many of us experience chronic illness to begin with – far more than citizens of comparably wealthy countries – then we will continue to experience unsatisfactory results in health care.”

“Healthy food, healthy water, and healthy air are regularly sacrificed at the altar of short-term profits for Big FoodBig Agricultural and Big Chemical companies . . . Nutrition plays a critical role in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases, diet being one of the most significant risk factors for disability and premature death. Leading causes of death in the United States include heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—all of which have a high correlation to poor diet and nutrition.”

Williamson proposes that we:

“Move beyond the current disease care system, and build a true healthcare system. Health and wellness will be proactively supported in a Williamson administration. We will promote healthy eating through nutrition education, encourage active lifestyles by building more parks with walking paths and physical recreation equipment, and provide greater access to bicycles. We will provide refundable tax credits for gym memberships, supporting people in putting healthy eating and regular exercise into their lives.”

Her platform advocates that we:

“Prevent and reverse many diseases through lifestyle changes: This has been demonstrated in medical research to be effective. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study showed that changes in nutrition and lifestyle factors could potentially prevent 93% of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes and 36% of all cancers.”

She sounds all the right notes, including that we emphasize regenerative agriculture, reduce our dependency on toxic herbicides like glyphosate, and that we “support effective leading-edge approaches like Integrative and Functional medicine—which take a whole body systems approach to cultivating health and healing disease.”

Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to hear something like this enunciated by one of the major candidates? Realistically, Williamson doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of winning the nomination. But what would be the harm in posting her as Health Czar of a new administration?

Then there’s Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whose books have detailed a sharp critique of the pharmaceutical industry’s lock on our health care system. For example, in response to a softball interview with a corporate vaccine advocate aired on CNN, he recently tweeted:

“The Media Is an Extension of the Pharmaceutical Industry . . . 75% of advertising revenues now on the mainstream media are now coming from pharma — and that ratio is even higher for the evening news . . . Anderson Cooper has a $12 million a year annual salary. Well, 10 million of that is coming from Pfizer. So his boss is not CNN; his boss is Pfizer.”

He calls for us to “Clean up the regulatory agencies, get corporate money out of public health, and guarantee free, open, uncensored public and scientific discourse.”

His recent salvo: “NIH has turned itself into an incubator for pharmaceutical products. It’s supposed to be asking questions like, ‘Where is the autism epidemic coming from? Where is the peanut allergy coming from? Where are all these autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, where are they coming from?’ Why is NIH not doing those studies? Well, we know it’s an environmental toxin in each case.”

RFK Jr. says, if elected, he will get pharmaceutical ads off TV. He proposes undertaking studies to see if psychiatric meds are implicated in school shootings.

Consider Ron DeSantis, candidate for the Republican nomination:

“DESTIN, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed four pieces of legislation that protect Floridians from medical mandates, empower doctors, and prohibit dangerous gain of function research. Through these comprehensive pieces of legislation, Governor DeSantis codified permanent COVID-19 protections in the state and positioned Florida as the national leader for medical freedom.”

The legislation protects health professionals’ freedom of speech and upholds the right of doctors to disagree with the preferred narratives of the medical community—with implied reference to controversies over the correct management of the pandemic.

His Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, has been an outspoken critic of lockdownsvaccine mandates, and universal masking requirements.

Ladapo has been subject to scathing critiques for recommending against boosters for healthy young people. He touts analyses that show the risks of adverse events—albeit rare—outweigh the scant benefits for this population. Ladapo has critiqued the “senseless fear-driven cult of vaccination”:

“Vaccines are up to the person. There is nothing special about them compared to any other preventative measure . . . The state should be promoting good health, and vaccination isn’t the only path to that. It’s been treated almost like a religion and it’s senseless . . . We support measures for good health — vaccinations, losing weight, exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, everything.”

Vaccine advocates are not happy.

Another potential contender who hasn’t yet waded in, California Governor Gavin Newsom, has, by contrast, signed a bill that would:

“ . . . allow the state medical board to discipline physicians and surgeons who spread coronavirus misinformation during direct patient care. This includes the possibility of suspending or revoking their California medical license. The bill, AB2098, states that any licensed physician or surgeon is committing ‘unprofessional conduct’ if they disseminate ‘misinformation or disinformation’ about the nature and risks of the virus, the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, and the development, safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Implementation of the bill has been tentatively blocked by a Federal judge in response to an application for an injunction pending a legal challenge by free speech advocacy groups.

With Americans’ health and well-being in stark decline, isn’t it high time we entertained a serious debate about the future direction of health care in our upcoming presidential campaign?


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