Former Vice President Joe Biden today announced that he is putting together what he is calling his “Public Health Advisory Committee” to give him and the rest of us advice on how to deal with Coronavirus and it includes Ezekiel Emanuel who while putting together Obamacare had advice for the public on how to handle a pandemic of just the kind we are now facing.
Ezekiel Emanuel is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, and is and was considered something of an expert on health care. He was called in as Obamacare was being designed and included in the plan a number of provisions that most critics believed would lead to rationing directed at limiting care to the elderly to save costs. Ezekiel himself wrote later that he wanted to die at seventy-five and believed that others should want the same by letting nature take its course once they reach that age.
In an October 2014 article for the Atlantic, he claimed that once one reaches seventy-five “renders us, if not disabled, then faltering and declining, a state that may not be worse than death, but is nonetheless deprived. It robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, and the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”
He suggested that if at some point we should face another more potent flu pandemic than the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 that claimed, according to the Centers for Disease Control, as many a half a million lives worldwide we should limit measures to protect the most vulnerable among us. This advice was directed not just at the government, but at those most likely to be threatened by something like the coronavirus … the elderly. He suggested quite emphatically that those over seventy-five should essentially forgo treatment because anyone who has reached that age should want … like himself … to die anyway as, in his opinion, life after seventy-five really isn’t worth living.
Consider these words from Ezekiel: “Flu shots are out. Certainly, if there were to be a flu pandemic, a younger person who has yet to live a complete life ought to get the vaccine or any viral drugs.”
He seemed to say that the elderly should welcome such a death because “unlike the decays associated with chronic conditions, death from these infections is quick and relatively painless.”
One doubts that if Mr. Biden himself is exposed to coronavirus he will follow his “Health Advisory Committee” member’s advice. After all, his former Senate colleagues when confronted with the Obamacare Ezekiel had constructed for Biden’s old boss decided that while his advice might be good enough for the rest of us they’d keep their health care.