What would you do if you discovered that the media and the government were lying to us all? And that hundreds, maybe thousands of people were dying because of it?
Army combat veteran and registered nurse Erin Olszewski’s most deeply held values were put to the test when she arrived as a travel nurse at Elmhurst Hospital in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. After serving in Iraq, she was back on the front lines—and this time, she found, the situation was even worse.
Rooms were filthy, nurses were lax with sanitation measures, and hospital-acquired cases of COVID-19 were spreading like wildfire.
Worse, people who had tested negative multiple times for COVID-19 were being labeled as COVID-confirmed and put on COVID-only floors. Put on ventilators and drugged up with sedatives, these patients quickly deteriorated—even though they did not have coronavirus when they checked in.
Doctors-in-training were refusing to perform CPR—and banning nurses from doing it—on dying patients whose families had not consented to “Do Not Resuscitate” orders.
Erin wasn’t about to stand by and let her patients keep dying on her watch, but she knew that if she told the truth, people wouldn’t believe her. It was just too shocking. Willing to go to battle for her patients, Erin made the decision to go deep undercover, recording conversations with other nurses, videos of malpractice, and more. She began to share what she found on social media. Unsurprisingly, she was fired for it.
Now, Erin is standing up to tell the whole horrifying story of what happened inside Elmhurst Hospital to demand justice for those who fell victim to the hospital’s greed. Not only must the staff be held accountable for their unethical actions; but also, this kind of corruption must be destroyed so that future Americans are not put at risks. The deaths have to end, and Erin won’t rest until the bad actors are exposed.
Undercover Epicenter Nurse: How Fraud, Negligence, and Greed Led to Unnecessary Deaths at Elmhurst Hospital is a shocking and infuriating inside exposé of the American healthcare system gone wrong. At the same time, it’s the story of a woman who traveled from the small-town streets of Wisconsin, to the battlefields of Iraq, to the mean streets of Queens, on a quest to help fight for her country. With this book, the real battle has begun.
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About the Author
J.B. Handley is the author of How to End the Autism Epidemic and is the co-founder and chairman of Generation Rescue. He is also the co-producer of the documentary film Autism Yesterday and the co-founder of the Age of Autism blog.
Read an Excerpt
Preface excerpt from Undercover Epicenter Nurse
[Ed. Note: The full Preface by J.B. Handley, expanding on all his points, is found in the book—complete with all source footnotes.]
For anyone willing to look, there are so many facts that tell the true story of COVID-19. Can you handle the truth? It goes a little something like this: Knowing what we know today about COVID-19’s Infection Fatality Rate, asymmetric impact by age and medical condition, non-transmissibility by asymptomatic people and in outdoor settings, near-zero fatality rate for children, and the basic understanding of viruses through Farr’s Law, locking down society was a boneheaded policy decision so devastating that historians may judge it as the all-time worst decision ever made.
Worse, as these clear facts have become available, many policymakers haven’t shifted their positions, despite the fact that every hour under any stage of lockdown has a domino effect of devastation to society. Meanwhile, the media—with a few notable exceptions—are oddly silent on all the good news. To put it simply, for the time being we’re screwed.
Luckily, an unexpected group of heroes across the political landscape—many of them doctors and scientists—has emerged to tell the truth, despite facing extreme criticism and censorship from an angry mob desperate to continue fighting an imaginary war. Erin Marie Olszewski is one of those heroes.
In this book, Erin lays out the straight facts. A brave nurse, veteran, and mother, she goes far beyond the cold data of any study to share the human tragedy that she witnessed inside of New York City’s COVID-19 epicenter, Elmhurst Hospital.
As you read her story, and consider what you know so far, who should you believe? You may be reading this in lockdown. You may be reading it on a beach if you’re lucky enough to be in a reopened state. With the media, government, and your Facebook feed filling your head with conflicting information, how can you cut through the noise to hear the truth of what real Americans like Erin are seeing on the front lines? Her words—and her evidence—speak for themselves. I invite you to read them and digest it all with an open mind.
Erin is a warrior for the truth, but she alone cannot tell this entire story. Her experience is an integral part of the true story of COVID-19. I will leave her to tell you about the negligence, greed, and mismanagement that she has experienced at Elmhurst Hospital. In the meantime, allow me to share several other undisputed facts—proven by scientific research studies and expert analysis—that constitute the setting for her powerful tale.
Fact #1: The Infection Fatality Rate for COVID-19 is somewhere between 0.07–0.20 percent, in line with seasonal flu.
The Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) math of ANY new virus ALWAYS declines over time as more data becomes available, as any virologist could tell you. In the early days of COVID-19—where we only had data from China—there was a fear that the IFR could be as high as 3.4 percent, which would indeed be cataclysmic.
On April 17, the first study was published by Stanford researchers that should have ended all lockdowns immediately, as the scientists reported that their research “implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases” and pegged the IFR as low as 0.12–0.2 percent. The researchers also speculated that the final IFR, as more data emerged, would likely “be lower.” For context, seasonal flu has an IFR of 0.1 percent. Smallpox? 30 percent. COVID-19, to reiterate? 0.12 to 0.2 percent.
Fact #2: The risk of dying from COVID-19 is much higher than the average IFR for older people and those with comorbidities, and much lower than the average IFR for younger healthy people, and nearing zero for children. (Source: CDC)
In January 2020, Los Angeles had an influenza outbreak that was killing children. The LA Times reported that “an unlikely strain of influenza has sickened and killed an unusually high number of young people in California this flu season.” COVID-19 is the opposite of that. Stanford’s Dr. Ioannidis said, “Compared to almost any other cause of disease that I can think of, it’s really sparing young people.”
Italy reported in May that 96 percent of Italians who died from COVID-19 had “other illnesses” and were, on average, eighty years old.
Fact #3: People infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic (which is most people) do NOT spread COVID-19.
On January 13, 2020, a twenty-two-year-old female with a history of congenital heart disease went to the emergency room of Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital complaining of a variety of symptoms common to people with her condition, including pulmonary hypertension and shortness of breath due to atrial septal defect (hole in the heart). Little did she know her case would set off a cascade of events resulting in a recently published paper that should have ended all lockdowns around the world simultaneously.
Three days into her hospital stay, her condition was improving. Routine tests were run, and to the clinician’s alarm and surprise, she tested positive for COVID-19. As the physicians noted, “the patient had no fever, sore throat, myalgia, or other symptoms associated with virus infection.” Said differently, she was completely asymptomatic for COVID-19.
Fact #4: Emerging science shows no spread of COVID-19 in the community.
We just learned that asymptomatic people infected with COVID-19 are very unlikely to be able to spread the infection to others. Emerging and published science shows transmission of COVID-19 in retail establishments is extremely unlikely, as well. Professor Hendrik Streeck from the University of Bonn is leading a study in Germany on the hard-hit region of Heinsberg, and his conclusions, from laboratory work already completed, is very clear: "There is no significant risk of catching the disease when you go shopping. Severe outbreaks of the infection were always a result of people being closer together over a longer period of time.”
Fact #5: Published science shows COVID-19 is NOT spread outdoors
No. Just no.
In a study titled “Indoor Transmission of SARS-CoV-2” and published on April 2, 2020, scientists studied outbreaks of three or more people in three hundred and twenty separate towns in China over a five-week period beginning in January 2020. The goal was to determine WHERE outbreaks started: in the home, workplace, outside, or wherever. What’d they discover? Almost eighty percent of outbreaks happened in the home environment. The rest happened in crowded buses and trains.
Fact #6: Science shows masks are ineffective to halt the spread of COVID-19, and the WHO recommends they should only be worn by healthy people if treating or living with someone with a COVID-19 infection.
In March, the World Health Organization announced that masks should only be worn by healthy people if they are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19. The guideline stated:
“If you do not have any respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or runny nose, you do not need to wear a mask. Masks should only be used by health care workers, caretakers, or by people who are sick with symptoms of fever and cough.”
Fact #7: There’s no science to support the magic of a six-foot barrier.
Iceland has already made the two-meter (six-foot) rule optional. The reason for the apparently random recommendation to keep six feet of distance from your fellow citizens during the pandemic dates back to 1930. Back then, scientists established that droplets of liquid released by coughs or sneezes will either evaporate quickly in the air or be dragged by gravity down to the ground. And the majority of those droplets, they reckoned, would land within one to two meters. That is why it is said the greatest risks come from having the virus coughed at you from close range or from touching a surface—and then your face—that someone coughed onto. How conclusive is that?
Fact #8: The idea of locking down an entire society had never been done and has no supportable science, only theoretical modeling.
In fact, the first time the idea was ever raised to lock down everyone was in 2006, in a paper titled “Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza.” The paper detailed “how social contact network-focused mitigation can be designed” and modeled various outcomes based on how people behaved. At the time, cooler heads prevailed and dismissed the ideas in the paper, as represented this critique from Dr. D.A. Henderson, the man who led the public effort to eradicate smallpox. According to the New York Times, “Dr. Henderson was convinced that it made no sense to force schools to close or public gatherings to stop. Teenagers would escape their homes to hang out at the mall. School lunch programs would close, and impoverished children would not have enough to eat. Hospital staffs would have a hard time going to work if their children were at home.”
Fact #9: The epidemic models of COVID-19 have been disastrously wrong, and both the practice of modeling and the people behind it have a terrible history.
While many disease models have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic, two have been particularly influential in the public policy of lockdowns: that of Imperial College (UK) and that of the IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Washington, USA). They’ve both proven to be unmitigated disasters.
Fact #10: The data shows that lockdowns have NOT had an impact on the course of the disease.
This is certainly the fact that people will have the hardest time with: Who wants to believe that all this suffering and isolation was for no reason? However, there are more than enough states and countries that didn't lockdown, or locked down for a much shorter time, or in a much different manner, to provide sufficient data. Perhaps the simplest explanation for why lock downs have been ineffective is the easiest: COVID-19 was in wide circulation much earlier than experts thought. This alone would explain why lockdowns have been so ineffective, but whatever the final explanation, let’s see what the data says.
Fact #11: Florida locked down late, opened early, and is doing fine, despite predictions of doom.
The best article I have read about Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis comes from the National Review on May 20. I was pleasantly surprised by what a rational student of history Governor DeSantis was, as he explained, “One of the things that bothered me throughout this whole time was, I researched the 1918 pandemic, ’57, ’68, and there were some mitigation efforts done in May 1918, but never just a national-shutdown type deal. There was really no observed experience about what the negative impacts would be on that.”
Fact #12: New York’s above-average death rate appears to be driven by a fatal policy error combined with aggressive intubations.
This brings us to the crux of Erin’s incredible investigation. The evidence you are about to review is irrefutable. Even if you don’t believe her at first, others are reaching similar conclusions.
Massive deaths of elderly individuals in nursing homes, nosocomial infections, and overwhelmed hospitals may explain the very high fatality seen in specific locations in Northern Italy, New York, and New Jersey. A very unfortunate decision of the governors in New York and New Jersey was to have COVID-19 patients sent to nursing homes.
Fact #13: Public health officials and disease epidemiologists do NOT consider the other negative societal consequences of lockdowns.
If you asked me for a suggestion for how to lose a few pounds and I said, “Stop eating or drinking anything,” would you take my advice? It would work to achieve your goals, but you may not like the side effects. That’s basically what has happened here. Rather than being ONE input on policy, public health officials were handed the keys to the convertible without their license, and off they sped!
Fact #14: There is a predictive model for the viral arc of COVID-19, it’s called Farr’s Law, and it was discovered over one hundred years ago.
Dr. Lass, in the interview mentioned above, also made a point that we already knew, long before the lock downs, how COVID-19 was likely to behave, because we’ve been dealing with new viruses since the dawn of man.
If you look at the coronavirus wave on a graph, you will see that it looks like a spike. Coronavirus comes very fast, but it also goes away very fast. The influenza wave is shallow, as it takes three months to pass, but coronavirus takes only one month.
Fact #15: The lockdowns will cause more death and destruction than COVID-19 ever did.
My final fact is the most depressing. Of course, it’s impossible today to find all the data to show how destructive unnecessary lockdowns have been, but many people are already trying. Economically, the costs to the United States will be measure in the multitrillions. It didn't have to be this way: Sweden just reported that GDP grew in their first quarter!
Fact #16: All these phased reopenings are utter nonsense with no science to support them, but they will all be declared a success.
Still waiting for your Phase 1 or Phase 2 reopening? Trust me, whoever conjured up your state’s plan is quite literally making things up as they go along. Given the extreme range of plans taking place—even in neighboring counties—the odds that they have ANYTHING to do with the arc of the virus is exactly ZERO, but you already knew that if you read this far.
June 23, 2020
Table of Contents
Preface J.B. Handley vii
Chapter 1 The Beginning 1
Chapter 2 Be All That You Can Be 9
Chapter 3 Shots Fired 27
Chapter 4 The Unseen Enemy 41
Chapter 5 Call of Duty 49
Chapter 6 Silenced Victims 57
Chapter 7 Airborne Forces 75
Chapter 8 Code Words 87
Chapter 9 Over and Out 103
Chapter 10 Laws of War 111
Chapter 11 Battle Buddies 121
Chapter 12 The Next Chapter 145
A Note about Hot Books David Talbot 152