Coronavirus

Unlicensed Dermatologist Suggests People Throw Coronavirus Parties

The Federalist published a random businessman’s plan to deliberately infect people in the name of economic growth.
March 25, 2020, 7:09pm
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Angela Weiss/Getty Images

A Portland dermatologist named Doug Perednia who is, according to state records, not currently licensed to practice medicine in Oregon has published a plan calling for people to be voluntarily infected with the coronavirus in order to foster herd immunity and get America back to work.

In an article titled “How Medical ‘Chickenpox Parties’ Could Turn The Tide Of The Wuhan Virus,” the writer, Perednia says mitigation and suppression of the virus are not viable solutions because “Savings, capital, income, and taxes all evaporate. Companies begin to close, and many will not have the resources to begin again. Massive deficits will become a huge burden for future generations.” His credit identifies him as "a physician in Portland, Oregon.”

"That would be misleading the public," a startled member of the Oregon Medical Board staff told VICE. "In Oregon, that is a violation of the Medical Practices Act. That would have to be investigated."

Even for The Federalist—the mysteriously funded right-wing rag that has been busy feverishly defending Donald Trump’s every decision, even the ones that have killed people, and manufacturing outrage over “manufactured outrage” over Trump’s blatant racism—the article is a disgrace.

_Are you a medical professional? We'd love to talk to you._ Contact the writer at laura.wagner@vice.com or laura.wags@protonmail.com.

Perednia and Ben Domenech, the publisher of the Federalist, did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Though the article bills the writer as a physician, his medical license is lapsed, according to the Oregon Medical Board, meaning he may not practice medicine. According to his LinkedIn, Perednia has spent the last 25 years as a businessman of various sorts. He has a bold plan to get people sick so the economy can get healthy: Give young people the virus at a “safe infection site” and then house them in quarantine in a hotel or cruise ship for two weeks or send them home to self-quarantine for two weeks. (“Given the recent example of spring break 2020 for college students in Florida, one could imagine CVI even becoming a social activity,” the quack writes.) Then, after two weeks in quarantine, the young people will test negative for the virus and will be sent on their merry way to work and buy stuff. No worry about those who get sick—“patients who experience serious medical complications would be evacuated to an acute care facility.”

One of the benefits of this plan, he explains, is that “People who are immune cannot pass on the disease to others” and so “could help treat patients, care for vulnerable populations, and keep the economy functioning.” There is considerable evidence, to be clear, that people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection can become reinfected and infect others.

Never mind that, or the fact that hospitals are already overwhelmed, there is a crippling shortage of tests, and young people can die and are dying from the virus. Perednia says we need to think “outside the box” if we’re going to save our economy.

“Economies are like a living organism—as soon as their normal functions are shut down, they begin to die,” he writes, apparently unironically.

Of course, Perednia and the Federalist aren’t the only ghouls out there setting up a false choice between mass death and economic failure and then declaring they’re ready to chalk up hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths as the cost of doing business.

Say what you will about these freaks; at least they aren’t presenting this as medical expertise.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.