Meet the Masters Full Transcription with Dr. Bob Adams:

 

Alex Mihajlov:

Good afternoon. I’m Alex Mihajlov with Olde Raleigh Financial Group, and continuing our Meet the Masters Series, we’ve got Dr. Robert Adams on March 23rd, 2020 sitting here talking to us. You’ve accomplished a couple of things in your life.

Bob Adams:

People keep telling me that.

Alex Mihajlov:

Eagle scout, physician, author, retired US Army Colonel, Navy Seal, Airborne Command Combat Physician and Delta Force Command Surgeon. Anything else? Did I leave anything out?

Bob Adams:

Author of two books.

Alex Mihajlov:

Author two books. – https://www.sealhellweek.com/

Bob Adams:

My favorite new achievement.

Alex Mihajlov:

And a grandfather.

Bob Adams:

Grandfather of five wonderful children.

Alex Mihajlov:

And father …

Bob Adams:

Two.

Alex Mihajlov:

Two.

Bob Adams:

Son and a daughter.

Alex Mihajlov:

And married for an awfully long time to an awfully beautiful woman.

Bob Adams:

Well said, sir.

Alex Mihajlov:

There you go. Well I’m really glad you joined us today because I am trying to find some rational voice in the latest national panic that is gripping this country and that is COVID-19 and everybody’s screaming about it and talking about it and scared to death about it and afraid to talk to anybody and afraid to breathe near anybody. And so I was kind of hoping I’d get some rational thought out of you. The first question that I’m having a hard time finding out is how did this truly, how did this virus truly start? Do you have a good theory on that?

Bob Adams:

So you don’t need theories, there’s pretty good science to back up the beginning of the Wuhan China outbreak, there’s a meat market there that sells animals that honestly are illegal to sell but are eaten anyway and they’ve tracked it back to that meat market and suspect a ground dwelling animal, looks a little bit like an Armadillo, as the animal vector for this particular virus. We tracked a lot of the covid viruses, there’s seven of these corona viruses out there that we see six of them quite routinely and regularly. Similar to the over 400 flu viruses that are out there that we see annually and regularly this time of the year.

So the Wuhan China, center of the outbreak has been tracked back to the first patient, and we’re going to track its development and mutation over the years to come.

Alex Mihajlov:

So it was not developed in a biological lab.

Bob Adams:

So, that has not been disproven yet. It’s still a theoretical possibility. What a brilliant possibility. Because the United States and China have both been dabbling in bacterial and viral warfare agents for decades and Russia, lets not leave Russia out. They were one of the very first to actually be caught at biological warfare when one of their centers exploded and infected a number of people causing respiratory viruses in Russia. That’s a fascinating story that bloomed and disappeared and hasn’t been talked about since. We’re all guilty of that.

Alex Mihajlov:

Is the fear that this virus is more contagious than your typical virus or is it following the story book line?

Bob Adams:

Well, the fear is there, but the reality is not very impressive. The initial statistical reports of this being 10 times more infectious than the flu virus are still out there, but questioned by people who analyze the deadliness of any infectious agent because we just didn’t know how many young people were infected and you know, complaining of nothing more than sniffles and coughs, which is still going on. We haven’t had a single death that I’ve heard of in a child under 19 years old, but lots and lots and lots of them have been infected by it.

So danger to the public is reduced for two reasons. One, that there appears to be a natural protection against this corona virus in the younger population and two, the numbers are so very, very small. I mean, I love to ask people to go do a statistical analysis of what happened in Wuhan, China. 81,000 people were infected, and we’re speaking of March the 23rd, there have been five days with no new cases there.

What I wish our CDC would do is point out how many new cases that we’re seeing in countries around the world and in the United States. I waited anxiously for today’s Monday report to find out if the CDC would update its chart on new cases. And it did. And it’s an interesting bell curve. We’re already on the downside of the bell curve, according to the CDC, we’ve had almost 10 days now of fewer new cases.

What the media loves to do is point out cumulative cases. So when they see a chart, they’ll say, look, it’s 81,000 cases in China. Yeah, that occurred some time ago. We haven’t had any new cases in five days, and you’re not pointing that out. What the CDC bell curve looks like is decreasing numbers of new cases following the exact life cycle of this virus that we’ve seen in China. So I’m having a hard time getting excited about it, particularly when you compare it to the 38 million infections of the flu virus that have occurred in the United States alone. The 22,000 deaths and climbing in the United States alone and our hospital systems handling those infections just fine. We’re not screaming for new ventilators, yet we’ve buried 22,000 Americans.

Alex Mihajlov:

Do you, in your opinion, do you think we have enough medical equipment and all that to handle this?

Bob Adams:

In my opinion, and I’m certainly prepared to be found wrong in this, we have more than enough. We have more than enough beds. We have more than enough respirators. Our military system is completely underwhelmed by this. The VA, there was a wonderful report on public news radio recently when they interviewed the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Administration and they said, “Sir, what’s going on? Are you overwhelmed?” He said, “Well, let me answer you this way. I meet with every single hospital commander in the VA system every morning and every evening and every single one of them tells me we’re fine. We’re not being overwhelmed.” And then this particular rate reporter said, “Anybody else think otherwise?” And they interviewed somebody said, “No, we hear it as much worse than that.”

I think it’s probably inappropriate to accuse the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of under-reporting when he’s hearing twice a day from his own hospital commanders.

Alex Mihajlov:

How does this, you’ve done a lot of really tough stuff. You’ve been in forward bases in Iraq, you’ve been a general physician, you’ve dealt with young people, you’ve dealt with elderly, you’ve dealt with the whole gamut. How does this compare to the other stuff you’ve seen in your career?

Bob Adams:

This is a insignificant blip in the history of the world. I mean, please look back at the many, many, many infectious disease outbreaks that we’ve had over the years. I started studying the flu virus for example, after reading the book, Great Flu Epidemic of 1918, brilliant book about that thick that talks about the 50 to a hundred million people that died worldwide of the flu. And it’s fascinating that not a lot of people are pointing out that, that we’ve dug up those bodies. We had 100 million of them to study and now that we have the DNA technology, we track it back to the H1N1 flu virus, which was the cause of our pandemic in 2009 where lots of children and lots of adults died of the H1N1 and guess what’s here today? The H1N1 again.

A significant virus that we have protection against, and by the way, I tell this story to my patients on a regular basis, please get the flu shot because remember that 2009 outbreak, well, 35,000 Americans died. The reason only 35,000 died is we have a flu shot and you’re not getting it. The most recent reports from the CDC says about 63% of men and women over the age of 65 are getting it, but we’re the largest population that’s getting it. Mothers and fathers are not immunizing their children against a virus that we can protect it against.

Alex Mihajlov:

You were telling me something the other day was really interesting about the flu shot, how it builds different immunities over time. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Bob Adams:

Yeah, I think that’s fascinating. It’s true of almost all of our immunizations. When I look back at, we’ve literally eradicated smallpox from the face of the earth through immunizations and when we immunize you against the flu, we immunize against you. The what the CDC thinks is the top four most likely anywhere from three to five in these shots most likely to show up this year. And that immunity against those strains of viruses remains active in our white blood cells because the way, the way the immunizations work is we stick some proteins, not infectious agents, just proteins that look like the shell cases of these flu viruses and our white blood cells gobble them up, make antibodies, push them out into the body that is us and our white blood cells remain alive in our spleens, in our lymph nodes. You know this spleen is the largest lymph node in the body. It sits right here, it’s about that big. And it’s full of white blood cells that remember the flu shots you got last year and the year before and the year before and the year before.

That immunity decreases over time and it never goes away. And you’ve got to ask yourself the question you just asked me a different way. Why are children not dying of this seventh coronavirus? I have a theory and it’s a theory and I can’t prove it, but scientists are working on proving what I’m about to say. It is logical to assume that mothers who pass their immunity onto their children have been exposed to the previous six corona viruses. And the corona viruses have certain proteins that are proteins in common. We don’t start immunizing children until two months old because we know they’re already protected by the placental immunities. It’s logical to make the leap of faith that these children are enjoying an immunity against the proteins of the corona virus, that their mothers gave them in utero.

Alex Mihajlov:

The gifts that does truly keep on giving.

Bob Adams:

Keeps on giving, exactly.

Alex Mihajlov:

So let’s play for instance. Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders has won the election and now we’ve got Medicare for all. We’ll get a little political here. What does that look like in a pandemic like this?

Bob Adams:

So let’s go back to the earlier question you asked me. Why is it that people over age 65 have more flu shots given than people younger than 65, and part of that is because we have Medicare, we have a government funded program that reminds us to get a flu shots encourages us to get a flu shot. We have time to benefit from an insurance program that’s going to make sure we can afford it. So I see Medicare for all as an inevitability in the United States.

Alex Mihajlov:

Interesting.

Bob Adams:

Yeah, it’s going to happen. There’s countries, there’s tests, by the way states in the United States that have done it. Louisiana was a state that I worked in when I was doing gunshot wound training with Delta Force. And it was fascinating to me that if you got shot by a bullet in the state of Louisiana, well in the city of New Orleans, you’re going to Charity Hospital.

Why? I have private insurance, I want to go where my doctor is. You don’t have a choice as we pay for everybody’s health insurance here and you’re going to go where the best care is and we’ve developed it and it’s Charity Hospital. So I would take my medics down to Charity Hospital and we would have 10 or 15 gunshot wounds a night to practice on because they all went to one place. It was a managed care system. By the way, that it has that particular assurance I don’t believe it’s still in place. One reason is hurricane Katrina knocked down the hospital, and the other one is they’ve changed some of their Medicare for all or insurance for all programs down there.

But we’re going to see it happen. We’re going to see medicine change out of the inevitable necessity that it change. And part of that will be more access to American citizens who through through the course of public dialogue have created a new constitutional right to healthcare. It’s not constitutional, never was, but I think we’re going to create laws that will allow that to happen.

Alex Mihajlov:

So another hypothetical, I heard you got promoted, I’m promoting you to the head of the CDC today. Your boss is running for reelection this year. How would you handle this pandemic? So is this truly a case book text pandemic.

Bob Adams:

So it is by definition a true pandemic by virtue of the fact that it’s affecting enough of the United States and enough of the world to be declared a pandemic. But it’s teeny tiny in comparison to the first pandemic that was declared by the CDC back in November when the flu virus had spread across the United States and spread across the world and was beginning to kill the same number of people that it’s killed every year.

We’re at 7.1% of the population affected by the flu virus at a 7.3 it becomes an epidemic. So we’re this close to having been declared an epidemic this year and it’ll probably be measured against, this year, it’ll be measured against the 2009 pandemic slash epidemic. But I think the CDC is doing its job better than I’ve ever seen it done because now I can, now it’s the front page news, you know, of every report and every social media. And I enjoy watching our current CDC chief stand up against the interviewers where he’s going, you know, you’re asking me questions, you’re drawing wrong conclusions because I have to respond to you as a scientist and you want me to respond to you as an epidemiologist or as a reporter. So I don’t think I would do anything differently except what’s going on today, on March 23rd, I would start making a bigger deal out of the decreasing number of new cases worldwide, countrywide and in the United States.

Alex Mihajlov:

So what, what is the next 12 months look like for this COVD?

Bob Adams:

So I love that question. This sea of COVID-19 is going to be gone in a couple of months just like it was in … everybody’s saying, well look, let’s look out 12 months and see 1.7 million deaths. That’s nonsense. If history repeats itself, this virus will die like all the other six corona viruses will die when it runs its natural life cycle.

I was trying to explain to my lovely wife on the way here that the death of the COVID virus in Wuhan, China had very little to do with anything that man did. Yeah, sure, we isolated and we decreased the numbers of infections, but we didn’t have any treatment for it. We didn’t have any killing interventions for it and it died because it was time for it to die. You know, it has an 81 to 90 day life cycle and it’s going to die here too.

Yes, we can continue it in isolated cases here and there. There’s a number of countries around the world that have one case, although there are no new cases in Wuhan, I think there’s eight new cases somewhere in China cause somebody sneezed and walked through the spray. But you know it’s gone. It’s dead, it’s going to die. The 12 months is not a proper period to evaluate or project what the news people are doing. Quit it.

Alex Mihajlov:

Not only that, but they’re going to inject a bunch of liquidity into the system that by the time it gets out probably …

Bob Adams:

it’ll be interesting to watch that. It will.

Alex Mihajlov:

What are you reading these days? Anything, any interesting books? Doesn’t to be medical but anything interesting or podcast you’re listening to?

Bob Adams:

So I follow some of the podcasts that I’d been on myself as you know, as a Seal, author, doctor and I’ve been had a few doors knocked on and tomorrow I’m going to be on a podcast, it’s also run by military focused people. The publisher of my new book is called Heroes Media Group and they’re focusing on military folks. But I’m old enough not to be a podcast guy. You know, I’ll be on a podcast, but I’m not going to walk around with earbuds in my ear listening to podcasts. The books I read it, I love Lee Child series, I’ve read all of his books and actually wait for each one to come out and it’s this wonderful story about military heroes that get out there and save the world. But I’m right now really focused on hoping that what’s going on today will end. So spending too much time watching people make wrong decisions.

Alex Mihajlov:

When you’re, when you’re looking for relaxation, are you listening to music or what are you doing for fun?

Bob Adams:

So I’m a fisherman for fun, I have a little boat that I can take out and take the lakes in Wrightsville beach area. And the ability to find fish is not difficult. Where we walked along the falls, the Noose River yesterday, and watched fly fishermen catching crappie and I’m going, “Oh my goodness. I think I’ll have to take my rod and reel out and go down there and check out the Noose River too.” I’ve kayaked down that river before and you know, take my spin caster with me. It’s a lot of fun. Very relaxing.

Alex Mihajlov:

Any, any last minute words of wisdom for the general public about all of this?

Bob Adams:

Yeah. Don’t just stop worrying about this and stop turning it into something that’s not. It’s going to be fascinating to listen to more and more people say what I just said. You’re going to hear that a lot from people that are finally allowed to speak and they’re not being allowed to speak now. You know, it’s disappointing. I think I told you earlier that the Charlotte Observer editorial board called me this morning because I wrote them an email saying, stop what you’re saying. Don’t tell government to put, push us all into our homes and continue to shut down our economy and take people away from their jobs and prevent my children from being able to go to work cause they’ve got to stay home with my grandchildren. Don’t do that. That’s irresponsible. And I was pleased that Charlotte Observer called me and say, you know what? Why don’t you write that down and we’ll publish it. So they allowed a second opinion to surface.

Alex Mihajlov:

So that’s starting to come out now.

Bob Adams:

Yeah, I think that they’re going to allow more. We’re going to see more and more of that.

Alex Mihajlov:

Okay. I really appreciate your time today. It was fun to talk to you. I hope I can call you again with other things.

Bob Adams:

It’s a pleasure. And even in the presence of COVID virus, thank you for having me.

Alex Mihajlov:

Thank you very much, thank you doctor.

Bob Adams:

Handshake, not elbow bump.

Bob Adams:

And I bought my Ducati for $350 from him and hid it in a garage in Annapolis in a little old lady’s house that would rent the garage space for $10 a month to the midshipman who would hide them. And I had a helmet with a bubble visor on it that was tinted, so you couldn’t tell it was me, and on Saturdays after noon meal formation, I got the night off, I would go out and put on my bubble helmet, change in civilian clothes that I kept in the garage, get on my Ducati and ride it home. Great fun. Although back in those days, the Ducati was not the most popular machine in the United States and had a lot of problems with the 1970s, early 1970s and the Ducati’s back then were not that reliable. I rode my Ducati into a dealer once he says get that thing out of here, I’m not going to fix it for you.

Alex Mihajlov:

What year was the motorcycle? Do you remember?

Bob Adams:

Oh, I don’t. Well, this is 1970, it was an older bike. It would have been a 1960s era bike.

Alex Mihajlov:

And what finally happened to it? Do you know?

Bob Adams:

Oh I’m, I’m pretty sure I sold it to somebody else for $300 when I left.

Alex Mihajlov:

That was a good investment.

Bob Adams:

I went on to race motorcycles for many years. My senior year at the Naval Academy I bought a motocross bike and it was a Rickman, a lot of people have never heard of the Rickman, it was a British bike. But at that time the Rickman was a good motocross bike, and I bought that and started racing it and did that for my senior year at the Academy. It was funny because I wasn’t really good at it but I liked it and the races were always on Sundays and so the Naval Academy has its own medical facility and the doctors would not go home on a Sunday until I was back from my motocross race cause I always brought him something.

Okay, Bob Adams is here, let’s see what he did to himself today. And I was pretty good at breaking myself.

Let me tell you about my ancestors because I went to the Naval Academy, as did my father, as did my grandfather, who was a three star Admiral Superintendent of the Naval Academy, as his father was a West Pointer and his father’s commissioning certificates are hanging on my wall in my living room, commissioning at the battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Wilderness in the Civil War, signed by Abraham Lincoln. So I’m fifth generation career military.

So it wasn’t really all that natural, but when I was a junior in high school, the Reader’s Digest published an article about the existence of a secret organization that was formed in 1962. Well this was 1967, for five years, the Navy seals had been a secret organization. Nobody knew they existed. ’67 an article called Super Commanders of the Wetlands came out and read it and I went, that’s what I want to do. I knew it immediately and I went to my father and I said, “So I want to be a Navy Seal, and if I’m going to be in the Navy, I might as well be an officer. How do I get into the Naval Academy?” Changed everything from that point on, I knocked him over.

Alex Mihajlov:

Any advice to the general public today about the COVID? If you were my physician today, what would you tell me to do?

Bob Adams:

No. Be safe. Be smart. Go outside, get some fresh air, go fishing, ride your bicycle. Don’t worry about the viruses. It’s not in the air. It’s passed from person to person. So you know, normal precautions apply and the chances of this is going to be a problem for anybody in your family is, is slim to none.

 

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This material is provided as a courtesy and for educational purposes only from Olde Raleigh Financial Group, A member of Advisory Services Network and should not be construed as investment advice. All information contained in this video is derived from sources deemed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.  All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.  All views/opinions expressed in this video are solely those of the presenter and do not reflect the views/opinions held by Advisory Services Network, LLC. Please consult your investment professional, legal or tax advisor for specific information pertaining to your situation.