M.D.'s Letter to a Dynamic Duo of Presidential Candidates


Stephen B. Strum, MD, FACP

July 29, 2019



Dear Senator Harris and Mayor Buttigieg


I am Anglo, 76, a physician, and a Vietnam veteran.


I easily envision you running for President and Vice-President in 2020.  The two of you are level-headed and clear-thinking. This could be the breath of fresh air that most Americans want.

My suggested motto for you would be Make America Proud Again.


For sure, Trump and Republicans have left us embarrassed at being Americans.  If Trump is re-elected, it will be the death knell for Democracy in the USA.   I will push hard to get my wife to agree to leave the USA.  I and others do not wish to be on a sinking ship, and a soulless and rotten one at that. 

I have always voted for the individual and not the party.  However, given the frightening pathology of both Trump and the Republican party, I am about to change this.  But I do have concerns with the Democratic party that need to be voiced.


1.      Healthcare is broken in this country in so many ways.


  • Granting healthcare "access" will do just that: grant access. It will not deliver more than mediocre healthcare at best.


  • There is a shortage of physicians and healthcare personnel. There is horrible accessibility of the patient to his or her physician.  We need to dramatically increase the numbers of physicians graduating medical school, along with nurses and other healthcare personnel.


  • We need to alter the orientation of the goals of healthcare to patient outcome and NOT physician or hospital income.  Reimbursement needs to focus on resolution of illness, not perpetuation of disease.


  • We can easily lower the cost of medicines through competition by creating a new health-related enterprise, one that employs thousands and is closely monitored for quality control.

    I would call it "Medicines Without Borders."


2.      It is our ethical and "ethnical" duty to proceed with impeachment, despite knowing it will be vetoed by the Republican-dominated Senate.  


We, the people, want to see the Democrats not only take a stand, but to stand up and fight for our rights, ethics, and principles.  This is not a time in history to tip-toe through the tulips. 


3.      I, and millions of others, will be angry with the Democratic candidates if they waste our time by bickering about past events in the long political life of Joe Biden.  I do not want to see Biden as president. I want to see major changes made in this country, and not middle-of-the-road politics, which is what I expect from Biden.

Please, do not focus on the early polling stats and on Biden, but instead stand out and speak to the issues.  Win the hearts and minds of the American citizenry.  Do not fall prey to bickering and casting judgment within the party.  The people are sick of name-calling.  We want to stand proud again.  


4.      I hope that the candidates are whittled down after the upcoming debates so that more in-depth time is spent detailing how the key issues will be tackled.

Consider the acronym “WEIGH IN,” for this is what we must do at this critical juncture in our history.  It is time to weigh in about Woman’s Rights,  Education Immigration,  Gun control,  Healthcare,  Infrastructure, and Nature (planetary health).

WEIGH IN is not meant to present the key issues in the order of priority. For me, as a physician/scientist, planetary health (Nature) is our top priority.

I can think of a number of ways for the USA to lead the world in helping to safeguard our Planet:

  • Make the purchase of an all-electric car completely tax-deductible (split the deduction between Federal Income and State Income Tax).  This will boost the automobile industry, engender competition among auto makers (and perhaps truck makers), restart America as a major exporter of the motor vehicle, and create millions of jobs.

  • Make solar a huge tax break for the same reasons.

  • Create water pipelines from the major rivers that flood each year and create a new Great Lakes in the deserts of the USA.  This will alleviate flooding, will save billions of dollars lost each year along with precious lives, and will provide water for restoring drought-ridden areas.  There should be enough water for a new industry providing organic fruits and vegetables, home-grown here in the USA. This will greatly enhance the health of our nation. 


All of those who I have interfaced with want to see a focus on legacy, unity and vision.  This is the new LUV (Legacy, Unity, Vision) we need in our country.  


Make America Proud Again


Stephen B. Strum, MD, FACP
Nevada City, California