By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
I have learned that every major presentation to government officials requires mental construction, rehearsal, and flawless delivery at the appointed time.
In 2007, I was selected as one of three expert presenters for a day long session on a product label extension for a class of drugs to treat chronic kidney disease. Preparation involved three trips to Washington, extensive one-on-one coaching sessions from health communications experts, and practice sessions with a “bull-pen” of doctorate level scientists whose role was to produce slides from a massive deck of scientific data when I called for them on the fly during question and answer periods. The setting was the US FDA and the Congressional Oversight Panel. I was on CSPAN for hours. To this day I am grateful for that and many experiences shaping me as a public speaker.
We spent months negotiating all the points and arrangements for the September 13, 2023 European Parliament Session titled “Health and Democracy under WHO’s new proposed rules, benefits and risks for the civil society.” The session was chaired by German MEP Christina Anderson who has been featured on Courageous Discourse .
My mental preparation included a two-hour flight from DFW to Chicago, 8 hours from Chicago to Zurich, one hour in a Swiss hotel room/shower, and a 3 hour bus ride, arrival, and check-in procedure at the European Parliament tubular monolith in Strasbourg.
Dr. McCullough at the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France
At dinner afterwards, MEP Christine Anderson told me she believes this structure resembles the Tower of Babel which in biblical literature , was built in Babylonia in Genesis 11:1–9. According to Genesis, the Babylonians wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty city and a tower “with its top in the heavens.” God disrupted the work by so confusing the language of the workers that they could no longer understand one another. The city was never completed, and the people were dispersed over the face of the earth.
Tower of Babel, Babylonia, from Pieter Bruegel the Elder
I crafted my speech into three main concepts: