After the America’s Frontline Doctors video went viral and then was taken down from Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, many people are wanting to learn more about the doctors featured in the video. One of the doctors who spoke is Dr. Robert C. Hamilton (who introduced himself as Bob Hamilton in the video) from Santa Monica, California. While he didn’t give an opinion on hydroxychloroquine for treating coronavirus, he did talk about reopening schools and the infection rates in children.
1. Hamilton Has Been a Practicing Pediatrician for 36 Years in California
During the video that’s now offline, Hamilton said that he’s a pediatrician who’s been in private practice in Santa Monica, California for 36 years. In the America’s Frontline Doctors video, he spoke mostly about how he believed that children tolerated infections well, the mortality rate for children was low, and he said they rarely passed the infection on to adults. He also stated that he believed schools could open up with proper safety measures in place.
According to his bio, Hamilton studied medicine and did his residency at UCLA Medical School. He was President of the Los Angeles Pediatric Society and he wrote “7 Secrets of the Newborn.”
He founded Pacific Ocean Pediatrics in 1996 and the practice now includes Hamilton and five other doctors. One of his listings says that he is currently accepting new patients and he speaks Spanish and English.
2. He Has 6 Children & 9 Grandchildren
Hamilton and his wife Leslie have six children of his own and nine grandchildren. He and his daughter Sarah work together on the board of the Santa Monica Symphony.
According to his bio, he enjoys biking, reading, and political involvement.
3. He Founded an Organization Focused on Short-Term Medical Missions
Hamilton also founded Lighthouse Medical Missions, which organizes short-term missions to Africa, Asia, Central, and South America. He’s personally traveled to Africa 26 times, according to his bio.
According to Lighthouse Medical Missions’ website, the organization first went to The Gambia, Western Africa in 1998. They were so deeply impacted that they kept coming back and now organize missions in Africa in coordination with Door Christian Fellowship. They’ve built churches, water projects, schools, and dug wells.
4. He Created a Baby-Calming Technique Called the ‘Hamilton Hold’
Hamilton’s known for creating the “Hamilton Hold,” which is a technique to calm crying babies. You can see Hamilton demonstrating the technique in the video below.
You can watch another one of his videos about caring for babies below.
5. He Wants to Reopen Schools
The majority of his talks at the America’s Frontline Doctors Summit focused on his desire to reopen schools, and communicating that children aren’t the main drivers of COVID-19 infections.
Here is a quote from his speech in one of the America’s Frontline Doctors videos.
Today I have good news for you. The good news is that children as a general rule are taking this virus very, very well. Few are getting infected, those who are getting infected are being hospitalized in low numbers, and fortunately, the mortality rate of children is about 1/5 of 1%. So kids are tolerating infection and very frequently as asymptomatic. I also want to say that children are not the drivers of this pandemic. People were worried about initially if children were going to actually be the ones to push the infection on. Very often the opposite is happening. Kids are being, are tolerating it very well, they’re not passing it on to their parents, they’re not passing it on to their teachers.
Doctor Mark Woolhouse from Scotland, who is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist, said the following. He said, ‘There has not been one documented case of COVID being transferred from a student to a teacher in the world.’ In the world. I think that is important that all of us who are here today realize that our kids are not really the ones who are driving the infection. It is being driven by older individuals.
Hamilton’s statement about Woolhouse was accurate. In late July, Woolhouse did say this, Daily Mail reported, and he added there may have been one case in Australia. Daily Mail added that it wasn’t clear how much children contributed to the spread of COVID-19 within the home.
In his statement, he expressed a desire to get children back in school, but also said that providing security measures and PPE would also be a good idea. He also said that he disagrees with some teachers unions and some of their requirements for reopening.
And yes we can send the kids back to school, I think without fear. And this is the big issue right now as Congressman Norman alluded to. This is a really important thing we need to do. We need to normalize the lives of our children. How do we do that? We do that by getting them back in the classroom. And the good news is that they are not driving this infection… Yes we can use security measures. Yes we can be careful. I’m all for that; we all are. But I think the important thing is we need to not act out of fear, we need to act out of science. We need to do it. We need to get it done.
Finally, the barrier — and I hate to say this — but the barrier to getting our kids back in school is not going to be the science, it’s going to be the national unions, the teachers union, the National Education Association, other groups who are going to demand money. And listen, I think that it’s fine to give people money for PPE and different things in the classroom, but some of their demands are really ridiculous. They’re talking about, where I’m from in California, the UTLA (which is the United Teachers of Los Angeles) is demanding that we defund the police. What does that have to do with education? They’re demanding that they stop or they shut all … privately funded charter schools… So clearly there are going to be barriers. The barrier will not be science…it’s going to be for the sake of the adults, the teachers and everybody else, and for the unions.
It appears that the UTLA’s request to defund police wasn’t completely divorced from education requests, however. The UTLA released a research paper on steps for reopening schools safely, and said that defunding police could provide additional funding to education, housing, and public health, New York Post reported.
Hamilton appeared in a second video at the America’s Frontline Doctors Summit, which was posted onto Facebook by the Tea Party Patriots group. In that video, he said he was there as a private citizen and as an advocate of children. His portion of the video starts at about 18 minutes into the video below.
He repeated some of the same comments he made in the first video. He said kids ages 0-18 represented about 1.8% of all COVID-19 cases. He said this is partially because of an increase in testing. He added that the main concern about reopening is for adults rather than children.
In May, Hamilton wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal where he urged the country to allow students to return to school.