Senate candidate addresses small crowd in Westfield

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai addresses a small crowd at the Little River Plaza June 12. (PETER CURRIER PHOTO)

WESTFIELD- About a dozen people attended a small campaign event  June 12 hosted by a Republican candidate for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Ed Markey. 

Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, usually referred to as Dr. Shiva, stood on the edge of the Little River Plaza Friday afternoon to talk about his policies should he be elected. Ayyadurai is running for the Republican nomination against Kevin O’Connor so that he may face either the incumbent, Ed Markey or the Democratic challenger Joseph Kennedy III.

 Ayyadurai, 56, said when he addressed the group that he sees western Massachusetts as being particularly politically diverse, and that he wants to get away from “left and right” politics. 

“For far too long, what has happened is that we have created an environment of two established parties,” said Ayyadurai.

Ayyadurai grew up in Mumbai, India before moving to New Jersey when he was still young. He said his time living in an Indian village with his grandmother as the village healer influenced his views on medicine and health.

“In that environment I developed a great appreciation for nature, that food is medicine, and also the traditional systems of medicine, that there is a wisdom tradition,” said Ayyadurai, “Which many people here think it’s ‘woo woo’, but I saw my Grandmother use those traditions to heal people.”

He elaborated by saying that he saw the positives with that kind of healthcare in that the doctor has a much more personal and knowledgeable relationship with the patient than is typical in western countries.

After Ayyadurai moved to the U.S., he said he was working as a scientist at the age of 14. He also repeated the heavily disputed claim that he was part of the team that developed the first email system at a small medical college before he attended MIT. The first email is widely considered to have been sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson as part of the early ARPANET project, when Ayyadurai would have been eight-years-old.

Ayyadurai spoke on current events that have defined 2020 so far. He said that worries about the coronavirus are based on fake science. He suggested that simply boosting the immune health of an individual would be sufficient to fight the virus. He said that social isolation to combat the spread of COVID-19 can actually be bad for one’s immune system. 

“There is no virus or pathogen that kills you at the biological level. It is an overreaction to a weak and dysfunctional immune system.” he said. 

As of Thursday, June 18, 119,000 Americans had died of COVID-19 since February.

He also criticised Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, having previously referred to him as a “deep state plant.” He is an advocate for firing Dr. Fauci. 

Ayyadurai previously ran against Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2018 as an Independent, getting just 3.4 percent of the vote. He said he is not expecting to be able to get on a stage to debate his challengers in the Senate race.

“They know I’ll destroy them. They haven’t seen authentic people like us. After Trump, whether you like him or not, he was authentic. They don’t want that on live TV. They don’t want me to go off script, because that is what I will do,” said Ayyadurai.

Ayyadurai said that while he is running as a Republican, it does not mean he supports the Republican establishment.

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