Raymond Richman - Jesse Richman - Howard Richman
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The solution to COVID-19 is in Sight! - we're published in today's American Thinker
by Howard Richman and Jesse Richman
A solution to the COVID-19 epidemic is in sight. It is the combo used by South Korea, where people are back at work, to successfully stem its COVID-19 outbreak. It has three parts: (1) greatly expanded testing of those who could be infected, and (2) effective treatment of the virus with a hydroxychloroquine-zinc cocktail, combined with (3) the product of American ingenuity – rapid development of vaccines.
While these solutions might be thwarted by bureaucracy, progress is happening rapidly, and there are reasons our collective Groundhog Day of staying at home every day while the economy falters and body counts grow could soon be over.
Greatly Expanded Testing
Testing is one key. South Korea did their testing for COVID-19 by setting up drive-through testing stations around the country. Sufficient tests are now available in the United States to make testing widespread, but it isn’t happening. During President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force press conference on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence and Task Force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx discussed the problem:
Why aren’t the tests being utilized? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are standing in the way. On its website, the CDC has extremely restrictive criteria regarding who should be tested. The only ones with high priority are:
Additional people can receive testing, but only if resources allow. These include:
The CDC criteria must be eliminated immediately. A substantial line of infection spread involves people who don’t have symptoms (yet) or have mild symptoms but can communicate the disease. Allowing the general public to access tests on a mass scale will help identify the many people with moderate, mild, or non-existent symptoms who are now spreading the virus to others.
But the CDC is not the only problem. On March 21, the FDA shut down the at-home testing for COVID-19 which was being conducted by several companies including Everlywell, Carbon Health and Nurx. Some of those tests had already been submitted to FDA-approved COVID-19 labs when the FDA intervened, even forcing conducted tests be thrown away without analysis. None of those companies have been permitted to resume at-home testing.
President Trump, Dr. Deborah Birx and the American people have a huge problem. The American people want tests to be available. Private companies would do the testing if permitted. There is a huge backlog of unused tests. Unfortunately, the CDC and FDA are standing in the way.
Greatly expanded testing would make it possible for anybody who suspects that they have COVID-19 to find out before they need hospitalization. Those infected could be instructed to quarantine themselves at home and contact a primary-care physician for the cure, such as the one developed by South Korea. Their hydroxychloroquine-zinc cocktail gave South Korea one of the best recovery rates from COVID-19 of any country in the world. Nevertheless, on their website, the CDC pretends that the South Korean cure doesn’t exist:
Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, a primary care physician who successfully treated the COVID-19 epidemic when it raged through a New York Hasidic community noted in his interview with Mayor Giuliani that he adapted his hydroxychloroquine-zinc cocktail from the South Korean treatment. His prescription was the following:
Nobody is sure why hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) works. Several mechanisms have been proposed including “ACE2 cellular receptor inhibition, acidification of the surface of the cell membrane inhibiting fusion of the virus, and immunomodulation of cytokine release.” Zelenko thinks that HCQ opens a channel into the human cell for the zinc to enter. Then the zinc slows the virus’ reproduction, giving the body’s immune system time to catch up. He added the antibiotic Zithromax to his cocktail in order to prevent secondary pneumonia infections.
In an interview with Rabbi Katzin, Zelenko detailed his success rate. He had diagnosed 699 COVID-19 patients with the disease, some by lab result and others by their symptoms and the fact that they had been in contact with others who were infected. He didn’t prescribe anything to those who were young and healthy, but he treated 200 of the others with his cocktail. His results were almost perfect:
The hydroxychloroquine-zinc cocktail has contributed to South Korea having one of the lowest death ratios in the world. On April 2, according to worldometer.com data, South Korea had just 169 total deaths and 5,828 total recovered out of 9,976 total cases. Here is how South Korea’s death ratios compared with the world as a whole:
Many studies have found that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and the closely-related drug chloroquine (CQ) are effective against COVID 19. Only one small study with just 15 treated patients found no benefit. The successful studies include:
The bureaucrats at the EU, like those at the CDC, claim that HCQ is unproven. They are like the 1932 U.S. Public-Health Service that conducted an infamous study of syphilis upon black negro men which left the control group untreated when effective treatment for the disease was available. EU countries have been among the hardest hit. France, Spain and Italy are among the countries with the worst death ratios in the world:
Vaccines and Prophylactics
There are several vaccines that appear to work, including a promising vaccine that the University of Pittsburgh just developed and two U.S. vaccines that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is already testing. Pitt’s vaccine researchers have led the world before, and one of us had the opportunity, while a child, to receive a groundbreaking experimental Polio vaccine at their hands.
Unfortunately, the NIH has already shown itself to be capable of slow-walking its testing and paperwork in line with one of their director (Anthony Fauci’s) claim that no vaccine could possibly be approved in less than a year.
Fortunately, while waiting for the NIH to finally approve a vaccine, HCQ can function as a stop-gap prophylactic. It just needs to be taken continuously by those who are at risk. In fact, the CDC has already approved HCQ for healthy people to take continuously while traveling in countries where malaria is present (but only for those countries in which the malaria virus has not yet developed resistance to HCQ).
The bad news is that HCQ is already in short supply in the United States. But Mylan labs is starting a new production line in Morgantown WV that will come online this month. Peter Navarro, President Trump’s national Defense Production Act policy coordinator, may need to intervene to get additional production lines going in order to avoid a shortage.
Despite the many challenges, the good news is that there are lots of testing kits available that could be soon used. Mylan Labs will be turning out many additional HCQ pills that could be soon taken. And once HCQ is plentiful enough, it could be used by at-risk people as a prophylactic. The successful South Korean solution to the COVID-19 crisis could soon be implemented in the United States and augmented by the development of vaccines.
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