Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD
Election irregularities, Chinese spies seducing a congressman, and the shocking revelation that “Dr.” Jill Biden was not a real doctor briefly let us turn our attention away from COVID-19. Unfortunately, COVID is still here and has made it to Antarctica. COVID continues to directly or indirectly hasten deaths. Along with the arrival of two much anticipated vaccines is a new active variant. The effects of both remain to be seen.
For months we’ve heard that COVID is not like the flu. It is a different animal. It may leave the infected person with long term aftereffects. Given the potential problems, the FDA, CDC, NIH, HHS and the alphabet health agencies should be advocating for early pharmacological treatment and prevention. Instead, we are told to wash our hands, wear masks—which may or may not help—and to stay away from one another. Indeed, as California’s Health and Human Services Secretary admitted, the state’s order banning outdoor dining and closing playgrounds was “not a comment on the relative safety” of the activity but a tactic for keeping people at home.
Stay home although 66 percent of new coronavirus hospitalizations in New York were in people who had not routinely left their homes. Stay inside although there are studies echoing observations during the 1918 flu pandemic finding that people who went outside had better outcomes. A recent Spanish study showed that 80 percent of patients with COVID had low levels of vitamin D. Another study found that people with adequate vitamin D levels had a 51 percent lower risk of dying from COVID. People at risk for vitamin D deficiency include those who have dark skin, are elderly or overweight, or stay indoors. Interestingly, these groups are particularly hit hard by COVID.
Simply put, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Any risk of taking proper doses of vitamins and minerals is dwarfed by the risks associated with COVID. Useful vitamins and minerals include zinc (inhibits viral replication), vitamin D3 and vitamin C, and quercetin (to help drive zinc into the cells). Additionally, melatonin, a hormone found naturally in the body that regulates our sleep cycle, also has significant anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and mitochondrial protective effects.
What are we to do if we get ill from COVID? While the numinous Dr. Fauci says we urgently need early treatments, existing effective treatments are largely ignored, discouraged, or even prohibited. The party line recommends doing nothing for symptoms of fever, coughing, or breathing problems other than rest, stay home, drink fluids, and monitor. The threshold for calling the doctor is appalling: coughing up blood, trouble breathing, chest pain, confusion, severe drowsiness, or “a blue tint to your lips or face.” Wait until you turn blue?!
I have a better idea. Don’t just curl up in bed. Call the doctor right away and request pharmacological treatment, backed by evidence. Sadly, most potential patients are unaware of early treatment because Facebook, Twitter, and Google, the de facto arm of government communication, block the information or permanently delete the accounts of physicians who advocate for safe, effective treatments.
They argue that the use of well-known medications is “off-label,” that is, prescribing a drug for a different condition or dose than the FDA had approved. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 20 percent of all prescriptions in the United States are for off-label use. This is often done when the “doctor has seen evidence that a certain drug works well for an off-label use.” For example, using a diuretic to treat acne or a chemotherapy agent as a preferred alternative to surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Billions of doses of [censored] and [censored] have been safely used for over 50 years. Repurposing anti-parasitics as antivirals certainly is not out of the realm of medical innovation.
Sitting at my Apple computer that could have been built by Uighurs in Communist re-education camps, I received another email from someone lamenting that he was blocked from social media. No, it wasn’t for child porn (like the former political consultant right-hand man of congressperson Barbara Lee), but for advocating early treatment of COVID-19. These “cancelled” physicians are not receiving $37 million innovation grants, but are saving patients’ lives for a few dollars a treatment.
The COVID horse is out of the barn. We need to tame it. Let’s start by educating patients, influencers, and policymakers about early treatment with [censored] and preventive measures such as [censored] and the proven uselessness, arbitrariness, and social and economic costs of [censored] that serve to make “poor people poorer” and erode trust in public health officials.
We silently watched as a shameless Nancy Pelosi played games with COVID financial relief legislation hoping to influence an election. Physicians and patients must not stand on the sidelines while political vultures feast on the carcasses of terminally lonely and depressed, drug overdosed, or financially ruined Americans.
Bio: Dr. Singleton is a board-certified anesthesiologist. She is the immediate past President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). She graduated from Stanford and earned her MD at UCSF Medical School. Dr. Singleton completed 2 years of Surgery residency at UCSF, then her Anesthesia residency at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. While still working in the operating room, she attended UC Berkeley Law School, focusing on constitutional law and administrative law. She interned at the National Health Law Project and practiced insurance and health law. She teaches classes in the recognition of elder abuse and constitutional law for non-lawyers. She lives in Oakland, Ca.