With mounting deaths (545,000+) from COVID-19 in the United States alone, some doctors are openly questioning the overarching government response to the pandemic, as research, focus and effort seemingly never addressed in any meaningful way the early onset treatment of people first testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. That doctors haven’t been given any real instruction as to how to care for patients early on has led to what some prominent physicians and researchers consider an absolute tragedy. One such prominent figure is Dr. Peter McCullough, MD, MPH, a previous guest on the TrialSite Podcast, who has been a vocal proponent of treating COVID-19 patients early and of sharing emerging best practices and lessons learned with other physicians. Dr. McCullough recently testified to the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee on these difficult subjects. An expert in the field of heart and kidney, an editor of two major journals, and an accomplished research scholar—so much so that the Texas-based doctor declares in the State Capitol to be one of the most published and clinically experienced medical scholars in his fields of expertise in the world—he is a heavy hitter. Discussing the pandemic, he shared stories about his patients that needed urgent treatment and how time after time he found there was absolutely no support for caring for patients early on. During this pandemic, he quickly came to the conclusion early on that patients needed treatment early on; that waiting until symptoms worsened was at the patient peril. Patients with heart and lung disease needed care prior to hospitalization. They could not languish at home. He used the best tools and drugs available at the time. Those that are off label but appropriately prescribed of conventional medicine. By May, he organized a team of doctors summarizing all they know of the available drugs at the time. Noting that there are two bad outcomes with COVID-19, that is 1) hospitalization and 2) death, McCullough emphatically declared stopping the first must happen to avoid the second horrific outcome.
McCullough told the committee about a typical patient journey—stories they had already heard from family members and friends. High risk patients, over age 50 and with medical problems go to testing centers or urgent care clinics acutely ill, are handed a positive COVID-19 test result and are told to go home and wait in fear until they cannot breath any longer and then succumb to panicked hospitalization and isolation from family members, some of whom never see their loved ones again.
McCullough seared the committee charged with community health, stating that such patients are given no information about COVID-19, no early treatment, no hotlines for available research studies, and no follow-up. This deplorable standard of care is so shameful committee members looked away from his gaze. Despite the strength of Texas academic medical centers, not a single major academic institution devised an early treatment protocol or had a program developed to prevent hospitalization. Even the Emergency Use Authorized anti-spike protein monoclonal antibodies sit on the shelves, underused, with no public information or updates in the local or major media. Instead the heroes have been the independent practitioners who stepped out to face the virus and innovated with multi-drug regimens and nutraceuticals with supportive care and follow-up. Early ambulatory treatment with 4-6 drugs has resulted in ~85% reductions in hospitalization and death. McCullough repeated 85% and let that number hang in the air over the Senate floor. “We lost focus, we lost sight of the sick patient right in front of us!”
Within 48 hours, proposed legislation was introduced in the Texas Senate to mandate information on early treatment be given to every COVID-19 positive patient to start the process of ensuring access to effective, compassionate, and life-saving care. No pandemic response measure can have a bigger impact on saving lives now than early ambulatory care of high-risk patients with COVID-19.
Why was there a complete total information block about treating COVID-19? Why did social media platforms censor those talking about how to treat patents? Listen to Dr. McCullough’s recent discussion at Capitol building in Austin, Texas.
Call to Action: Watch Dr. McCullough’s recent discussion at the Texas Capitol.