Prominent Columbia University HIV/AIDS Investigator David Ho Cautions All on COVID-19

Oct 12, 2020 | Columbia University, COVID-19, Monoclonal Antibodies, News

Prominent Columbia University HIVAIDS Investigator David Ho Cautions All on COVID-19

In many ways, the COVID-19 crisis is similar to the HIV/AIDS crisis decades ago. Both are infectious diseases and billions of dollars have been spent, in both cases in pursuit of a vaccine. One for HIV/AIDs was never found. Hence the importance of a name many may not know, but in fact should be familiar with—that is, Dr. David Ho. He led a team back in the 1990s that led to the cocktail of drugs ensuring that those infected with HIV/AIDS could survive. Recently interviewed by Scott Pelley on CBS’ 60 Minutes, the doctor, and others interviewed on this venerable show, warn the audience not to disrespect COVID-19. For example, although POTUS was infected with SARS-CoV-2 and spent a couple nights in the hospital and declared he took what essentially is a cure for COVID-19, there is in fact no such cure. POTUS suggested recently that the people shouldn’t’ be afraid of COVID-19. Dr. Ho thinks a healthy dose of fear is in order for a pathogen that’s taken out over 1 million people in about 8 months worldwide, over 200,000 alone in America, leading to his point: “We have to give this virus its due respect.”

Monoclonal Antibody Research @Columbia University

Dr. Ho has actually been focusing on HIV/AIDS up until the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 60 Minutes interview, Dr. Ho shared the effort there in New York to work around the clock on monoclonal antibodies, the type of biologic drug taken by POTUS (e.g. Regeneron’s cocktail known as REGN-COV2).

Ho tells Pelley that the monoclonal antibodies are promising and that there are two leading candidates (written on extensively by TrialSite) including Lilly’s LY-CoV555 and Regeneron’s REGN-COV2. But although POTUS has been actively promoting these powerful investigational drugs on television (perhaps because the vaccine he promised won’t be ready), Dr. Ho cautions that the positive results reported by these pharmaceutical companies to date are “preliminary” ones. Ho suggests we’ll have to see a lot more data from many more patients before any definitive declarations can be made.

Other Leading Researchers on 60 Minutes

In addition to the informative interview with Dr. Ho, Scott Pelley also talks with Dr. James Pruden, (St. Joseph’s Hospital), Dr. Kevin Tracey, (Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research) and Dr. Christina Brennan (Northwell Health). An important episode to catch, it was produced by Nicole Young

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. David Ho, MD, Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

Call to Action: Remember, there is no cure for COVID-19. There are treatments that can help patients in some cases. For example, the U.S. FDA has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for both Remdesivir (Gilead) and for convalescent plasma. Some feel the FDA was too aggressive with this latter decision and that it needed more testing.  Additionally, thanks to the RECOVERY trial at University of Oxford, dexamethasone has been acknowledged as helpful to reduce deaths in severe COVID-19 where patients need mechanical breathing support (e.g. ventilator). Note, there are promising treatments in investigation such as the monoclonal antibodies and antivirals, such as Favipiravir (approved in Russia, China, Bangladesh and India), and economical treatments not proven yet, such as Ivermectin that are still used in developing world but may actually start getting attention and research dollars in the U.S., thanks in part to consistent TrialSite reporting.

Source: CBS News


  1. jim goodyear

    Thank you for your mention of Ivermectin in this article. I watched the 60 Minutes episode and was not surprised that Ivermectin was not mentioned at all. I know Ivermectin is not “proven” well enough to be declared officially “useful” in the Unied States and other “rich” nations but real world experience in Poor to Middle Income Countries (PMIC) as they are commonly referred to, has shown as reported by Trial Site News (thank goodness), has shown Ivermectin does work. And thanks to Dr. Thomas Borody and his “Triple Therapy”, the effectiveness may well be enhanced. Clinical trials for this triple therapy are ongoing by Sabine Hazan Steinberg MD
    Gastroenterology/Hepatology/Internal Medicine
    CEO Ventura Clinical trials
    CEO Malibu Specialty Center
    1835 KNOLL Dr, Ventura, CA, 93003
    28990 PCH suite 205, Malibu, CA, 90265

  2. rick keizer MD

    And everyone should take N-Acetyl-Cysteine 600 mg twice daily. It’s well proven with H1N1 influenza (DeFlora 1997) with good evidence in other flu strains and RSV. It costs about $3 per month and helps settle the concern about influenza and SARS or other common cold viruses co-circulating.
    The emphasis on an expensive magic bullet is maniacal in America. We have only an intervention-for-money and reliance-on-medical-industry mindset. What about basic preventions?
    If you add foundational supplementation, as needed, with vitamin D and minerals magnesium and zinc and adequate Omega-3 PUFAs throughout your at-risk season to the well-proven glutathione-booster/mucolytic/immunomodulator NAC, you should have much less risk when Covid-19 comes around. Also, we have had a good six months forewarning to clear out our fatty liver disease which is so closely correlated epidemiologically and theoretically with bad outcomes. Has everyone been exercising regularly, eating their vegetation and avoiding high-glycemic or processed foods?
    Why do people just worry and post on the internet when there are so many little things we can easily do with no risk and low expense to prepare for exposures?

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