On January 24th, Senator Ron Johnson (Republican) held a Covid panel discussion. This post is an attempt to capture in one place the remarks made by different participants over this 5-hour discussion.
I've never voted Republican in my life but it would be hypocritical not to give Senator Johnson major props for the time he has invested in trying to get to the bottom of what happened and why - what went right, what went wrong, what should be done now, and what needs to be addressed long term. This is just one of several panels he has convened, the proceedings of which become part of the Congressional record. He has provided a forum where many people who have been silenced, censored and marginalized over the past two years could give their perspective on events — the frontline doctors and nurses who have been demonized for wanting to treat patients; the experts in pathology, immunology, vaccinology, epidemiology and biochemistry whose expertise has been ignored; the vaccine-injured, whose plight has been criminally dismissed as self-delusion.
I've tried to capture the gist of the participant's remarks if not the exact words (or as close as I can get, given the complexity of the medical discussion) and have included approximate timestamps to make navigation of the video a little easier. Bold has been added to identify the speaker and emphasize points that I think are especially noteworthy. IVM and HCQ have been used in place of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
More background information can be found in the announcement of the panel discussion on Johnson's Senate page, including the list of people from the federal public health agencies and the CEOs of the vaccine manufacturers who were invited but did not come.
Organization of discussion
Although there was expected to be some overlap and not everything got discussed as intended, the planned framework for discussion was as follows:
Opening remarks by Senator Johnson
Opening statements by the medical experts
Dr. McCullough statement on the Four Pillars of Pandemic Response
Pillar 1: Limit the spread
Pillar 2: Early at Home Treatment
Pillar 3: Hospital Treatment
Pillar 4: Vaccines
Senator Johnson: General review of the pandemic response in the US beginning with the first lab-confirmed case of Covid 19 on Jan. 20, 2020; Covid deaths have surpassed 889,000 in the US. The US is ranked 22nd in deaths worldwide, with 2,575 per million; by comparison, Sweden ranks 63rd with 1,514 deaths per million. There has also been an incalculable human toll from the economic shutdowns. The erosion of freedoms and the growing divisions in society exacerbated by the vaccine mandates should concern us all.
We knew early on from Italy and the Princess cruise ship that Covid was a disease that targeted the elderly and those with certain comorbidities. Instead of using that information public health officials pursued a one size fits all response, and relied heavily on creating a state of fear to ensure compliance. The internet could have been used by physicians to share their experiences as they developed effective therapies. The internet was used instead to censor discussions and vilify anyone with a different opinion.
Until Covid, a fundamental principal of medicine was early detection allowed for early treatment which produced better results. Two years into the pandemic, the compassionless guideline from the NIH if you test positive is to essentially do nothing.
There's also been sound medical advice when dealing with a serious illness to get a second opinion, maybe even a third. Today's about getting that long overdue second opinion.
Dr. Peter McCullough, internist, cardiologist, epidemiologist (about 11:25): talked about the 4 Pillars of Pandemic Response, more detailed comments later (about 16:21)
Dr. Ryan Cole, pathologist (about 16:45): talked about how his brother, who is overweight and a diabetic, got through a Covid infection fairly easily using the IVM that Dr. Cole prescribed. Dr. Cole: we're told this is a novel virus, it's 80% similar to a virus we experienced two decades ago, so it's not so novel, a few sequences are different but we're doctors and scientists, we understand virology, we understand how disease works. So an upper respiratory virus, the virus will replicate in the body for only about a week; at that point you only have residual parts of the virus so these tests that say you're positive still - no, those are the car parts, not the car anymore.
So we have a week to intervene to try and stop the replication. Beyond this the disease becomes one of inflammation and clotting, and we've known how to treat those for eons. So the "there's nothing we can do, go home until your lips turn blue" is a false construct. Early treatment saves lives.
Dr. Harvey Risch, professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, a university epidemiologist for more than 40 years; after getting his MD he got a PhD in mathematical modeling of infectious epidemics.
[Senator Johnson's introduction starts at about 20:31. As an aside, he noted that Dr. Risch was one of the doctors who spoke at his first hearing in November 2020. Following that hearing, NYT published a piece titled The Snake Oil Salesmen of the Senate by Dr. Ashish Jha, who had never treated a Covid patient: "I read an article later that he holed up in his apartment for over a year till he got a vaccine."]
Dr. Risch (starts about 22:04): We heard early in pandemic that HCQ was a game-changer and would be effective in treatment of Covid outpatients starting in the first few days of illness. Then we heard study after study and media report after media report that HCQ doesn't work. These negative claims continued for months then the media acted as though the case were closed. This was a sham, the media never covered how the negative studies were actually fake studies. They did cover the Surgisphere fraud, the published study that was later retracted but by then the WHO had changed its policy [re HCQ]. Media never reported that the randomized trials that were put out hid their positive results, were designed for low risk people not at risk for hospitalization, were not blinded, had no idea who their internet participants really were or any of the other numerous flaws that made them essentially irrelevant. The media studiously avoided covering the 10 proper trials of outpatient HCQ use that showed
significant benefit for hospitalization and mortality. (chart) 50% reduced risk for hospitalization, 75% reduced risk for mortality; at the bottom, similar results for IVM.
The media hasn't reported on these studies but that doesn't make them non-existent. HCQ studies involved 40k patients in two countries. So why aren't doctors prescribing HCQ as part of early treatment?
They did in early 2020 in outpatients. But this was short-circuited by an act of BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) and the FDA to use EUA regulations to block HCQ with outpatients except in randomized trials. Then the FDA mounted its biggest fraud of all time by putting up this warning cautioning against the use of HCQ with outpatients outside the hospital setting
They say in their justification they based the decision on information to treat hospitalized patients. We know from 2 years of the pandemic that Covid in hospitalized patients is a different illness and treated with different drugs from Covid in outpatients. In outpatients Covid is flu-like, in hospital patients it's a florid pneumonia. The fact the FDA would base the warning on hospital Covid, which is a different disease, is a fraud. Sen. Johnson has twice written to the FDA demanding they release the data they relied on to make this claim, and twice they've refused. (ends about 27:06)
Dr. Pierre Kory introduction by Senator Johnson: he's a pulmonary and critical care medical specialist, co-founded and serves as Chief Medical Officer of FLCCC, considered one of world's clinical experts on the role of IVM in early Covid treatments. He testified in Johnson's May hearing about using cortical steroids in treating hospitalized patients with Covid and the Senator had doctors coming up to him after that saying they had saved patients' lives by listening to Dr. Kory. At the [November 2020?] hearing, Dr. Kory gave an impassioned opening statement that was viewed by 8 million people before it was taken down and censored.
Dr. Kory (begins about 30:09): I'm really tired of watching the US health system's failed response to this pandemic. Examples of nonsensical policies - Not testing the vaccinated, not recommending Vitamin D, things that are so fundamental basic about science and medicine. If you look at these innumerable failed policies there's only one way to understand them, they are literally written by pharmaceutical companies; almost every single policy serves the interests of a pharmaceutical company. If you look outside the US, there have been numerous successes. A number of compounds we've identified that are effective in early treatment, almost all of them are repurposed or generic. About IVM and what it's doing around the world: it has been shown to literally solve the pandemic in numerous regions around the world.
IVM works and when you deploy an early test and treat strategy you can solve this pandemic. That information is being buried, it's being suppressed across most of the world. Why, you might ask (about 36:25): describes the regulatory capture over the
past 50 years, resulting in policies that place pharmacy interests ahead of the health of US citizens. This along with their financial control of most major media, social media and medical journals enables them to suppress or distort information about low-cost,
repurposed, off-patent medicines to protect the market for novel patented, obscenely profitable, often barely tested, toxic medications.
The impacts of their disinformation war against repurposed medicines constitute crimes against humanity given the global morbidity, mortality and loss of social, societal and economic liberties that could have been avoided if the information had been widely disseminated.
Dr. Richard Urso introduction (about 37:53) - medical doctor and scientist, former chief of orbital oncology at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Center, etc. He's an opthalmologist but has treated over 1600 Covid patients.
Dr. Urso: I spent 9 years in a tissue culture lab doing inflammation, scarring, tumor virus work and really just looked at Covid 19 as a respiratory virus. We know respiratory viruses live about 5-7 days. In March 2020 talking to colleagues, talking with doctors in Italy and S. Korea, I knew it was a respiratory virus that would cause a lot of inflammation, and something unique - this virus was causing a lot of blood clotting. Those are all easy conditions for a medical doctor to treat. Found about 8 things that might work based on mechanisms - my first patient, I treated with HCQ, azithromycin, Vitamin D, aspirin and steroids. I was criticized for using steroids, as Dr. Kory was, but the inflammatory phase is one of most important phases with a respiratory virus, and why would you not use something you know treats the inflammation or blood clotting? We have so many drugs that treat these. You have to attack the virus in the first week [because of the 5-7 day window].
Remdesivir is being applied on Day 15 and 20, with no chance of working, it's a one-trick pony that works when the virus is replicating. Viruses and cancer cells are unique, they use our own machinery, so if you're not killing the virus you're killing something else, like the mitochondria and our cells.
Message I want to send - the virus isn't killing people, it's the viral particles that are creating the inflammation and blood clots, i.e., the car parts, not the car. You can take away IVM and HCQ and still save lives and that's the message.
Omicron did not employ TMPRSS2 binding, it's a serine protease - the earlier virus used an ACE2 receptor but also the TMPRSS2 binding. With Omicron we saw that a lot of the drugs we used for Delta we didn't need for Omicron. That's called the practice of medicine.
To answer Sen. Johnson's question of why an opthalmologist was treating Covid patients - because they were languishing at home with no treatment for inflammation or respiratory distress or blood clotting.
Senator Johnson: $64k question - Why aren't other doctors using their medical skill, why aren't they practicing medicine? Why haven't more of them thought outside the box, had the courage and compassion to treat patients instead of following the compassionless guideline out of NIH?
Dr. Urso (45:30) - when we came down [to D.C., presumably] in March we were getting messages to go home and some of those messages were very strong and this was the start, made a lot of doctors fearful. They said in Texas if you use PPE then you might be criminally liable for interfering with an emergency use act. So they stopped wearing masks. But this was a continuing effort to make doctors afraid. Many of them are working in employed conditions and they were told in no uncertain terms, "if you use these drugs you will probably be fired."
Dr. McCullough (46:41) - showing of hands in room of doctors, nurses, scientists, media, lawyers - about 70% have have Covid 19; about 80% suffered intimidation, professional reprisals, censorship, etc. for trying to advocate for patients.
Dr. McCullough introduces Dr. Christina Parks - PhD in cellular molecular biology (about 47:48).
Dr. Parks: received her degree in cytokine signaling. It's mind-boggling that we have all this data showing that it's the spike protein that causes all the deleterious effects of Covid but don't have any problem putting material into our cells that tells them to make tons and tons of spike protein (SP). And we know the spike protein is toxic [cites some studies].We know the SP is toxic, why are we having our bodies make it? As an African-American scientist, I'm troubled by this one size fits all vaccine and vaccine mandates.
[McCullough interrupted here since this was supposed to be an opening statement and said they would be discussing the vaccines in more depth later in the hearing. Then asked for her brief comments on her understanding of African-Americans and early treatment].
Dr. Parks: We need Vitamin D sufficiency; HCQ is anti-inflammatory but also modulates the predispositions for diabetes and hypertension that African-Americans suffer from.
Dr. McCullough: African-Americans have double mortality rate and the mortality is happening in the hospitals, are they being denied early treatment?
Dr. Parks: Yes, they are. My dad just died. Couldn't get a test, couldn't get monoclonal antibodies. Treated at home till he had to be hospitalized but there he was no longer getting the medications that reduce inflammation or block the histamine response, and he kept declining till he passed away. I say he passed away from lack of appropriate care. Hospital said the medications we asked for were not part of their protocol.
Dr. McCullough introduces Dr. Mary Bowden (about 53:16), ENT and respiratory specialist, who previously had privileges at Houston Methodist Hospital and was advocate of early treatment; he asked for information on her relationship with the hospital...
Dr. Bowden: before Covid she was used a lot for a second opinion by people who had been recommended for sino surgery because she sees this as a last resort. Since the pandemic she's become one of the few resources for early treatment in Houston.
Testing was being rationed. She was the first person to advocate the saliva test, which was great because it was contact-free. Since then she's run over 80k Covid tests. She used a combination of medications in early treatment, up until recently used monoclonal antibodies but they can't get those anymore. Patients came to her because they said their PCP wouldn't see them. Now people come to her because they're terrified to go to the hospital. Have kept over 2k people out of the hospital; based on current statistics, 20 of those people should be dead and they're not.
I see a lot of high risk patients, mentions her press conference where she talked about why she was suing Houston Methodist Hospital [link is to the video on Odysee, YouTube has taken it down].
My turning point, when I really got angry, was a patient whose wife reached out to me, who was trapped in ICU, a father of 6, sheriff's deputy. Refused to give anything, these hospitals give them low dose steroids, a lot of the hospitals won't even give them breathing treatments or the vitamins. Dr. Bowden testified when the wife sued the hospital to give him the [early treatment] medications and the wife won but the hospital refused to give her privileges. "There's one hospital [in Houston] I trust that I'll send my patients to, and one doctor, Dr. Joe Varon. I'm exhausted. I can't find any doctors to help me."
Sen. Johnson introduced Dr. Harpel Mangat (about 58:15), medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, etc., to US in 1992. In private practice in Germantown [Maryland], has treated over 1k Covid positive patients with good results.
Dr. Mangett: described situation similar to Dr. Bowden's as far as people having nowhere else to go. Have learned it's a 2-step disease. The first is the viral replication and there are cheap anti-virals that can be used. Days 7-10, the inflammatory response and the only way to treat it is high dose steroids. The studies that came out against HCQ that Dr. Kory mentioned were basically treating the inflammatory phase with the wrong drugs, and you need to look critically at some of these papers and understand that. Now treating with IV antibiotics and IV steroids with good results.
Sen. Johnson introduced Dr. Paul Marik, board certified in internal medicine, critical care medicine, neurocritical care and nutrition science. Was Professor of Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Marik (about 1:01:41): I'm a critical care doctor, practiced in the ICU for 35 years until recently when my job was terminated. Treated Covid patients in the ICU since March 2020, have treated hundreds and hundreds of Covid patients. Between 4 and 10% of symptomatic patients have required hospitalization across the world. With Omicron it's about 2%. In US 4 million patients hospitalized with Covid, and of those 850k have died unnecessary, needless deaths.
NIH guidelines for treatment of hospitalized patients include Remdesivir and low dose Dexamethasone and this is what almost every single patient in this country is treated with. Palm study group investigated four drugs for use with ebola, results published Dec. 12, 2019 in New England Journal of Medicine.
The safety monitoring board of that study terminated the study of Remdesivir because it increased the risk of death and renal failure. And yet in January and February 2021 (sic) the NIH and Act One study enrolled patients in a study on Remdesivir in the treatment of Covid 19. Primary end point of the study was changed half-way through - this is scientific misconduct. Based on the bogus end point of the study, Remdesivir was approved by FDA on 10/20/2020. Two Gilead studies show reduction in mortality, but if you look at the full independent studies including the large study by the WHO it shows the opposite effect. Remdesivir increases the risk of death by 3%, and increases the risk of renal failure by 20%. This is a toxic drug.
(about 1:06:34) - the federal government will give hospitals a 20% bonus on the entire hospital bill if they presribe Remdesivir to Medicare patients.‡ Remdesivir costs about $3k per course. Ivermectin reduces the risk of death by about 50%. It costs the WHO 2 cents.
‡see "Coding for NCTAP" in New COVID-19 Treatments Add-On Payment
Dexamethasone is the wrong drug in the wrong dose for the wrong duration of time, yet every clinician in the country will use this homeopathic dose of Dexamethasone because the NIH tells them to. The FDA and other federal agencies have ignored multiple FDA-approved drugs that are cost effective, safe and have unequivocally been shown to reduce the death of patients in the ICU and hospital. There are 25 high quality randomized controlled trials that show IVM reduces the risk of death by 26%. One of the safest drugs on the planet. You're more likely to die from taking Tylenol than from IVM yet the FDA calls it a dangerous horse dewormer medication.
A whole host of medicines that have been proven effective in treating hosptialized patients, why have these medicines that could have saved maybe 500k lives been ignored? I think Dr. Kory has told us why.
Sen Johnson introduces Dr. Aaron Kheriarty, Chief of Ethics at the Unity Project, formerly Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Medical Ethics at UC-Irvin School of Medicine.
Dr. Kheriarty (about 1:10:38) - Many of our pandemic policies have ignored foundational principles of medical ethics. During initial lockdowns in 2020, hospitals sat empty, for weeks hospital staff including doctors were sent home as we had canceled surgeries and other procedures and were waiting for an influx of Covid patients that did not arrive until months later.
Health care systems, spurred by perverse payment incentives from CMS - Dr. Marik referred to just one of those, there are several others - caused our health care system to focus narrowly on one single disease. This had the effect of biasing our Covid hospitalization and death counts. We've heard a lot about that in the last couple of weeks but people in this room have known about that for 2 years. We effectively abandoned patients with other medical needs. The disastrous fruits of this myopia include an unprecedented 40% increase in all cause mortality among working age adults, 18 to 64, over the last year. Depending on the state, 2/3 to 3/4 was not related to Covid. Actuaries tell us that a 10% rise in all cause mortality is a once in 200-year disaster; this was a 40% rise. Our public health establishment has no answer for what caused that.
The ethical principle of free and informed medical consent - guaranteed by the Nuremburg Code, the Helsinki Declaration, the Belmont Report commissioned by our own federal government, the common rule in federal law - was abandoned, e.g., when vaccine mandates required experimental EUA vaccines. The common good argument - to get vaccinated to protect others - quickly fell apart with clear evidence that the Covid vaccines do not prevent infectiion or transmission of the virus.
Meanwhile public health authorities ignored natural or infection-induced immunity, even though this remains our primary path out of this pandemic, especially as vaccine efficacy declines with time and with new variants.
Transparency, a central principle of public health ethics, was abandoned. Along with several colleagues, some in this room, I had to file a FOIA request to obtain the Pfizer vaccine clinical trial data, which the FDA was required by law to release on the day the vaccine was authorized. The agency responded that it wanted 75 years to release the data for a vaccine that had been mandated for millions of Americans, data that it took the FDA only 108 days to review. Fortunately, the federal judge just ordered that this data be released in 8 months.
Thousands like me have lost our jobs for declining a novel injection whose safety and efficacy data still remains hidden. My firing from the University of California where I served for 15 years, my entire professional career, as a professor in the school of medicine and director of their medical ethics program, came shortly after I challenged the constitutionality of the unviersity's vaccine mandate in federal court, a case that is ongoing.
The scientific method also suffered by a repressive academic and social climate of censorship and silencing of competing perspectives. This projected to the public the false appearance of a scientific consensus, a consensus that was often very strongly influenced by economic or other political, external interests.
Our government and public health authorities have still not defined the threshholds for this state of emergency that is renewed every 3 months. The supposed legal justification for this public health state of emergency, for all the burdensome Covid "countermeasures" with the militarization of public health, the infringements on our civil liberties, the censorship of dissenting voices are all justified, supposedly, in the name of this public health state of emergency, the criteria for which has never been clearly defined. The assumption of emergency powers by both elected officials and un-elected bureaucrats therefore continues indefinitely, with no end in sight, without any critical scrutiny or appropriate checks and balances. (ends 1:16:40)
Sen Johnson introduces Dr. Robert Malone (about 1:16:45), Chief Medical Officer of the Unity Project, President of the 17k plus International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists, etc.
Dr Malone (starts about 1:17:25): Physician and scientist for over 30 years, have worked as vaccinologist and clinical researcher, focusing on new vaccine technologies, drug repurposing, etc.
Re currently available mRNA and adenoviral vector vaccines, the science is settled, it's not a political issue. These vaccines are designed for the original Wuhan strain but are mismatched for Omicron. They do not prevent infection, viral replication or spread - the vaccines are leaky, they have poor durability and even with every man, woman and child vaccinated, they cannot achieve herd immunity. They're also not completely safe and the full nature of the risks remain uncharacterized. It usually takes us many years to understand the risks of vaccines and certainly new vaccine technologies. If there is risk, there must be choice.
Informed consent based on full disclosure of risks is an absolute necessity for any medical procedure. This is especially so for products used under EUA.
Omicron is highly contagious, readily affects those who have been vaccinated, is generally associated with mild disease and rarely causes death. Mandating these vaccines makes no sense and is completely inconsistent with the core principles of Western bioethics developed since the Nuremburg trials and codified in federal law.
Sen Johnson introduced final in-person presenter, Dr. David Wiseman (about 1:23:02), who was top research bioscientist at J&J and runs his own product R&D business, etc.
Dr. Wiseman - talked about the resources we had, FDA, CDC, etc. even with all their problems; with almost 900k deaths, CDC's advisors are tired, confused and despondent. Boosting is "the last whack-a-mole," neither sustainable nor smart.
(about 1:29:08) Dr. Parks resumes her remarks re African-Americans having many predisposing mutations like sickle cell trait and (two other complicated terms I didn't get), and we know from Gregory Pullen's study that they generate a much more vigorous immune response that could go hyperinflammatory in response to vaccines. Vax mandates even though they have not been optimized for the genetic profile and they could be at significantly more risk than European counterparts for an adverse event. We know from William Thomson, CDC whistleblower, that African-American boys who get MMR - these are RNA vaccines - were 2-3X more likely to get an autism diagnosis if they were vaccinated on time. We have not addressed that not all of us are the same; instead we're making one size fits all vaccines.
Senator Johnson introduced Dr. Jay Battychara's taped presentation (about 1:35)
Dr. Battychara, professor of medicine at Stanford U. The lockdowns have not worked, they have led to deaths and created destruction and misery wherever they have been tried.
He offers an alternative plan that he co-authored with Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor of epidemiology at Oxford, and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Harvard [this is the the Great Barrington Declaration], which instead relies on two basic, undisputed scientific facts.
First, the virus is not equal opportunity, it harms older people at much higher rates than younger people; second fact, the lockdowns themselves are harmful to people's health - mental health crisis and physical health (skipping cancer, diabetes screenings and other preventative services); kids school. So the Great Barrington Declaration plan is to protect the older, vulnerable population from the virus while lifting the lockdowns of the general population that are doing more harm than good.
Sen Johnson discussed the emails between Fauci and Collins showing a concerted effort to destroy the reputations of the three GBD doctors.
End of Opening Statements and also end of Part I.
Continued in Part II