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Pandemic Response

 
Major OpEds   (More Infection Control Today Articles)     
  

7.  Healthcare system's basic infrastructure left it unprepared for COVID-19
"
Hospitals are receiving massive bailouts based upon their Medicare billings. However, this will primarily shunt money to large healthcare systems as opposed to frontline hospitals. Similar, to everyday citizens’ stimulus checks, hospital bailouts should be based upon need. Non-profits with high net assets should not receive as much funds as frontline hospitals with negative assets. If for-profit facilities or private equity firms receive a bailout, it should be paid back with interest or the Government should acquire an equity position in the company. And all of this should be predicated on not furloughing workers."   Lexington Herald Leader.  April 28, 2020.   Read more here: https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article242268966.html  
    
6.  Viewpoint: Have You Heard About the Herd? It’s a COVID-19 Fallacy
"Strategies of social distancing, not gathering in large crowds, wearing masks and protecting those at increased risk are required to manage this epidemic. Returning to life as usual with the dependence on herd immunity in a non-vaccinated population to control spread is almost certainly a false narrative." Infection Control Today.  April 29, 2020.
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/covid-19/viewpoint-have-you-heard-about-herd-its-covid-19-fallacy    (More Infection Control Today)
 
5.  There's No Excuse for Lean Healthcare Systems — Especially during COVID-19
"There is no excuse for running a system which is lean on hospital rooms, supplies and staff. Net-profits and assets are desirable, but not at the expense of public safety. Hospital staff are being asked to see patients under draconian conditions and at the same time they do not have an adequate economic and healthcare safety net. Healthcare workers do not need paid sick leave, they need adequate PPE and worker’s compensation benefits, if they become infected. IPs are placing both themselves and their families’ lives at grave risk under the crisis management CDC infectious disease recommendations. That is the very least we can do for them."  Med Page Today (non-redacted version).  April 20, 2020:  https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/
covid19/86061
 

4. The United States has squandered resources it needs to fight coronavirus
"The United States is on the verge of being ravaged by an invader which we have far too little resources to confront. New estimates from the United Kingdom are predicting 2.2 million deaths in the United States from an unmitigated coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. If our healthcare system is overrun, this care will not be available to all. In Italy, there are reports of those over 80 not being placed on ventilators. In addition, critical care survivors, including the young, may well develop pulmonary fibrosis, a disabling chronic lung disease."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Mar. 24, 2020 (Online).  https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article241422756.html
        
3.  COVID-19: IPs, We'll Know We've Won the War Against COVID-19 When...
"Judging when we have won the war against the coronavirus is not simple. The good news is that we have the technology and know-how to confront and substantially mitigate these epidemics. What we have lacked is the willpower to implement this knowledge. If we are unable to rapidly transform our system and correct these flagrant deficiencies, then the worse projections from the Imperial College projections of 2.2 million United States citizen fatalities may come to pass" Infection Control Today. Mar. 20, 2020 (Online). https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/covid-19/well-know-weve-won-war-against-covid-19-when  (More Infection Control Today)
 
2. The Untimely Reporting of Drug-Resistant Outbreaks in the United States.
Over the course of the last few decades, the United States has fallen into the dark abyss of secrecy: if truth is inconvenient, just cover it up and don't disclose it. The United States needs to implement mandatory real-time public reporting of the CDC's dangerous biological threats. The Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. Mar. 3, 2020 (Online). https://cddep.org/blog/posts/the-untimely-reporting-of-drug-resistant-outbreaks/
  
1. Coronavirus is the biggest challenge our healthcare system has faced.
Is Kentucky prepared? In January, I concluded an OpEd with an alarmist statement: "The epidemic of antibiotic resistant organisms may be the final solution to global warming." We are currently on the precipice of a massive pandemic from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Initial data from China has documented massive economic disruption with a 25 percent drop in carbon emissions. A sobering observation, but of even more concern when one considers the United States does not have the authoritarian structure and a culture of population control which exists in the Chinese government. According to the CDC, the unknown is when, not if, the epidemic will hit the United States and "severe disruption" of everyday life may occur. Lexington Herald Leader. Feb. 27, 2020 (Online). https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article240697331.html 
 
 
Selected Radio Segments   View Additional COVID-19 Radio Segments
  
COVID-19. The Public Needs Testing Availability As The White House & The False Narrative of Herd Immunity.
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, from Health Watch USAsm discusses herd immunity and how the infectivity and immune response to the virus makes this an unrealistic strategy. This is further complicated by the emergence of a new strain 614G on the East Coast. Jack Pattie Show with Scott Johnson. WVLK 590. (14:40) May 8, 2020.  https://youtu.be/AVpE6onrMTU
 
COVID-19: New Strain Faster & Meaner -- What We Need to Do
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the reports of the new strain of the COVID-19 virus. This virus has been found to be more infectious and produces an increased viral load in the cell. The attachment spike has been mutated and this may cause those who were immune to the previous version to be susceptible to this one. Herd immunity does not appear to be an option. In addition, vaccines need to be modified to increase their effectiveness against this strain. WVLK 590 AM with Scott Johnson. May 6, 2020. (5:31)  https://youtu.be/lp9mi09dYFg
  
Open or Not Open Our Economy - Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity a False Narrative ?
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, from Health Watch USAsm, discusses the COVID-19 experience in Sweden vs. Finland and if the United States should open their economy, stressing the importance of worker safety and patrons wearing masks. Problems with herd immunity are also discussed along with the fast tracking of vaccines. Jack Pattie Show. May 1, 2020. (15:31)  https://youtu.be/I__VsLXZ-XM
    
False COVID-19 Narratives from Elected Official's?
  
Kevin Kavanagh, MD from Health Watch USAsm responds to the false narratives of elected officials. Issues of piecemeal opening in states, infection rates and dangers of COVID-19 along with the use of mask by both employees and employers in retail establishments. The importance of officials wearing viral filtering masks in hospitals was also emphasized. Jack Pattie Show.  April 29, 2020.  (9:43)  https://youtu.be/IFXjVkPfNwA
  
COVID-19 Governor's Coalition & Universal Healthcare. Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the importance of a national strategy, the regional coalitions formed by our nation's governors; and not running a lean healthcare system with small stockpiles of PPE and lack of redundancy of healthcare workers. In addition, comparisons of the performance of different countries in controlling COVID-19 is discussed in its relationship to universal healthcare. Jeff Santos Show. April 16, 2020. (22:38) https://youtu.be/c88fKXUDvPo 
 
 
News Articles
 
10.  As obesity's link to COVID-19 grows, one family that lost 24-year-old daughter diets together
"Along with making mechanical ventilation harder, being severely overweight can make it harder to breath, reducing the patient's own ventilation, said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, a Kentucky physician and founder of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USA."  USA Today.  May 23, 2020.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/
2020/05/23/obesity-makes-covid-19-risk-larger-hospitals-challenges-much-harder/5221600002/
 
9.  Mask or no mask? Why Kentucky's new requirement to battle COVID-19 is causing such a fuss
Getting people to wear them is "absolutely key," in part because modeling suggests that getting most of the public to wear masks is what makes them effective, said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, head of the patient safety group Health Watch USA.   It's also critical to making consumers, especially older Kentuckians, feel safe to return to stores and help revive the economy, he said.  Courier Journal. May 15, 2020. 
https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/05/15/coronavirus-masks-how-kentuckys-first-week-went-requiring-masks/5192238002/
    
8.  Rich hospitals, poor safety plans leading up to coronavirus: Should rules change for them now?
"As many hospitals cut staff and more than 9,200 health care workers have been diagnosed with COVID-19, Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, founder of the patient safety group Health Watch USA, said the government shouldn't bail them out after they “put us all at risk.” He calls it "a step in the right direction" that rural hospitals and those with the most COVID-19 patients were getting money Friday, but said "non-profit facilities with net assets in the billions should have to first leverage these assets before receiving public funds." "   USA TOday.  May 10, 2020.   https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health
/2020/05/10/coronavirus-should-rich-hospitals-bankroll-better-pandemic-plans/3048437001/ 
 
7.  Nelson D.  Blood-pressure drugs are in the crosshairs of COVID-19 research. 
Reuters News Service.  April 23, 2020.  https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-conoravirus-blood-pressure-ins-idUKKCN2251GQ   
New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/23/us
/23reuters-health-conoravirus-blood-pressure-insight.html 
"Dr Kevin Kavanagh, founder of Health Watch USA, a patient advocacy organization, questioned whether scientists who are funded by the drug industry should be advising clinicians, given the high stakes.
"You need to consider stepping back, and let others without a conflict of interest try to make a call," Kavanagh said."  His organization recommends that doctors temporarily avoid putting new patients on the drugs and warn those currently on them to take extreme precautions to avoid virus exposure.
 
6.  Morgan-Besecker T.  Patient advocate: State needs more aggressive action to confront COVID-19 deaths.  The Citizens' Voice. April 22, 2020.  https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/patient-advocate-state-needs-more-aggressive-action-to-confront-covid-19-deaths-1.2620809  
"Kevin Kavanagh, director of Health Watch USA, a patient advocacy group, said efforts to halt the virus from entering facilities fell short with catastrophic outcomes.   "You try to wall off the home from the outside. Once COVID-19 gets into the nursing home environment ... it tends to ravage residents and it does not stop," Kavanagh said.  Many homes tried to halt the spread by isolating residents to a specific floor. Kavanagh said the government must consider taking it a step further and designate one facility to house infected patients."
 
5.  Sullivan T: Louisville area preacher defies ban on mass gatherings, plans to hold Sunday service.  Courier Journal.  April 4, 2020.  https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/04/04/preaching-gospel-defying-government/2943503001/ 
"Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, the Somerset-based founder of Health Watch USA, argues that church services pose specific and inordinate dangers during a pandemic.   "One of the cruelest characteristics of the coronavirus epidemic is that it strikes fear in the hearts and minds of many causing them to ask for comfort and protection from the God they believe in," Kavanagh wrote in an essay published Friday in Infection Control Today.“And at the same time this virus has made a church service one of the most deadliest places to be in. The combination of singing in close quarters and decreased ventilation is nothing short of a petri dish (or cell plate) for viral growth."" 
   
4. Jacobes A. Fink S.  How Prepared Is the U.S. for a Coronavirus Outbreak? New York Times.  Feb. 29, 2020.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/health/coronavirus-preparation-united-states.html    
"Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, who has studied infection control practices in health care settings, said such facilities might eventually have to limit visitors, or even keep residents under quarantine as a preventive measure. "Nursing homes will be extremely vulnerable to this epidemic, and it will be difficult to implement hygiene practices to prevent the spread," he said."
  
3.  Kenning C. Why the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time for reeling Appalachian Kentucky. Courier Journal. March 21. 2020. https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2020/03/21/coronavirus-comes-terrible-time-reeling-appalachian-kentucky/2878214001/  
 
2. Terrie Morgan-Besecker. NEPA grocery store begins taking customers' temps. The Citizens' Voice. Mar. 24, 2020. https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/nepa-grocery-store-begins-taking-customers-temps-1.2610547  
 
1.  Healy J, Richtel M, Baker M. Nursing Homes Becoming Islands of Isolation Amid 'Shocking' Mortality Rate. New York Times. March 10, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/us/coronavirus-nursing-homes-washington-seattle.html
"Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, an expert in infection control who has been critical of lax practices at nursing homes, lauded the new guidance that restricts social visits. This extreme level of quarantine is sometimes known as "reverse isolation” and was used to effect during the Spanish Flu epidemic, Dr. Kavanagh said. 'As evidenced by the Life Care Center in Kirkland, once the virus starts to spread in the facility it ravages its residents,” he said. He said that “the importance is in delay.""
      
 

Zoom & Video Meetings
     

1.  Importance of Masks for the Public & PPE for Healthcare Workers   Infection Control Today. Kevin Kavanagh, MD from Health Watch USAsm which discusses with Infection Control Today's Editor Frank Diamond the need and importance of the public having access to masks and the importance of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. Infection Control Today.  March 31, 2020. (16:00) https://youtu.be/DTH9EGIVS4Q 
 
2.  Protecting Our Protectors:  A conversation with RN Chris Pontus and Dr. Kevin Kavanagh.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:00 PM 8:30 PM
https://www.criticalconnections.org/covid-events/2020/4/1/protecting-our-protectors-a-conversation-with-rn-chris-pontus-and-dr-kevin-kavanagh 
       

This webpage is for guidance only, always consult your healthcare provider and the CDC Website for information before making decisions relating to the coronavirus.