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15.  With the coronavirus mutating and vaccinations behind schedule, here's what we must do now
The news media is filled with articles regarding the new UK coronavirus mutation, which modeling has shown to be 56% more infectious. This mutation appears to be widespread in the United States, possibly emerging as early as October and now is spreading in multiple states. Similar to the original virus, this one has spread undetected because of inadequate testing. The United States is not leading but is 43rd in the world for genetic sequencing to detect new strains of the virus....Remember the Louisville Zoo’s snow leopards. They are particularly good at enforcing social distancing, not so much at wearing masks. They caught COVID-19. You need to do both.  USA Today.  Jan. 9, 2021.  References 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/01/09/coronavirus-vaccination-covid-19-britian-schedule-column/6594484002/ 
  

Courier Journal: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2021/01/08/with-coronavirus-vaccinations-behind-schedule-heres-what-us-must-do/6557584002/
  
Yahoo News: https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-mutating-vaccinations-behind-schedule-120015673.html

 
Kaiser Healthcare News Morning Briefing:  https://khn.org/morning-breakout/viewpoints-bring-back-science-trump-took-away-from-advisory-committees-create-a-real-vaccination-plan/ 
    

14.  In Battling COVID-19, Government Needs to Engage, Not Fight With Religious Communities
Public health strategists should realize these rulings set a template for a unified national strategy that is not perverted by economic or political interests. New York City, the genesis of the Supreme Court Case, closed schools and allowed bars and restaurants to remain open, which made little sense. And many in Kentucky question the wisdom of closing schools with sporting events remaining open. All of this is creating unnecessary public confusion, eroding faith in our public health institutions and most importantly ineffectively controlling the spread of COVID-19. Courier Journal. Dec. 4 2020.  References  https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2020/12/04/kentucky-covid-19-government-should-work-churches-against-virus/6469881002/  
 
13.  We can see a light at the end of the COVID tunnel, but we still have to be diligent
We can now see a light at the end of the tunnel but let’s not brick up the end. We must slow down the transmission of this virus, so nature’s lab does not outpace our pharmaceutical giants. If a safe and effective vaccine is available, please take the vaccine and encourage others to receive it. And wear a mask along with social distancing.  Lexington Herald Leader. Nov 20, 2020.  References  https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article247262694.html
   
12.  Distortion of Science to Inhibit the Adoption of Infectious Disease Strategies.
Distortion of science for political and economic ends has prevented the allocation of needed resources to stop the spread of dangerous pathogens. This places all of society as a whole at risk, but exacting an insufferable toll of death and disability on our front-line healthcare workers, along with our most vulnerable populations. COVID-19 has demonstrated how dangerous this scenario has become..... Whether one deals with MRSA or COVID-19, screening and decolonization or self-isolation of healthcare workers is of utmost importance. Their health, the health of their families along with their patients depend upon it.  BioMed Central.  Nov. 13, 2020.  References   https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-health/2020/11/13/distortion-of-science-to-inhibit-the-adoption-of-infectious-disease-strategies/  
 
11.  Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Transform Health Care ?
Many lessons have been learned from COVID-19. We have learned that case definitions can be rapidly created and a reporting system which comprises all types of healthcare facilities can be implemented. The same needs to be done for other dangerous pathogens, including the CDC’s Urgent and Serious Threats, and strategies need to be standardized across all types of facilities. SARS-CoV-2 does not vary its lethality or infectivity based upon the facility type or region of the country.  BioMed Central.  Nov. 13, 2020.   References  http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-health/2020/11/11/will-the-covid-19-pandemic-transform-health-care/ 
 
10.  COVID-19: through the eyes through the front line, an international perspective
COVID-19 is continuing to ravage the globe. In many Western Countries, the populace has not embraced public health advice which has resulted in a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.
This vulnerable population of frontline workers are faced with a choice of going to work with inadequate PPE or placing food on their families’ table. In the United States, official recommendations seem to be ever changing, based more upon supply and test availability, than on science. We must rely on science and learn from the lessons of past pandemics or we will relive, even to a greater degree, the deaths and devastations experienced by our ancestors over 100 years ago.  Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.  Nov. 7, 2020.  https://aricjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13756-020-00850-2 

 
9.  To successfully deal with COVID-19, we need to transform our way of life
It is imperative that we need to take our head out of the sand and unite as a nation. Successfully dealing and living with viruses is the new norm. We need to adapt and need to invest in our infrastructure and transform our society. New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, China and South Korea have done this, so can the United States.  Courier Journal.  Nov. 5, 2020.   References    https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2020/11/05/to-deal-with-covid-19-we-must-transform-our-lives/6093570002/  
 
8.  Our nation needs to learn how to live safely with the coronavirus
As our society continues to live in a way that defies public health logic, one can only conclude the infectivity and lethality of this virus is being severely underappreciated by our leaders. An underappreciation exemplified by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s recent push for a policy of opening all schools and having only those at risk wear masks.
We need to approach this pandemic not with third-world nation strategies but by expanding rapid testing and case identification, along with transforming our infrastructure and society to allow us to safely live with this virus.   Courier Journal.  Aug. 26, 2020. 
  References  https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2020/08/26/covid-19-pandemic-how-live-safer-we-go-through/3402655001/ 

7.  On COVID-19, the U.S. is turning into a dangerous cult of bad information
Some of us formed into online cliques and developed a Jonestown cult mentality in our approach to American life. Added to the toxic mix, foreign agitation placed us on the precipice of one of the greatest ordeals which our society may endure – COVID-19. A study from Carnegie Mellon University found almost half the tweets regarding the coronavirus are likely bots with a playbook similar to Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns. Reuters reported similar findings, describing a European Union document which concluded Russia implemented an online misinformation campaign, in multiple languages, which was making the EU’s response to the epidemic difficult.   Lexington Herald Leader.  July 8, 2020.   References   https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article244032807.html  
  
  

6.  Opinion: If we don't come together as a nation, the coronavirus will win the battle
Currently, society is struggling on two fronts, both for social justice and at the same time to control a raging epidemic. The epidemic of COVID-19 may be with us for a long time. And those who try to minimize it are doing so by placing front-line workers and economically disadvantaged populations at risk. We are opening our economy, but we need to do so safely, and we need to learn to live with this virus. That means wearing masks in public and in stores, social distancing and protecting, not fighting others. While we fight for social justice, it is imperative that at the same time we need to slow the spread of this virus, so our technology and vaccine development can catch up. Courier Journal.  June 6, 2020.  References  https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2020/06/16/coronavirus-kentucky-we-must-come-together-lose-battle/3191282001/  

 
5.  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 27, 2020.   References  https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article242268966.html  
 
4.  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: References https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/
covid19/86061
 

3. 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).  References   https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article241422756.html
        
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).  References  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).  References  https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article240697331.html 
 
 
Selected Radio Segments      Jack Pattie    Jeff Santos
    
2020, Dec. 28:  COVID-19: Herd Immunity Bar Raised - Myocarditis, New Mutations & Travel Bans
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the implications of Dr. Fauci raising the bar for the obtainment of Herd Immunity with vaccinations. This will be hard to achieve and underscores the need for travel bans to slow down the spread of the new mutations in England and South Africa. We need to buy time, since it is a race between getting COVID and getting the vaccine. In addition, he discusses the implications of the recent illness of Keyontae Johnson, who developed myocarditis (heart inflammation) after having COVID-19. This underscores the importance of earlier reports involving OSU college athletes where 15% of those with a positive COVID test had acute myocarditis. This virus can cause long-term sequella in the young and we need to respect it and stop its spread until we can receive the vaccine. Jack Pattie Show. WVLK AM 590.  (5:27)  https://youtu.be/Wm4clOLWPxI  
 
COVID-19: New Zealand Virus Free
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses how New Zealand and Australia have controlled this pandemic by the public following public health strategies. In the United States, public health officials are being threatened and in Kentucky there has been a loss of almost 50% of public health staffing. These frontline workers are heroes and need to be supported. Jack Pattie Show. WVLK AM 590. Dec. 16, 2020. (6:16)  https://youtu.be/wa8NucaimFs    

COVID-19: The UK Mutation
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the implications of the new mutation which is spreading in the United Kingdom. The new virus appears to be 70% more infectious but it is not thought to be resistant to the vaccines. Resistance would require a mutation in the spike protein which could invade the myriad of antibodies the body produces but still attach to the Ace II receptor. This is hard, but not impossible to do. This occurrence has happened before with the D614G mutation which infected the United States and was discussed in a recent Lexington Herald Leader OpEd.  https://www.kentucky.com/opinion/op-ed/article247262694.html 
Jack Pattie Show. WVLK AM 590.  Dec. 21, 2020. (6:23) https://youtu.be/EhdBiMtw2P0   

COVID-19: Should We Open All Schools And Masks Worn Only By Those At High Risk?
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm responds to the strategy of only giving masks to those at risk for COVID-19 and opening all schools. He stresses that cloth masks do not provide effective protection to the wearer but are intended to protect others and lower the R0 of the virus to slow down and possibly stop the pandemic. It was stressed that the lethality of the pandemic is the infectivity of the virus and that during a raging pandemic children can be very infectious placing those at home at risk for COVID-19. Finally, there are long haulers and lasting disability in many who are stricken by this disease. Heart, lung and cognitive problems are common in those hospitalized, even those who are treated at home can develop disabling conditions. Jack Pattie Show.  Jack Pattie Show WVLK 590 AM. Aug. 14, 2020.  (14:52)   https://youtu.be/SMir00P3jC4
       
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
  

Video Meetings, Lectures & Interviews
     

10.  Dr. Regina LaRocque from MGH and Harvard Medical School discusses the impact of COVID-19 on Massachusetts and the problems and drivers of vaccine hesitancy. Health Watch USA meeting Jan. 20, 2021. (20:45) https://youtu.be/5glqLCzcZto   
   

9.  COVID 19 Answers Dec 28 Dr Kevin Kavanagh Ron Crider
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh answers the most important questions relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Kevin Kavanagh is founder and Board Chairman of Health Watch USAsm, a non-profit patient advocacy and healthcare policy research organization. Dr. Kavanagh has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Patient Safety since July 2014, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Infection Control Today.
Dr. Kavanagh discusses a wide range of subjects from the implications of the newly reported viral mutations, how the new vaccines were developed, safe food handling, how to stay safe and slow down the spread of the virus, and long-term complications of the virus including heart damage (myocarditis) along with long hauler syndrome.  https://youtu.be/CD824wCyrVM 

  
8.
 COVID-19 Spread:  A Role For Air Disinfection
Edward Nardell, MD is a professor at Harvard Medical School and discusses the safety and efficacy of upper room Germicidal UV (GUV) fixtures and compares them to natural, mechanical ventilation and portable room air cleaners. A historical review is given along with the positive impact GUV fixtures have had dating back to cleaning air in schools during the 1942 measles epidemic.  These fixtures can achieve the 6 to 12 complete air exchanges recommended by the CDC for infectious disease pandemics.   Health Watch USAsm meeting Dec. 16, 2020.  (24:14)  Video link    https://youtu.be/dAJCI0pcVKY
   
 
7.  COVID-19 Down Under: The Australian Experience
Professor Imogen Mitchell, Dean of Medicine at the ANU Medical School, located in Canberra, Australia. Since March of 2020 she has been seconded to become the Clinical Director of the ACT COVID-19 Response. She discusses the COVID-19 Australian Experience. Although federated, Australia formed a national cabinet in March to address the pandemic and implemented a uniform national response. This strategy was advised by the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee. Political leaders implemented strategies which were recommended by public health officials. Strategies of travel bans, fast and hard lockdowns, contact tracing (even the use of apps in restaurants), social distancing and use of masks are discussed. Australia is an example of how public health strategies can efficiently and effectively control a pandemic. If the United States did as well, adjusted for population, the USA would only have 12 to 13 thousand deaths as of Dec. 16, 2020. Health Watch USAsm meeting Dec. 16, 2020. https://youtu.be/gtMo4SleRJQ  
  
6.  COVID-19: COVID Facility Updates for Public K-12 Schools
Ken Wertz Executive Director of the Massachusetts Facilities Administrators Association discusses environmental considerations to make facilities safer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The processes of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing were discussed. The difference between a disinfectant and sanitizer was illustrated with the shift to students eating in classrooms. Before the change, a disinfectant was used to clean classrooms, but after the initiation of this strategy, a safer product, a sanitizer, needed to be used. In addition, pandemic strategies involving heating and air conditioning systems were explained along with the difference between air quality and air flow reports. The latter being of utmost importance in a pandemic. Strategies of air filtration and sanitation using UV Light and bipolar ionization of the air were also discussed. Health Watch USAsm meeting Nov. 18, 2020.  https://youtu.be/GvE9LqxzEKM   
  
5.  COVID-19: Risks and Solutions For Safe School Systems
Rafael Moure-Eraso, PhD, Massachusetts Teacher Association from Environmental and Safety Committee discusses the road blocks teachers have encountered it there quest for safe schools along with the importance of proper planning, PPE, social distancing, air quality, and social distancing. Health Watch USAsm meeting. Nov. 18, 2020.   https://youtu.be/tg5GxodZc3c      
  

4.  PACCARB, Sept. 2020 Public Comment: “One Size
Does Not Fit All” is an excuse for inaction, it did not work with MRSA and it led to a disastrous uncoordinated wack-a-mole approach with COVID-19. Of utmost importance is the implementation of a National Reporting System for Dangerous Pathogens. https://youtu.be/yfJ8Yb5LiQk    Download Written Comment
   

3.  COVID-19: Experience in Other Countries.
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the 2019 COVID-19 International Webinar which was organized with the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Most nations underestimated the lethality and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. As more knowledge was gained public health guidance in various countries changed and their public changed their behavior. In the United States the changing narrative created mistrust and the public did not follow guidance. Internationally two main strategies emerged: The first strategy was a hard close down of the economy and when cases bottomed out, aggressive case tracking was started. The second strategy was universal use of masks. Case definitions differ widely between countries and the best comparison can be made using the rate of excess deaths as calculated by comparing historical death rates with the current observed death rates. Preparation was also key to confronting the pandemic. Singapore had a stockpile of three N-95 masks per resident of the country and had an operational cellphone tracking system for case tracking.  Infection Control Today.  (15:25)  July 28, 2020.  https://youtu.be/XvNsTdV26t0  

    
2.  Founder of Health Watch USA: Kentucky should consider shutting bars
“We still have our heads in the sand, thinking ‘It won't happen here in Kentucky, we need to go on just living as we always have,’” said Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, the founder and board chairman of Health Watch USAsm, a non-profit patient advocacy and healthcare policy research organization. “And that's anything but the truth.”
Dr. Kavanagh is growing increasingly worried that the pleas for people to wear masks are falling on deaf ears.
“I mean, if they're not wearing masks in the grocery store, they're probably not going to wear them in a bar where they're trying to drink at the same time,” Dr. Kavanagh said.   Citing research that shows daily growth in infections would be significantly reduced if 80% of the population wears masks. Dr. Kavanagh suggested the federal government issue a stronger directive on masks.
“If you have a huge outbreak, you can have governors take the lead in putting out fires,” Dr. Kavanagh said. “But to prevent spread between states, the virus knows no geographic boundaries. You need to have a national coherent policy.”  Lex 18 News.  July 2, 2020. 
https://www.lex18.com/news/coronavirus/founder-of-healthcare-org-beshear-should-consider-shutting-bars
 
   

1.  Protecting Our Protectors:  A conversation with RN Chris Pontus and Dr. Kevin Kavanagh.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:00 PM 8:30 PM  Critical Connections.
 https://www.criticalconnections.org/covid-events/2020/4/1/protecting-our-protectors-a-conversation-with-rn-chris-pontus-and-dr-kevin-kavanagh 
       

Republican Leaders and Governors -- Public Wearing Masks


 

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