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Major OpEds   (More Infection Control Today Articles)     

8.  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.  

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:  
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.    (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:

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).
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).      (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).
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). 
Selected Radio Segments   View Additional COVID-19 Radio Segments
COVID-19: Increasing Rates of Infections & The Importance of Wearing Masks
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm, discusses the implications of the lack of transmission to any of the 140 clients of the COVID-19 virus positive hairdressers; and what that means for the efficacy of the public wearing masks. He also discusses large gatherings, restaurants and funerals; along with the new antibody therapy being developed by Eli Lilly which should be available in September. Jack Pattie Show. WVLK 590 AM. June 12, 2020.  (15:21)  
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.
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)
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)
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)
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) 
News Articles
12. Hospitals must treat infection control as a priority, not a profit center. 
"We have gone far too long with not making the proper investments,” warned Kevin Kavanagh, the physician founder of Health Watch USA, in a recent commentary in Infection Control Today. “I fear that, as a society, we may well have to pay the price for this neglect."  STAT. July 1, 2020.   
11.  26,000 COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes Might Spur Federal-State Blame Game
 “Infection control in nursing homes has been almost non-existent for years along with effective regulations to serve as guidance,” Kavanagh said. “We are also concerned with a reactionary program of inspections based on non-specific regulations.”  Kavanagh would like to see a sustained program of oversight using detailed metrics designed to drive a high-quality outcome.  Infection Control Today.  June 2, 2020.
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.
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.
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.
7.  Nelson D.  Blood-pressure drugs are in the crosshairs of COVID-19 research. 
Reuters News Service.  April 23, 2020.   
New York Times:
"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.  
"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. 
"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.    
"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.  
2. Terrie Morgan-Besecker. NEPA grocery store begins taking customers' temps. The Citizens' Voice. Mar. 24, 2020.  
1.  Healy J, Richtel M, Baker M. Nursing Homes Becoming Islands of Isolation Amid 'Shocking' Mortality Rate. New York Times. March 10, 2020.
"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.""

Video Meetings & Interviews

7.  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 USA, 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.
6. COVID-19: Importance of the Public Wearing Masks
Dr Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the importance of the public wearing masks and how the economy should safely reopen. He stresses the difficulties in opening tattoo parlors, hair salons gyms and indoor dinning. He also discusses the importance of Infection Preventionests and new CMS regulations. Infection Control Today. June 1, 2020.  

5. Reopening After COVID-19 Needs to be Done Carefully
Kevin Kavanagh, MD, the board chairman of the patient advocacy group Health Watch USAsm, talks to Infection Control Today about the perils of reopening too quickly and the value of cloth masks. "What worries me the most about reopening is that people are going to say, 'Oh, it's over with' and not do any sort of protection, whether it's social distancing, wearing masks, not gathering in crowds. I really think that people will think, 'Well, we got this beat.'"  Infection Control Today.  May 28, 2020. (14:36) 

4.  Dangers of relaxing social distancing guidelines too quickly.
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses how the economy should be reopened. The virus is very dangerous, more contagious and more lethal than the flu. Deaths are mounting and many patients may have lasting disability. The key to opening our economy is making the workers and consumers safe.  Workers are concerned regarding returing to their jobs, they need safety  equipment, PPE, and all must wear masks. Cutting off all benefits is setting the stage of social unrest. A start would be to enact universal healthcare. Infection Control Today. May 6, 2020. (14:21)  

3.  Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses COVID-19 and how to identify reliable information.
The speed to publish, retrospective studies and industrial biases muddies study results as we need the answers immediately in a dangerous progressing epidemic.  Infection Control Today May 1, 2020. (15:10)   

2.  Protecting Our Protectors:  A conversation with RN Chris Pontus and Dr. Kevin Kavanagh.
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 7:00 PM 8:30 PM 
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) 

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.