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Presentations & Comments
  • Source Control Key to Prevent Spread of Infectious Diseases
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the importance of source control as it relates to ventilation, masking and isolation. He also discusses concerns with new proposals regarding the relaxation of isolation guidelines for COVID, MRSA and Measles. Finally, Enhanced Barrier Precautions and Chlorhexidine Bathing are discussed. Feb. 27, 2024. YouTube Video:   Download PowerPoint Slides

  • How to Best Manage the Risk of COVID Infections While Seeking Healthcare
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh discusses several strategies to best manage the risks of acquiring COVID-19 while seeking medical care. The concept of minimizing the exposure dosage along with implementation of mitigation factors are discussed. Dosage is related to both the number of people you are in contact with along with the community level of SARS-CoV-2. Mitigation strategies include the monitoring of indoor ventilation, the wearing of masks and vaccinations. Presentation to Mask Together America. Feb. 13, 2024.   Download Slides

  • Major Concerns Regarding CDC's "Enhanced" Barrier Precautions
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh discusses concerns regarding the CDC's proposed Enhanced Barrier Precautions for Nursing Homes. These precautions may be used for residents who are carriers of MRSA, CRE and Candida Auris. However, they are only recommended for staff contacts which have a high risk of transmission. But even low risk activities are performed so often that transmission can occur. In addition, colonized residents are allowed to participate in normal activities. On one hand the CDC is warning of Candida Auris outbreaks and on the other they are recommending little intervention to prevent spread. Health Watch USA recommends that screening, isolation and decolonization be used as the primary strategy and if this fails residents should be cohorted with other residents with compatible microbiomes. Presentation given to the People's CDC on Dec. 7, 2023.   Download Slides

  • Public Comment: CDC HICPAC Meeting - Infection Control Standards.
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm gives a public comment regarding the weakened CDC infection control guidance in view of the risks they impose to immunocompromised individuals. The CDC needs to be mindful of the Americans with Disability Act and protect the most vulnerable in our society when they are formulating new infection recommendations.  Nov. 3, 2023. View Written Comment.   YouTube Video:     View Dec. 30, 2023 Updated Letter.   View CDC Response

  • Public Comment: CDC HICPAC Meeting - Infection Control Standards.
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS, from Health Watch USAsm makes the case for better CDC infection control recommendations. Respirators or PAPRs should be used when treating all airborne respiratory pathogens. Knowledge of a patient's microbiome is of paramount importance. Asymptomatic carriers in hospitals and nursing homes should be identified with screening and undergo isolation and decolonization protocols. If this fails, cohorting nursing home residents with compatible microbiomes should be considered. Enhanced Barrier Precautions are inadequate to stop the spread of disease. They may even enhance spread by providing a false sense of security. Finally, we must protect the most vulnerable in our society and implement protective strategies in compliance with the ADA. Universal masking in healthcare facilities should be implemented to accomplish this goal. CDC HICPAC Meeting, Aug. 22, 2023. View Written Comment.   YouTube Video:  

  • Public Comment: CDC HICPAC Meeting June 9, 2023 – Enhanced Barrier Precautions
    Enhanced barrier precautions is advocated for use to mitigate the spread of CRE and C. Auris in Nursing Home Settings. These are highly dangerous organisms. A clinical trial is certainly indicated before planning for adoption in non-research settings. A better approach is screening to identify the microbiome of residents, decolonization and cohorting if decolonization is not successful. It is concerning that the CDC appears to be moving forward with EBP where there is little evidence supporting their effectiveness with dangerous pathogens and also appears to be considering abandoning N95 masking where there is decades of occupational research supporting their use. Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), June 9, 2023.  View Written Comment   YouTube Video:  

  • The Need for Effective Policy to Prevent Airborne Spread of Pathogens -June 2023 CDC HICPAC Meeting
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh discusses the need for universal and continued use of N95 masks in healthcare settings. Firm standards regarding building ventilation need to be set along with firm and clear guidance to prevent spread. Comment before the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), June 8, 2023.  View Written Comment   YouTube Video:
    (CDC Presentation on Updating the 2007 Isolation Guidelines:    Download Presentation Slides  )

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Imprinting and the Need to Reformulate the COVID-19 Vaccine - CDC ACIP.
    CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  Feb. 23, 2023.  Download Comment

  • Public Health is Based on the Concern for Others - Infection Control Today Interview 
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the problem created by focusing on individual health instead of community health. Too many are only concerned about their risks and choose not to follow public health measures, such as masking, even if this places others at risk. However, one of the greatest protections is to not be exposed to the virus in the first place. Businesses are also too concerned about short-term profits and have not invested in the provision of fitted N95 masks for their employees and improvements in ventilation and UV-C germicidal lighting. We all need to be provided the same protections which were available to the CEOs at the DAVOS World Economic Forum. Infection Control Today Interview. Feb. 6, 2023.  

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Imprinting and the Need to Reformulate the COVID-19 Vaccine - FDA VRBPAC.
    FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.  Jan. 26, 2023.  Download Comment

  • COVID-19: Vaccine Imprinting & The Need for Stronger COVID-19 Policy - CDC HICPAC.
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm comments on the effectiveness of the new bivalent boosters and the concerns regarding immunological imprinting. In addition, he stresses that we cannot vaccinate our way out of the pandemic. The isolation time for COVID-19 needs to be lengthened and incorporate negative testing before termination. Strong clear guidelines for the use of N95 masks, and improvements in ventilation need to be made. Finally, our goals need to be the prevention of infections and Long COVID. The latter which is starting to cripple our workforce. Public Comment at CDC HICPAC meeting. Nov. 3, 2022.  &  
    Written Comment Can Be Downloaded From: 

  • Oral Comment:  CDC HICPAC: Risk Adjustment Risks Normalization of Deviance, A Call For Better Data. 
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the need for "Data for Action". Too often data is highly adjusted and delayed in its release. Risk adjustment should be done to adjust circumstances which cannot be mitigated not to normalize deviance. Risk adjusting for COVID-19, community levels of MRSA are problematic. The Veterans Health Administration has not experienced the pandemic MRSA surge in hospital onset infections that was seen in the private sector. The metric for COVID-19 hospital acquired infections is also severely flawed. Relaxation of school COVID-19 guidance is problematic with the high rate of deaths and hospitalizations in the United States along with the teacher and bus driver shortage. It would be much more pragmatic to wait until the BA.5 booster is available in the next few weeks. Public comment given before the CDC's HICPAC meeting on Aug. 23, 2022.  
    Written Comment Can Be Viewed At:  

  • Oral Comment:  CDC's HICPAC Committee Meeting - Universal Use of N95 Masks & Community Risk Zones Should Be Based Upon Infections
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS from Health Watch USAsm provided the following comment at the the CDC's Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) Meeting. In summary, when masking is required, I would like to encourage the CDC to require universal use of N95 masks.  And in view of the common and disabling effects of long COVID, the CDC should revert to a community risk ranking strategy which is based upon the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections and has as its goal to decrease the spread of disease. CDC HICPAC.  Mar. 24, 2022.     Written Comment:  

  • Who Gets the Lung? Vaccinated or Unvaccinated? - ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD: “One person with COVID-19 can spend months in the ICU, which would prevent 10 or 20, non-COVID-19 cases from going to the ICU, whether it’s for a coronary bypass, or just angioplasty, or getting a cancer procedure. You have 10 or 20 times the number of patients that can’t get care for other serious illnesses.” think that there are some people who really don’t think that this is serious enough to act. And, again, that’s some of the disinformation and the idea of compound interest that “well, you know, we’re not seeing a whole lot of change this year so it’s not something we have to worry about.” I think that there will definitely be a lot of carrots out there and examples to try to encourage people to get vaccinated. On the other hand, I’m seeing some sticks starting to emerge. Singapore is starting to implement that with no longer paying for COVID-19 related illnesses that occur in people who voluntarily are unvaccinated. Infection Control Today. Nov. 26, 2021. 

  • Animal Kingdom: COVID-19 Has So Many Hosts to Choose From. - ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD: “The deer apparently live with COVID-19 quite well, but, yet rapidly spread it amongst the herds. And that’s actually very problematic, because if it finds a host that it doesn’t make sick, but yet it can mutate and change and then reinfect other animals and plus mankind, that is one of the worrisome scenarios that could take place.” Infection Control Today.  Nov. 22, 2021.   YouTube Video:  

  • Oral Comment: CDC's ACIP Committee Regarding Pfizer Vaccine Boosters.
    CDC's Consideration of FDA VRBPA's committee recommendations regarding vaccinated individuals who are biologically high-risk for developing severe COVID-19, and recommendations for boosters for those at high-risk of SARS-CoV-2 exposure.  During a raging pandemic, action is needed NOW, we do not always have the luxury of waiting for the results of randomized controlled trials for boosters.  Comment Before CED ACIP, Sept 23, 2021.      Written Comment: 

  • Founder Of Health Care Advocacy Group Disappointed In Special Session - WVLK
    “It is possible the next variant will cause less disease and we will see a diminution of problems with our society, but so far, each iteration of this virus has been worse than the previous one,” said Kavanagh.
    Kavanagh was scheduled to have surgery next week in Tennessee, but it’s been postponed until early October. Kavanagh is not convinced the surgery will occur even then. “In my mind, I’m asking myself, and again, you have to remember I’m very biased on this. But, I’m asking myself why should I be the one to have to delay needed surgery which may affect my longevity in life, because someone didn’t wish to take a vaccine,” said Kavanagh.  WVLK Stu Johnson.  Sept. 10, 2021.  

  • The Doctor Is On: Fields Tough Questions About COVID-19 - ICT
    “COVID-19 is not just respiratory, it affects every organ of the body. This is a serious type of infection. And we need to be focusing on trying to keep this virus from spreading, plus protecting our young.” The pediatric hospitals are filling. But you also need to remember that approximately 200,000 or more children have lost a caregiver to COVID-19. I mean, they can spread the disease. And it’s having a profound impact on them. And people who are not getting elective surgery, they’re not getting it because the hospitals are filling with [patients who have COVID-19]. It’s a numbers game. Vaccination is a shield, cuts it down a bit. Masks are a shield, cuts it down a bit. Put those two together, and you’re now starting to get some significant protection. You fix indoor building ventilation, you do social distancing, and now you start to formulate a workable plan of getting out of this pandemic.   Infection Control Today.  Aug. 11, 2021.  

  • COVID-19: Lessons Learned A Global Perspective - AHEC
    June 15, 2021 Conference, COVID-19: Lessons Learned A Global Perspective. Subjects include, disinformation, anti-vaxxers, the false narrative of herd immunity, under counting of the pandemic's deaths, animals hosts (white tail deer) for SARS-CoV-2, how masks work, how schools can be opened safely, and how to live with an endemic virus. The Delta Variant and future variants are discussed, along with vaccine breakthrough infections. Southern Kentucky AHEC. Aug. 6, 2021.   

  • Heightened Action on Delta Variant is Needed - CDC  HICPAC Public Comment
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm stresses the importance of having real-time accurate reporting of the COVID-19 immune escape variants. We also need to be genomic sequencing more specimens and should be reporting state specific data to help safeguard the public. The CDC should classify the Delta variant, as a variant of concern. The CDC’s main site should have easy to access and the most up to date data available in the world. Advisories regarding both the Indian Variant (Delta Variant) and the P.1 Brazilian or Gamma Variant need to be made. Public Comment Before the CDC HICPAC Committee. June 3, 2021. 
    Download Comment Letter   

  • U.S. Should View India as Cautionary Tale - ICT
    “India has the double mutation  [COVID-19] variant. That’s the variant that has two escape mutations. And that is a variant we do not need to get into the United States and have it spread. Infection preventionists need to be out there beating the drum. First in their facility: They need to get everybody vaccinated." If you sound the alarm, people may say in the United States everybody’s fine. You’re just a reactionist. But with the news coming from India, in seeing what’s going on over there, they realize that we still need to exercise caution. And if we didn’t take the steps we did last year, we certainly could have wound up just like India. India is an example of what happens if you depend upon the theory of herd immunity. And it is a disaster.  Infection Control Today.  May 5, 2021.

  • COVID-19: Vaccine Safety, Variants & How Vaccines Work - UnitedHere
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm explains how viruses work and how vaccines can stop them. In addition, he describes the vaccine approval process and the safety data which we have so far. The risks of COVID-19 including Long-Haulers Syndrome are discussed in detail and how the risks of COVID-19 far exceed the risks of the vaccine. Misinformation is spreading and various examples are refuted. Finally, COVID-19 viral variants are discussed and how they impact vaccine efficacy. Presentation to UnitedHere. Apr. 6, 2021. (27:56). Video link  

  • COVID-19: Texas Opening To Soon With Invading Variants - ICT
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the dangers of the recent decision of the Texas Governor removing mask mandates. The importance of vaccination and the dangers of the variants are discussed. It was stressed that to safely open the economy, we need to provide workers with N95 masks and to upgrade building ventilation systems for air sanitization and more complete air exchanges. Infection Control Today. Mar. 5, 2021. (22:41)  

  • Better Standards & Tracking To Protect Frontline Workers - CDC HICPAC Meeting
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the need for stronger standards to stop dangerous pathogens. These standards should be based upon what is required to stop spread, rather than what we currently have or are willing to provide. In addition, it is imperative that a national reporting system, and harmonization of CDC materials and standards be implemented. Greater attention also needs to be placed on aerosolization of the SARS-CoV-2 and recommendations for air sanitization and complete air exchanges.  Mar. 4, 2021.  Download Written Comment  YouTube Video:  

  • COVID-19: Benefits of Vaccinations and Risks of COVID-19 - Braintree
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the urgent need for all to be vaccinated. Risks of both COVID-19 and vaccinations are discussed in relation to the different vaccines becoming available and the different variants of the virus which are emerging. The recent conclusion of the National Academy of Science that the SARS-CoV-2 Virus is aerosolized is of utmost importance, since most frontline workers do not have adequate PPE or work in healthy buildings. This makes being vaccinated of utmost importance. Health Watch USA & Massachusetts. Nurses Association.  The Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston, Braintree, MA. Feb. 22, 2021. (34:17)  Download Slides  View YouTube VIdeo:

  • Q&A: COVID-19 Variant Tests? ‘We’re Kind of Flying Blind’ (Interveiw) - ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD:   “Throughout the history of evolution, and even through the history of mankind, you’ve seen species get wiped out. You’ve seen civilizations of man fall because of infections. And the thing that differentiates us from a tadpole is our science and our knowledge. And if we don’t take advantage of that….” But even more worrisome is a set of mutations which have occurred in Brazil, in South Africa. It also has been noticed in the United Kingdom, and also in a patient up in Boston, Massachusetts. All having similar mutations and escape mechanisms, which may make these vaccines less effective. So, if the virus mutates in such a way that that spike protein is changed, then that can affect the vaccine’s ability to kill that virus, along with affecting our ability to detect it. You may have false negatives now coming about from some of these variants. And we will not know that the patient actually has COVID-19 by a laboratory test.  Infection Control Today.  Feb. 12, 2021. 
    Transcript of Interview:    YouTube Video:

  • Q&A: COVID Variants Pose a Deadly Threat (Interview) - ICT
    Willpower. That’s what’s missing, says Kevin Kavanagh, MD, a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board. “We have the technology to do it,” Kavanagh tells ICT®. “We just don’t have the willpower. I mean, we know how it spreads, we know how to kill it, we should be able to stop it cold in its tracks.” And because of that lack of willpower among the public, there’s a real danger that the variants of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that have cropped up will stop being variants and become commonplace, But what’s very distressing about the South African and the Brazilian variants is that they’ve mutated enough that it appears that they can evade our monoclonal antibody therapeutics. And they may be moderately resistant to the vaccines.  Infection Control Today.  Jan. 29, 2021.  
    YouTube Video:

  • Q&A: COVID-19 Is Here to Stay (Interview) - ICT
    "...just the fact that animals can catch COVID-19 is just one of the reasons that makes the disease endemic, says Kavanagh. “We really do need to learn to live with the virus,” Kavanagh tells ICT®. “Things will get much better, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate this virus off the face of the earth, similar to what we did with smallpox.” On the other hand, Kavanagh believes that the new COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the variants of the disease that have recently cropped up. “Because as you know, a vaccine causes a myriad of antibodies to be formed to that spike protein. And a virus would have to evade every single one of them to be successful. And that’s a tall order.”  Infection Control Today.  Jan. 6, 2021.   YouTube Video:

  • COVID-19: Infection Control Today - Reviews Past Interviews With Dr. Kevin Kavanagh (Interview)
    Frank Diamond of Infection Control Today reviews segments of interviews from 2020 from Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USA(sm). Topics of who we will transform to a new normal and not go back to the old along with the dangers of letting the virus surge and outstripping our resources are discussed. Infection Control Today. Dec. 21, 2020. 

  • 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. 

  • Q&A: ‘Arguing’ Before the Supreme Court - ICT
    When I read the thought process behind the Supreme Court decision, I did not feel it was a church-versus-state decision, more than saying, “Hey, we need to do everything equally.” And that’s extremely important in infection control. You cannot have some high-risk facilities open and others closed. That’s not only not fair, but it also won’t control the pandemic. As you know, we’ve written extensively and talked extensively about control of MRSA [Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus], and how the recommendations between hospitals and nursing homes do not coincide with each other.   Infection Control Today.  Dec. 1, 2020.  

  • Healthcare Workers Hit by COVID Need Workers Comp - ICT
    "Kevin Kavanagh, MD. In a wide-ranging discussion, Kavanagh—a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board—says that the nation isn’t doing nearly enough to help those on the frontlines battling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Kavanagh says that “these frontline healthcare workers are putting their lives at risk, and also the lives of their families and loved ones. And they need to be given support; at least proper protective equipment. In my opinion, they should get presumptive workers comp, if they start to develop problems. This is a significant problem.” The public isn’t taking the disease seriously enough and leaders are not leading."  Infection Control Today.  Nov. 17, 2020.

  • COVID Vaccine: What Infection Preventionists Need to Know - ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD: "Infection preventionists will need to make sure that they still have access to adequate PPE, even if the vaccine comes out [and they] really need to look at the experimental group that was used for the EUA."  And believe me, if I was a frontline healthcare worker at my age, a vaccine would really have to have a lot of complications and concerns before I would not get it. Now that's just a personal view. Because if it adds any armor to protect me from a highly infectious disease that's very prevalent in our community, that has a high rate of fatality, and even a higher rate of chronic disability, I would opt for that vaccine. Infection Control Today.  Oct. 30, 2020.

  • Q&A: Are Infection Preventionists Being Misinformed? ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD: "Many of the infection preventionists over the last six months now have more experience than many of the policymakers up in DC, because they’ve lived it firsthand. And they’ve seen how COVID-19 can spread. And they’re starting to develop a good idea of how to stop it." "There have been a number of statements from the CDC or at least with the CDC label on it, which have been disturbing," Kavanagh tells ICT®. Some of those disturbing statements can be attributed to the fact that the CDC and the rest of the world didn’t quite know what it was dealing with, but not all of them. Kavanagh worries that political pressure may be at work. One of the ways infection preventionists (IPs) can educate themselves is to look at what’s being done in other countries, and read the comments under pre-print studies. Also, experience counts, and IPs have now had months of dealing with the coronavirus. Infection Control Today.  Oct. 9, 2020.

  • COVID-19 The Need for the Public To Embrace Public Health Strategies - KRHA
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses reasons why the public has not embraced public health guidance. They include, overstatement of treatment efficacy, mixed messaging regarding the use of masks, testing for asymptomatic carriers and aerosolization of COVID-19. In addition, false narratives (that herd immunity can be achieved with few deaths, COVID-19 is no deadlier than the flu and children do not become sick) are discussed. Finally, ways of retorting misinformation with examples given regarding the effectiveness of the Zelenko Protocol and use of facial masks. Nov. 12, 2020. Kentucky Rural Health Association.  YouTube Video:     Download Slides  

  • COVID 19: History of Ineffective Infectious Disease Policy
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm updates his previous lecture which traces the history of the United States response to the COVID-19 epidemic. A historical perspective is given, covering President George Bush's 2005 proposal of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act to the disastrous second peak of the first wave with continued shortages of medical supplies and the changing federal advisements on asymptomatic spread, viral aerosolization and use of masks. Treatments are reviewed along with overstatements of efficacy. Finally, vaccines are discussed along with the review process and distribution barriers.  Sept. 29, 2020.  Kentucky Association for Healthcare Quality & Southern Kentucky AHEC.  Download Presentation Slides  YouTube Videos:  

  • Q&A: Infection Preventionists Should Head Back to School - ICT
    “I think you’ll find that infection preventionists in this type of climate are just not healthcare employed personnel. They need to be everywhere. They need to be in business. They need to be in schools. And, of course, they need to be in our healthcare system. But it is crucial to be in schools…”
    up to 15% of their college football players who tested positive for COVID-19—and this includes both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients—has a mild carditis. And this may present many years down the line with a cardiomyopathy. Now you’ll hear people say, “Well, we don’t know what that means. They’re asymptomatic, so they probably won’t develop anything.” Well, the problem with that narrative is, is we just don’t know. And dilated cardiomyopathy, which is the most common type, almost 50% of those are idiopathic, or you do not know what caused them. And it’s felt to be caused by an asymptomatic, viral myocarditis. And so, this is cause for concern.  Infection Control Today.  Sept. 16, 2020.
    Video Link:

  • Q&A: Flu Data Show Potency of Anti-COVID Tactics Like Masking, Hand Hygiene - ICT
    Wear a mask, good hand hygiene, follow social distancing guidelines: The strategies just mentioned might snuff out COVID-19 in the long term, says Kavanagh, if everybody follows them. “But when you look at the flu, which isn’t as infectious, you would expect it to just annihilate that type of a pandemic and organism and that’s what we’re seeing in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Kavanagh. “Now, that of course is contingent that we follow this guidance, which as you know, is anywhere but universally accepted by the American public.  Infection Control Today.  Aug 18, 2020.  

  • COVID-19: Seasonal Flu and COVID-19 a Dud or Devastation It is Up To You - ICT
    Kevin T. Kavanagh, MD, MS, Infection Control Today Editorial Board Member discusses the dangers of simultaneous occurrence of COVID-19 and the flu epidemics. The seasonal flu has all but disappeared in much of the Southern Hemisphere underscoring the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene. Although, still very important, the lack of samples may make the flu vaccine more problematic than in previous years. Also, discussed are topics of lasting immunity to COVID-19, the false narrative of Herd Immunity and organized social media misinformation. Infection Control Today. Aug. 18, 2020.   YouTube Video: 
    Link to related ICT article: 
    Download Slides and References: 

  • COVID-19: Survivability And The Prevention of Spread - HWUSA Conference Enduring Materials
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the survivability of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 Virus) in the environment (surfaces, sunlight, humidity, heat) and with different types of hand sanitizers. He also describes research behind the use of masks, eye protection and social distancing along with data indicating the virus may be airborne or aerosolized more commonly than thought. Finally, risks and mitigating strategies are described in various retail and community venues. Aug. 5, 2020.   Download PDF PowerPoint Slides   View Video: 

  • COVID-19: Presentation In Children and When To Open Schools. - HWUSA Conference Enduring Materials
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the various presentations of COVID-19 in children, and the risk of childhood transmission to and infections of adults. Current guidance on opening of schools along with international experience on school openings is also discussed.  Aug. 5, 2020.  Download PDF PowerPoint Slides.   View Presentation Video: 

  • COVID-19: Viral Characteristics, Disease Presentations & Lasting Disability - HWUSA Conference Enduring Materials
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus along with the body's immune response and dwindling prospects for herd immunity. Characteristics of COVID-19 along with protracted recovery and disability is also discussed. Aug. 5, 2020.  Download PDF PowerPoint Slides.   View Presentation Video:    Download Complete Slide Set

  • COVID-19: The Need For A National Tracking System Of Dangerous Pathogens - ICT
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the need for a national tracking system for dangerous pathogens and how the recent reassignment of tracking from the CDC to the Department of Health and Human Services is ill timed and it would have been preferable to improve the CDC's NHSN reporting system. Infection Control Today. July 28, 2020. (15:35)  

  • COVID-19: Experience in Other Countries - ICT
    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. July 28, 2020.  (15:25)

  • COVID-19: Conference Closing Remarks - HWUSA Conference
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm summarizes the 2020 COVID-19 Conference. The United States has fallen behind other nations of the world in controlling COVID-19. Almost all nations underestimated the infectivity and lethality of the virus and had to change public health recommendations to achieve control. But unlike other nations, many in the United States used these changes to discredit public health officials and then advocate to not follow public health strategies. Leaders in the United States have also mitigated the dangers of the virus and the usefulness of widespread community testing.
    Closing Remarks: Health Watch USAsm & the Massachusetts Nursing Association 2020 COVID-19 Conference. July 15, 2020. Download Presentation Slides   View Video:  

  • COVID-19: The History of the Ineffective Disease Policy - HWUSA Conference
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm traces the history of the ineffective infectious disease policy regarding the USA's attempt to stop the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic. A historical perspective is given, covering President George Bush's 2005 proposal of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act to the disastrous second peak of the first wave which was associated with continued supply disruptions, lack of testing and an uncoordinated Federal response. (23:05). July. 15, 2020. Download Presentation Slides View Video:  

  • Pool Testing Might Be Needed to Slow COVID's Spread - ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD, the founder of Health Watch USAsm, has been sounding the alarm about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the beginning. He tells Infection Control Today that it might be time for pool or community testing. Infection Control Today. July 3, 2020.   You Tube Video: 

  • COVID-19: Importance of the Public Wearing Masks - ICT
    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.  

  • Q & A: Reopening After COVID-19 Needs to be Done Carefully - ICT 
    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. 

  • COVID-19 Dangers of Opening the Economy too quickly -ICT 
    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)  

  • How do we find reliable information? Infection Control Today - ICT
    Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Wtach 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) 

  • Two Comments: Age of Healthcare Worker and COVID-19 - Enhanced Barrier Precautions in Nursing Homes - ICT
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS public comment to CDC's HICPAC meeting March 5, 2020 regarding:  1. Limiting Older Healthcare Worker Exposure to COVID-19.  2. Concerns Regarding Effectiveness of Enhanced Barrier Precautions In Nursing Homes.
    Youtube Presentation:

  • CDC Enhanced Barrier Precautions for Nursing Homes -- Will they work? - CDC HICPAC
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS from Health Watch USAsm expresses concern regarding the efficacy of enhanced barrier precautions in preventing the spread of dangerous pathogens in nursing homes. Public Comment CDC HICPAC Meeting, Nov. 14, 2019.  View YouTube Video:     Download Written Comment

  • Transparent and Accurate Reporting of Infection Rates - CDC HICPAC Mtg 
    Kevin Kavanagh, MD, Health Watch USAsm, stresses the need for accurate reporting of and increase transparency of dangerous pathogens. Public Comment given before the CDC's HICPAC Committee. May 16, 2019.  View YouTube Video:
    Related LA Times OpEd:

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD from Health Watch USAsm comments a the National Quality Forum CSAC meeting, April 24 -25, 2019. on:
    1) The opioid epidemic and the effectiveness of opioids in chronic pain. 
    2) The unintended harms of improper risk adjustments for disparities. 
    3) NQF metric approval process and the role of the Scientific Methods Panel. 

View all NQF Comments: 

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD presents comments before the National Quality Forums Consensus Standards Approval Committee regarding a proposed metric for measuring Wait Listing of dialysis patients for renal transplantation. NQF CSAC meeting on March 12, 2918.  YouTube Video:

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS:  Public comments given regarding the prevention of MRSA in the NICU along with the protection of healthcare workers and safety of infectious disease medical devices.   Nov. 15 & 16, 2018 CDC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC).  YouTube Video (5 mins): 

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS, discusses healthcare worker and patient safety issues which are created by the United States Response to the drug resistant bacteria epidemic. Not setting firm standards and research integrity problems have prevented an effective response in may of our institutions. Nov. 2, 2018 Kentucky Nursing Association Conference -- Expanded slide set is used in this video.
    The Epidemic of Multi-Drug Resistance Organisms -- It is NOT the Nurses Fault!! 
    YouTube Video (12.36 mins):     View Slides    Download Handout

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD. comments regarding the National Quality Forum's (NQF) Renal Standing Committee’s non-approval of two metrics to measure dialysis center referral rates for kidney transplantation.  The final NQF CSAC recommendation was not to accept the Standing Committee’s recommendation and to refer the metrics back to the Standing Committee for reconsideration. Oct. 23, 2018.
    View YouTube Video: 

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD. comments regarding the National Quality Forum's metric #0496: Median Time from ED Arrival to ED Departure for Discharged ED Patients (The Lewin Group/CMS were sponsors). The National Quality Forum (NQF) Standing Committee recommended not to renew the quality measurement on Emergency Room wait times. This recommendation was upheld by the NQF Consensus Standards Approval Committee (CSAC). However, several members felt this quality measurement should be renewed. This abbreviated video contains some of their comments.

    Points argued for not approving the metric were that:
    1) The metric was not risk adjusted.
    2) There is not good evidence that it measures quality, just patient satisfaction.
    3) Other metrics measure ER wait times.

    The main points argued for approving the metric were that:
    1) Not having good evidence to show that the metric has validity in measuring quality is not applicable, since it would be very hard to ethically design a randomized control trial on ER Wait times.  Who would consent to be in such a study?
    2) That patient satisfaction should be given equal weight to quality in the assessment of metric validity.
    3) Risk adjustment for the acuity of hospital patients was not needed, since the hospital can staff according to the acuity profile of the patients they serve.
    4) The other metrics measuring ER wait times are being withdrawn.

    Final CSAC recommendation was to not renew the metric. View YouTube Video:   

  • Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS, from Health Watch USAsm presents on Preventable Hospital Mortality. Preventable deaths are far too common. Little if any improvement has taken place since the 1999 Institute of Medicine's report which found between 44,000 and 98,000 preventable deaths. The figure may be even higher with multiple studies showing the rate to approximate 200,000 deaths per year. There have been far too many excuses and too little action. The Leapfrog Group estimates that over 33,000 lives would be saved if all hospitals functioned at a similar level to their group of highest performing hospitals. Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. Sept. 5, 2018.     Download Handout     Download Slides

  • Multi-Drug Resistant Organism & Antibiotic Overutilization.  Kevin Kavanagh, MD from Health Watch USAsm discusses the causes and characteristics of the epidemic of multi-drug resistant organisms. Along with the cost to society if system-wide measures are not implemented to bring the epidemic under control. Edited version with pertinent PowerPoint slides. Jack Pattie Show - WVLK-AM March 28, 2018.  

  • Multi-drug Resistant Bacteria - Incidence, Prevelance and Healthcare Transformation.  Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm discusses the epidemic of multi-drug resistant organisms and their prevention, projected economic impact and patient mortality. In-depth discussion is given to C. Difficile, CRE and MRSA. Somerset Community College Public Presentation - Given March 19, 2018.   Download PDF of PowerPoint   YouTube Video:

  • Kevin T. Kavanagh, MD, MS, presents at The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Care Ratings Summit on Dec. 7, 2017. Topics discussed are preventable mortality, hospital accreditation surveys, antibiotic resistant infections (MRSA), medical devices, full disclosure, risk adjustment, value-based purchasing and research integrity.   YouTube Video:    Download PowerPoint PDF  

  • Kavanagh KT.  Health Watch USAsm comments at the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on MRSA tracking and prevention, along with the need for a better definition of an "outbreak", the over dependance on hand hygiene and the importance of knowing the patient's microbiome.  Sept. 13, 2017.   YouTu

    be Video:

  • Kavanagh KT. presents on preventable hospital mortality and how the context of the patient should not be used to lessen the severity of the event. In addition, the applicability of the foreign studies to predict the safety of the U.S. healthcare system is questioned.  Dec. 9, 2016.  YouTube Video: 

  • Kavanagh KT. Health Watch USAsm Comments on the importance of preventing the transmission of resistant bacteria between patients. In addition, the importance of nursing, worker safety and carrier surveillance was stressed. Attention was also drawn to polymixin B in topical over-the-counter antibiotics as a possible cause of resistance to colistin. Presidential Advisory Council for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. Jun. 21 2016. Washington DC. YouTube Video:   View Written Comment

  • Kavanagh KT. MRSA Surveillance, Concerns Regarding Chlorhexidine and Bacterial Resistance. SFAR (Stakeholder' Forum in Antibiotic Resistance) Conference. Oct. 9, 2014. Philadelphia, PA.  YouTube Video    Download PDF of Slides  View Video of Presentation

  • Kavanagh KT. Prevention of MRSA infections using surveillance, isolation and decolonization. Bluegrass Healthcare Coalition. Lexington, KY. Mar. 18, 2014. YouTube Video:  View Video of Presentation

Health Watch USAsm Presentation Topics & Power Points

  • Nursing and Healthcare Policy.     View PowerPoint

  • The Certificate of Need - History and Current Status.     View PowerPoint

  • Healthcare Transparency, how to shop for health care and resources available to the consumer.     View PowerPoint

  • Hospital Acquired Conditions and Never Events.   The history and rational behind the current public policy.    (See Testimony Section)

  • Public Reporting of Hospital Acquired Infections.    (See Testimony Section)

  • Healthcare Transparency, Public Reporting and Adverse Events     View PowerPoint


MRSA Picture

The pictures on the right and left are photomicrographs of
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).