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Comments Before Federal Committees:
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Health Watch USA Meetings:
Presentations & Interviews:

Comments Before Federal Committees:  Back To Top

Aug. 22, 2023 - Public Comment: CDC HICPAC Meeting - Infection Control Standards.
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, MD, MS, from Health Watch USA(sm) 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:     
June 9, 2023 - Public Comment: CDC HICPAC Meeting – Enhanced Barrier Precautions
Enhanced barrier precautions is advocated for use to mitigate the spread of CRE and C. Auris. 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:  
Jun. 8, 2023. 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 needs 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:    Downlaod Presentation Slideset  )

Feb. 22, 2023. COVID-19 Vaccine Imprinting and the Need to Reformulate the COVID-19 Vaccine.
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Feb. 23, 2023.  Download Comment
Jan. 26, 2023. COVID-19 Vaccine Imprinting and the Need to Reformulate the COVID-19 Vaccine.
FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.  Jan. 26, 2023.  Download Comment   
Jan. 24, 2023. Impact of COVID-19 Immune Dysfunction on Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria- PACCARB Presentation
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh gives a short discussion regarding the impact of immune dysfunction caused by COVID-19 and its impact on antibiotic resistant organisms. It is stressed that exposure needs to be prevented and similar to the protocols used by the Veterans Health Administration system, surveillance and contact precautions are of utmost importance. PACCARB Oral Comment Jan. 24, 2023.     Download Written Comment.

Nov. 2, 2022. COVID-19: Vaccine Imprinting & The Need for Stronger COVID-19 Policy
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: 

Sept. 13, 2022. Antibiotic Resistant Infections Increasing. During COVID-19 CMS suppressing many infection in value purchasing programs.  However, MRSA infections did not increase in the VHA system.  Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB) meeting.   Download Written Comment.

Aug. 23, 2022.  CDC HICPAC: Need for Data and Risk Adjustment Normalization of Deviance
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:  

June 2, 2022.  Comment Regarding The CDC adopting the highest level of safety standards to protect patients, the public and frontline staff.  CDC HICPAC Download Written Comment  

Mar. 24, 2022.  COVID-19: 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.  March 24, 2022.   Video:   View Presentation Video  Download Written Comment 

Mar. 24, 2022.  Written Public Comment regarding CDC presentation on the use of gowns and masks by healthcare workers while treating COVID-19 patients.   HICPAC Meeting Supplemental Comment.  Download Written Comment      

Sept. 23, 2021.  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.           

Aug. 13, 2021.  Written Public Comment CDC Advisory Committee on Vaccines Regarding Boosters in the Elderly.    View Comment 

Jun. 3, 2021.  Oral & Written Public Comments:  CDC HICPAC Regarding The Need For Better COVID-19 Variant Tracking And Reporting.
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.   Video:   Download Comment Letter

Mar. 4, 2021.  Oral & Written Public Comments:  CDC HICPAC Regarding Better Standards & Tracking To Protect Frontline Workers.  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.   Video:      Download Written Comment  

Feb. 11, 2021.  Oral & Written Public Comments:  PACCARB Regarding Universal Reporting of Pathogens, Better COVID-19 HAI Metrics.
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsmgives a public comment during the Sept 11, 2021 Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria which stresses the need for universal reporting of all dangerous pathogens, including antibiotic resistant organisms.  In addition, the United States needs to increase support of public health to implement early surveillance and case tracking. Health Care Worker Acquisitions of dangerous pathogens need to be reported along with revising our current COVID-19 HAI metric, which is not effectively capturing infections. Video:  
Expanded Written Comments:

Sep. 10, 2020.  Oral & Written Public Comments: PACCARB Regarding Need for a Comprehensive National Reporting System. “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.  Video:      Download Written Comment

Written Comments Regarding Federal Policy:   Back To Top

CMS - 2023, June 4. Comment requesting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) enact a financial incentive to reduce COVID-19 spread in hospitals as part of CMS-1785-P. Written Comment

Jan. 15, 2022.  Action Letters Requesting an independent Presidential Federal Advisory Committee for COVID-19 be reestablished under the Biden administration.  The letter is signed by Health Watch USAsm, National Nurses United and the Mass. Nurses Assoc. 

Senator Mitch McConnell

Senator Chuck Schumer

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Mr. Jeff Zients

Feb. 3, 2022.  Written Comment on the U.S. Senate Help Committee's bipartisan Pandemic and Public Health Preparedness and Response Bill (PREVENT Pandemics Act)  Download Comment

Mar. 10, 2022.  2023-2026 NHSS comments, “National Health Security Strategy” regarding pandemic preparedness and response.  Download Comment 


Health Watch USA Meetings Regarding COVID-19:  Back To Top

25.  The Economic and Societal Cost of Disinformation and Not Implementing Optimal Strategies.
Dr. Richard Bruns, PhD discusses cost-benefit analysis of public health initiatives. This analysis can be applied to the cost of implementing, discouraging, and not implementing preventative strategies. The calculation relies on the determination of the number of lives saved along with the cost of saving each life, and if the amount of resources allocated would cost more lives than lives saved. In the United States, the breakeven point for strategies is spending 10 million dollars per life saved, or $500,000 per life year saved. The effects of misinformation and disinformation have discouraged many from becoming vaccinated. When assigning dollar values to the lives lost and health harms of not getting vaccinated, misinformation has a monetized cost of between 50 to 300 million dollars every day, almost all of which is due to the health harms. There is a clear and large benefit to implementing preventative public health strategies. It does not make economic sense to discontinue preprocedural testing for COVID-19 or to drop masking requirements. It is amazing how facilities will not pay for high quality personal protective equipment (PPE). The cost in disability, lives and in healthcare disruption more than justifies expenditures for these strategies. Health Watch USAsm meeting: Aug. 16, 2023. 
24.  The Unbearable Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 Endemicity
Dr. Georgios Pappas, a physician from Greece, specializing in zoonotic infections and epidemic preparedness and known for his detailed report on the largest laboratory accident in Southeast Asia which release Brucella discussed the Endemicity of COVID-19. He discusses the Greek experience in combating COVID-19 and the political forces in his country which both helped and hindered the public health effort. These forces include: The Church, The Russian Factor, Scientific Dissidents, Political Dissidents, the Need for Tourists and The Pandemic as a Political issue. There are 14 fallacies (mis and disinformation) which segments of the public hold regarding the virus. These include:

1. The virus is gone.
2. SARS-CoV-2 is just another Influenza.
3. The Epidemic is Mild.
4. SARS-CoV-2 needs to adapt.
5. Omicron is milder.
6. We can predict the viral moves.
7. Eventually, we will achieve herd immunity.
8. We can rely on treatments.
9. Immunocompromised should shelter.
10. Minimal risk for the "young & healthy".
11. Healthcare can handle it.
12. The truth will (automatically) prevail.
13. It's not our job.
14. We won.

Health Watch USAsm meeting, June 7, 2028. 
23.  Dr. Amed Awan, MD, MPH discusses misinformation and its impact on medicine and public health.
Misinformation and purposefully spread disinformation is being widely posted on social media with little review of its validity. People spend an average of two and a half hours on social media every day. Over 70% of those in the United States use social media daily. Disinformation is prevalent, exemplified by the Washington Post publishing a leaked document which states only 1% of fake Russian social media profiles are caught. The COVID-19 pandemic has been politicized and there are political motives for disseminating disinformation. The consequences are staggering. We know that more than 1.1 million individuals have died of COVID-19. As of May 2022, there were over 318,000 vaccine preventable deaths. Individuals whose deaths were largely caused by mis and disinformation. Health Watch USAsm meeting. May 17, 2023.  
22. Apr. 19, 2023.  Origins of COVID0-19 based upon computer modeling and vaccine design.
Nikolai Petrovsky, MBBS, PhD discusses computer modeling of the ACE2 receptors of various species along with vaccine development and the insights these provide into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19). Of importance is that the Furin Cleavage Site on the SARS-CoV-2 virus is not found in SARS-CoV-1 or in the broader family of viruses. The Furin Cleavage Site can be obtained through mutation or recombination, but neither seems plausible. The binding of the original virus to the ACE2 receptor has the highest affinity to human receptors. It binds less tightly to other animal cells. The pangolin was felt to be a possible intermediary host. The recovered coronavirus from this animal had a highly similar spike protein to SARS-CoV-2, but the remainder of the virus was highly dissimilar. The possibility was discussed that the pangolin may be the source of an artificially transferred spike protein to SARS-CoV-2. Modeling predicted that COVID-19 would not efficiently bind to the bat ACE2 receptor which supports the need for an intermediate host. The strongest viral binding to any ACE2 animal receptor studied, was to humans, which in itself indicates the original virus was already optimally evolved to infect humans at the very first of the pandemic. Health Watch USAsm meeting April 19, 2023.  
21. Mar. 15, 2023. One Health and the potential of H5N1 jumping from Birds to Humans - Dr. Daniel Perez
Daniel Perez, PhD discusses avian influenza viruses. Some, such as the H5N1 are highly pathogenic and have low infectivity in humans while others have low pathogenicity such as the H9N2 virus but are highly infectious in humans. Even though the H5N1 has caused a massive avian pandemic, there are relatively few cases in humans in the past 6 years compared to 2015 and before. Thus, the risks to humans are low, but there is significant concern regarding risks to our food supply. Whole inactivated virus adjuvanted vaccines gave a stronger immunological response than modified attenuated viral vaccines. However, immunomodulators can increase the response to attenuated viral vaccines. Vaccination of poultry is labor intensive. The use of attenuated live viral vaccines has distinct advantages in agriculture. In addition, some countries will not import vaccinated poultry.

Several lessons can be learned regarding our current pandemic.
1. The geographic breadth and size of the current N5H1 pandemic is of significant concern regarding possible emergence of new variants which have increased adaption for infection of humans and mammals.
2. Viral mutations and new clades do not necessarily mean lower pathogenicity.
3. Animal reservoirs can cause the recurrence of a viral strain which became extinct in humans. This happened with the H1N1 influenza virus.

Health Watch USAsm meeting March 15, 2023.  
20. Feb. 15, 2023. Immune Debt Versus SARS-CoV-2 Immune Dysfunction
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm explains why Immune Dysfunction is thought by many to be the main driver of the surges in bacterial and viral infections the world is experiencing. Immune debt caused by lockdowns is an unlikely cause of the RSV surges. For example, Sweden had two large surges of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections but did not have lockdowns and had little use of masking by the public. Dr. Kavanagh presents both epidemiological, clinical and laboratory evidence to support this etiology. The overriding message is that public health interventions, such as masking and social distancing protect individuals and communities and do not cause harm. Health Watch USAsm Meeting. Feb. 15, 2023.     
19.  Nov. 16, 2022. COVID-19: New Variants and the BA.5 Bivalent Booster
Dr. Wilmore C. Webley, Assoc. Professor & Assoc. Dean, Office of Inclusion & Engagement in the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Webley has received a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with expertise in immunology, infectious disease, host-pathogen interactions, and a concentration in vaccine development. Dr. Webley discusses the new bivalent BA.5 booster and the challenges the new variants impose. In addition, an overview is presented on the life cycle of viruses, their propensity for mutation and the ever-increasing myriad of SARS-CoV-2 variants which have evolved. An overview of the WHO classification of viruses is also given. Health Watch USA Meeting. Nov. 16, 2022.      
18. Oct. 19, 2022.  Mitigating the Effect of COVID in Children: The Struggle Continues
Allen Geller, RN, MPH, from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health discusses COVID-19 in children. COVID-19 is still a serious pandemic in the United States with 350 to 400 total deaths per day. Children can get COVID-19 and develop serious disease. A common misconception is that children do not spread the disease, but they can spread it to both teachers and caregivers. Schools are one of the great reservoirs for transmission of COVID. For school safety, during high levels of community spread, masking, rapid testing and cohorting are strategies which should be implemented. Students should be vaccinated before the start of the school year. One of the goals for adequate ventilation is at least 6 air exchanges per hour which has led to better health outcome and is important for cognition and reducing school absences. During the pandemic there was approximately a doubling of absenteeism.
• Push for districts to promote vaccinating a large number of 5 to 11 year olds that are still not vaccinated.
• Work with districts to rebuild their COVID dashboards.
• Regular testing of children is supported by two-thirds of parents. Make provisions of rapid antigen tests opt-out rather than opt-in. There is strong support for providing take home rapid tests.
• Strongly reconsider remasking in periods of surges reviewing week by week attendance data.
• Wastewater testing has the potential of being used to monitor for the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in schools.
• School based attendance records are also important triggers for medical and public health review.
• Portable CO2 monitors should be used to monitor air quality in school rooms.
Health Watch USAsm meeting, Oct. 19, 2022.   

17. May 18, 2022.  Insights Into Patterns of Bacterial Resistance During Seasonal Flu and COVID-19 Surges
Dr. Vikas Gupta, Director, MMS Medical Affairs at Becton, Dickinson and Company; and Dr. Kalvin Yu, Vice President, Medical & Scientific Affairs, US Region. Prior to being at BD, Dr Yu was Chief of Infectious Diseases at Southern California Kaiser Permanente. They discuss "Insights from near real-time data on infection rates and related outcomes in the post COVID-19 vaccine period." They also give insights into patterns of rising bacterial resistance that they have observed during this time period. Health Watch USAsm Meeting. May 18, 2022.  

16.  Mar. 16, 2022.  The Dark Side of Science: Misconduct in Biomedical Research
Elizabeth Bik, PhD discusses research integrity problems in published journals. She discusses examples of plagiarism, falsification and fabrication. Dr. Bik estimates research integrity problems affect 5% to 10% of published peer reviewed scientific papers . In a review of 782 papers which had integrity problems which were reported 5 years previously to the publication, journal editors took no action on 65.5%, corrected 26.9%, retracted 7.4% and published an expression of concern in 0.3%, Some integrity problems are the result of an organized disinformation effort based in China, Russia and Iran, which generates fake research and manuscripts for those willing to purchase their services. Methods of distinguishing fake and flawed research is also discussed. Health Watch USAsm Meeting. Mar. 16, 2022.  

15. Feb. 16, 2022.  COVID-19: School Safety and Mitigation in Massachusetts
Amanda Mulcahy, RN describes the COVID-19 mitigation strategies which have been implemented at her Massachusetts' school system. These include upgrading ventilation, masks, social distancing, barriers, outdoor classes, robust testing, vaccinations and boosters, and symptom monitoring and tracking. The collection of data was also used to evaluate strategies and to guide the timing of implementation. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.   

14. Jan. 20, 2022. COVID-19 Update in the State of Florida and Issues Beyond
Linda Spaulding, RN, CIC discusses the current state of COVID-19 in the State of Florida. Topics include, staffing shortages, worker safety, violence against healthcare workers and reduced access to healthcare with critical non-COVID patients. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.
13.  Dec. 15, 2021. COVID-19: A Perspective from Healthcare Professionals from Around The World.
On Dec 15, 2021, a meeting of prominent infectious disease experts from around the world was conducted by Health Watch USAsm Authorities from the United States, Singapore, Australia, Germany, and Peru were in attendance along with a short narrative update from the United Kingdom. Overall, all nations are reporting a significant rise in cases due to the Delta Variant. Omicron is starting to take hold and the United Kingdom is bracing for an onslaught of patients which may overrun their healthcare system. Preventative strategies and barriers of the various countries are presented. Strategies discussed are masking, testing, travel bans, vaccine passports, natural immunity, vaccinations and financial disincentives. The United States, similar to other countries around the world, have little or no reserve to muster to confront an onslaught of hospitalizations due to the highly infectious Omicron Variant. Unless the United States starts to embrace public health advice, COVID-19 may become a catastrophe both in lives ruined, lost and in economically breaking dollar costs. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.   

12.  Nov. 17, 2021. COVID-19: Cardiac Manifestations in the Young and Occupational Health For Front Line Workers.
Carol A. Clancy, NP-C, MSN, presents a severe case of COVID-19 in a young family member who developed severe myocarditis requiring ECMO but had few pulmonary symptoms. This case underscores the occupational health risks encountered by even young frontline workers. The pharmaceutical industry implemented a robust system to protect their workers, including weekly COVID-19 testing, access to onsite and home testing as needed, availability of abundant PPE, upgrading building ventilation systems, the ability for workers to work from home (if able), and paid sick leave with presumptive short-term disability. Many other sectors of the healthcare industry did not provide this degree of support for frontline workers. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.  

11.  Oct. 20, 2021.  COVID-19: Dr. Ed Nardell Discusses Advantages of UV-C Air Disinfection Using Upper Room Fixtures.
Dr. Nardell is professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, discusses germicidal UV is the essential technology for disinfecting air in rooms where transmission is occurring. Dr. Nardell provides information on the efficacy and safety of UV-C along with comparing the efficacy of upper room disinfection units to free standing inbox units and UV-C in central air conditioning and heating systems. In a pandemic a goal of 20 complete air exchanges per hour is ideal and upper room UV-C is a cost efficient and safe way of achieving this goal. In addition, the use of carbon dioxide monitors to determine rebreathed air fraction and infection risk is also discussed. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.     

Aug. 13, 2021. COVID-19: Gov. Dukakis Discusses Infrastructure and Opening of Schools
Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USAsm and Governor Dukakis discuss infrastructure upgrades (including ventilation systems) which are needed to open schools safer. Also discussed are the importance of testing everyone in schools (teachers and students) twice weekly and using N95 masks to help prevent infection with the Delta Variant All who can need to become vaccinated. Although, those vaccinated may still develop breakthrough infections, the vaccines are very good in preventing deaths and hospitalizations. Jeff Santos & Governor Dukakis.    

10.  Jul. 21, 2021.  COVID-19:  Lessons Learned in Peru: 
Dr. Patrick Palmieri from Peru discusses the Peruvian COVID-19 pandemic and Lambda Variant. The effects of the Delta Variant are uncertain because of an underdeveloped healthcare system and poor recordkeeping. Similar to what was reported by Dr. Paul Yonga from Kenya corruption was a major barrier  . In Peru's case this involved a lack of ventilators and oxygen. There also appeared to be a higher rate of physicians being diagnosed with COVID-19 who are vaccinated. This observation is compounded by questions of the efficacy of the vaccine and some healthcare workers giving fake vaccination shots. Compared to excess death data, the true death rate in Chile was three-fold higher. The difference was created by the Government only counting those deaths which had a positive test in a country with limited testing. This is a situation similar to India. (Dr. Rodrigeus-Bano from Spain also discussed this problem in his presentation h  ). There is very little vaccination hesitancy in Chile. The vaccine rollout was marred by a scandal of the rich and influential receiving the vaccine first. One success is the Peruvian program of vaccinating people in their homes. It is perplexing why vaccines and at home vaccinations are so controversial in the United States. This type of activity should be what public health is all about.  Health Watch USA Meetingsm Download Slides 
View YouTube Video:
9.  Jun. 9, 2021. COVID-19: India In Crisis -- Vineeta Gupta, MD, JD
Dr. Vineeta Gupta describes the conditions in India and the socioeconomic challenges which inhibit the pandemics control. The impact of the Delta (B1617.2) Variant on India and the United States is also discussed. Health Watch USAsm meeting. 

8.  May 19, 2021. COVID-19: Infection Control in the Ambulatory Care Setting During a Pandemic.
Sonja Rivera Saenz, MPH, Infection Control Director at Atrius Health, discusses challenges and strategies regarding the control and prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in the ambulatory care setting. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.   

7.  Apr. 21, 2020. Grief, Morning, Loss and Dying in the Age of COVID-19
Psychologist Alan Cusher discusses the complexity of dealing with loss and death during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also discusses the different types of loss which the nation is dealing with and how COVID-19 has inhibited our ability to copy and resolve these losses. Health Watch USAsm Meeting.   

6.  Mar. 17, 2021. Dr. Henry Hrdlicka, PhD Dicusses Long-Hauler Syndrome.  bsp;
Dr. Henry Hrdlicka from Gaylord Specialty Healthcare discusses the presentations and pathophysiology of Long Hauler Syndrome. COVID-19 affects many organs of the body including lung, kidney, musculoskeletal, heart, GI and CNS. Anxiety and depression and PTSD are seen in many patients, it is unclear if these psychological symptoms are from a primary effect of the virus or a secondary effect from stress and isolation. Health Watch USAsm meeting.      

5.  Jan. 20, 2021.  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 USAsm meeting. YouTube Video. (20:45)   

4.  Dec. 16, 2020. 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.  YouTube Video (24:14):
3.  Dec. 16, 2020. 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.   YouTube Video:  
2.  Nov. 18, 2020. 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.   
1.  Nov. 18, 2020. 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.   

Health Watch USA Presentations:  Back To Top


11.  Infection Control Today Deep Dive - Health Watch USA & Dr. Kevin Kavanagh.
The histroy of Health Watch USAsm and Dr. Kevin Kavanagh's interset in infectous disease. What is behind the correct perdictions of the Delta Surge and the need for Boosters, along with last years warning against relying on herd immunity. Infection Control Today. Sept. 29, 2021.

10.  Founder Of Health Care Advocacy Group Disappointed In Special Session
“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.  WEKU  Stu Johnson.  Sept. 10, 2021.     

9.   The Doctor Is On: Fields Tough Questions About COVID-19
“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.    

8.  COVID-19: Lessons Learned A Global Perspective
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.    

7.  Everybody Needs to be Vaccinated and Wear a Mask
Kevin Kavanagh, MD: "The initial SARS virus is extremely deadly, and also spreads like wildfire. Luckily, it was snuffed out with public health strategies. But that virus also attached to the H2 receptor. And that’s what caused this virus to be so lethal. That’s the SARS virus. Well, the viruses are similar. They’re both coronaviruses. (SARS-CoV-2), The virus that we’re currently dealing with has a lot of room to continue to mutate, and to become more infectious and more lethal." “I am convinced this virus is about one or two iterations away from completely avoiding the vaccine. And remember, we have the lambda variant and the kappa variant which are sitting out there in the wings, waiting for immunity to drop and possibly cause another wave.”  Infection Control Today.  July 27, 2021.    YouTube Video: 

6.   COVID-19: Vaccine Safety, Variants & How Vaccines Work
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). YouTube Video link  

5.  COVID-19: Benefits of Vaccinations and Risks of COVID-19
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:   

4.  COVID 19 Answers 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.  Dec. 28, 2020. 


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.  

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.

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. 

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.