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By: Kathleen Hefferon, Ph.D., and Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down in so many ways, and the food supply chain is no exception. Whether consumers prefer fast or slow food, meat-based or vegan, local or imported, organic or conventional, supermarkets or farmers’ markets, every aspect of our food supply chain, from farm to fork, has been affected by this scourge. The recent, rampant outbreaks of COVID-19 among meat-processing workers – over the past month or so, the...

By Andrew I. Fillat and Henry I. Miller With the world in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the short-term focus is now on how to avoid surges of infections and get the economy functioning so people can go back to work. Hindsight is, of course, 20-20. Many lessons about pandemics will be learned in retrospect—the most notable being the need for epidemiological surveillance, preparedness with stockpiles of medical supplies, and how not to handle the most vulnerable population during...

By Henry I. Miller and Kathleen L. Hefferon Many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the timing and site of its origin, the nuances of how it spreads, and its clinical manifestations and pathogenesis, are unknown. These uncertainties have given rise to a rash of bizarre speculations and conspiracies about the pandemic, which range from the more or less plausible, but unproven, to the absurd. Take, for instance, one of the more outlandish theories: that the pandemic somehow is correlated with the...

Dr. Henry Miller joins the Lars Larson Show for his weekly update on the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19. Larson and Dr. Miller look at the impact and potential threats of the spread of COVID-19 due to the unrest in cities around the United States and why PPE equipment and social distancing measures have fallen by the wayside. Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 06-02-20...

As the COVID-19 epidemic drags on with no end in sight, the U.S. economy in tatters, and “reopening” going haltingly, many observers have come to the realization that we might need to learn to “live with the virus”—meaning with ongoing new infections—until a vaccine is available. Thus, there is an understandable hunger for one, and some 95 vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are now in various stages of development. Some of the reports of progress on this front have been encouraging, and there is...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Andrew I. Fillat Every day seems to bring some new, unexpected, unpleasant revelation about the SARS-CoV-2 and the illness it causes, COVID-19. The infection has a long, often asymptomatic incubation period, high transmissibility, the ability to infect many human tissues, and, frequently, rapid deterioration of the clinical course. Some curious aspects of the infection, such as long duration of symptoms, multi-organ involvement, blood clots, and patients’ ability to tolerate extremely low blood oxygen levels have...

America is in a state of collective angst, one that hasn't been seen since perhaps the Second World War. Every crisis since then, whether it was war, the 9/11 attacks, flu pandemics, or financial meltdown, had left most Americans unaffected. But now, few are economically, medically, or emotionally untouched. The SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, pose threats or extreme inconvenience of one sort or another to virtually everyone. In a crisis like this, driven by health (and the...

It is expected that any day now, the White House will release an executive order requiring certain drugs to be manufactured in the United States. It's part of a wider push by both the administration and Congress to force the federal government to buy more American-made goods and reduce reliance on countries like China. This push is misguided. The administration's "Buy America" agenda would derail our response to COVID-19 and could have long-lasting negative consequences for our economy. The best way to maintain efficient, high-quality production of drugs and other medical equipment is...

On a recent episode of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," White House adviser and trade hawk Peter Navarro observed that the Chinese government had not been forthcoming from the get-go about the potential for COVID-19 to become a global pandemic. He postulated that the original spread of the virus could have been blocked and the pandemic contained completely – if China had really wanted that to happen. Navarro went on to suggest that the virus originated from a bioweapons lab, and...

Perhaps not since the Second World War has there been so much fear, anxiety, misery, and grief in this country. Many people are finding some measure of comfort by turning inward and using what amounts to a biological trick. How many times have you heard someone say to a person who is angry and agitated, “Hey, take a few deep breaths and chill.” Well, it works, and the reason has a physiological explanation. As does the popularity of the “mindfulness” phenomenon, which...

While many heroic doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are working long hours and risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients, others have seen their workloads and hospital occupancy rates drop dramatically as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This has created a financial crisis and endangered public health. At the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, public health officials urged hospitals to suspend non-essential medical procedures. U.S. hospitals canceled tens of thousands of elective surgeries and other procedures, and urged...

It was not long ago that the economy’s rising tide was supporting state budgets across the country. As the Pew Charitable Trusts noted, widespread economic prosperity was supporting tax revenue growth and creating budget surpluses. When times are good, saving money is not always a priority in state capitols. But, times are no longer good, and saving money is now a top policy priority. The carnage is not contained to state budgets either. Businesses large and small are losing money, families are struggling...

By Andrew I. Fillat and Henry I. Miller The headline, of course, is an aphorism dating from 1862 that was popularized by the charming 1992 Tom Hanks film, “Forrest Gump.” Stupid may be an innate characteristic, but dumbness is certainly an opportunity available to all. It can be especially surprising and sometimes infuriating when a person not thought to be stupid does some really dumb things. Back in college at our fraternity, we had an “award” for pledges who said or did dumb...

Forcing a restructuring of the current pharmaceutical supply chain is a terrible idea. Yet, as a recent Wall Street Journal editorial exemplifies, there is growing support for this ill-considered policy. And, these proposals are not simply mere academic musings. The Trump Administration may implement an Executive Order that would turn this idea into actual policy. Congress, not to be outdone, is also considering several proposals that would force federal agencies to purchase drugs and medical supplies exclusively from U.S. suppliers. If implemented, these “Buy...

On ‘Supply-Chain Repatriation,’ It’s Buyer (and Nation) Beware By Scott Lincicome One of the most fashionable COVID-19 proposals being circulated by Washington politicians and pundits these days is the “repatriating” of global supply chains for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and “personal protective equipment” that have been “outsourced” over the past three decades, leaving America utterly dependent on foreign countries, especially China, for these essential products. Bringing that manufacturing back home, so the story goes, is the only way to ensure future “resiliency” in...

The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., may have ended, but his "Medicare-for-all" crusade marches on. Writing in The New York Times last week, Sanders argued that the coronavirus outbreak proved the government should take over our nation's health care system. Sanders isn't the only one championing "Medicare-for-all" in the wake of the pandemic. More than half of voters now say they support a single-payer system. But "Medicare-for-all" would not have improved our nation's response to the outbreak. Other countries with socialized medicine have struggled mightily to combat COVID-19. In fact, the United States would have been even...

How hydroxychloroquine toes the line between promise and 'happy talk' in the coronavirus fight By: Anjalee Khemlani After weeks of polarizing debate over the use of two generic anti-malarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, the Food and Drug Administration this week warned they were not “safe and effective” when used on COVID-19 patients. However, the hydroxychloroquine debate is far from over, as the drug gets qualified support from others deeply involved in the war against the coronavirus, and is used to treat COVID-19 patients...

Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are leveling off in hot spots like Seattle and New York. New infections should soon begin to decline, and many parts of the country will be able to start a phased return to “normal.” Yet without a vaccine, normality will look very different than it did before the pandemic. The medical community and the public are hungry for news about vaccines, but accounts of progress have been exaggerated. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of...