Coronavirus

Did the Biden administration participate in closed-door meetings with foreign officials to deal away some of America's most valuable intellectual property? It appears so. According to a letter sent by six senators to U.S. Trade Ambassador Katherine Tai on May 10, the Biden administration negotiated a proposal with the European Union, India and South Africa to suspend IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines without consulting Congress like it's supposed to. The senators condemn her for negotiating behind their backs. They're right to be incensed. Ambassador Tai's...

Earlier this month, members of the World Trade Organization met to debate a proposal to waive intellectual property protections on COVID-19 vaccines. Supporters of the plan claim it's necessary to boost the supply of vaccines in developing countries and, in turn, vaccinate the world. But insufficient supply isn't holding up the global vaccination campaign. In fact, many developing countries have a surplus of vaccines. Consider South Africa, which is preparing to destroy its stockpile of expiring doses and terminate its mass vaccination program. Or take the Serum Institute of India, which shut...

By Henry I. Miller and Jeff Stier The two-years-plus of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a wakeup call that there is something very wrong – irreparable, even – at the chronically inept World Health Organization (WHO). Two recent transgressions show that the bureaucrats there are not getting any smarter. The first is almost inconceivable. Medicago, a Canadian company, developed a COVID-19 vaccine synthesized in the Nicotiniana plant, a relative of tobacco. In clinical testing, it showed efficacy against all variants studied prior to the emergence of Omicron of 71%, and for...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just recommended that seniors get a second COVID-19 booster shot. But there are plenty of people over the age of 65 — one-third, according to the latest data — who have not yet gotten their first booster. Perhaps that's because it took until the omicron variant emerged last fall for the CDC to get behind booster shots for all adults. Or maybe it's because public health officials have been peddling confusing and contradictory messaging...

The federal public health emergency prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire in mid-April. Some states have already let their own emergency declarations lapse. It's about time. COVID-19 is no longer the crisis it was back in 2020. Living in a permanent state of emergency is unsustainable. But that doesn't mean we should go back to the pre-pandemic status quo. Many of the reforms enacted during the state of emergency — especially those that liberalized the healthcare labor market — deserve to...

It ignores the risk of hazardous drug-drug interactions with the Pfizer pill. As someone who has closely followed and written extensively about the development of COVID-19 vaccines and drug treatments since the beginning of the pandemic, one pronouncement in President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech raised red flags: "We're also ready with antiviral treatments. If you get COVID-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90% ...

‘Test to Treat’ ignores the significant risk of drug interactions with the Pfizer pill. President Biden touted a new anti-Covid initiative in his State of the Union address Tuesday. “We’re also ready with antiviral treatments. If you get Covid-19, the Pfizer pill reduces your chances of ending up in the hospital by 90%,” he said. “And we’re launching the ‘Test to Treat’ initiative so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no...

Good public health policy is welcome, even when long delayed. So we should cheer the Biden administration's announcement earlier this month that Covid-19 rapid-result antigen tests (RATs), which tell you in as little as 15 minutes whether you're infected, will be covered by private insurance. For uninsured Americans, the government would make 50 million free tests available, to be distributed through health clinics and other sites in rural and underserved communities. Assuming that they can detect the new Omicron variant along with...

Dr. Henry Miller and John Batchelor breakdown the latest developments of Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus that was recently detected in South Africa. Miller talks about the latest information regarding infections, vaccine efficacy, and how countries are responding to the news. ...

This month, Delta Airlines began levying a $200 monthly surcharge on unvaccinated employees enrolled in the company’s health plan for the financial “risk” they are supposedly imposing on the company. The airliner is not alone. A major health-care system in Louisiana plans to do the same for unvaccinated spouses on its health plan next year. And a retailer in Utah announced last month that unvaccinated employees would have to pay extra for insurance. In other words, medical underwriting — the practice of...

Earlier this month, the Biden administration bought 10 million courses of Pfizer's new COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid. Thanks to the Food and Drug Administration, however, it may be months before anyone can take it, as the agency hasn't yet offered up a timetable for approving it. Its inaction will almost certainly result in scores of preventable deaths. In clinical trials, Paxlovid proved nearly 90% effective at preventing hospitalization and death. The results were so promising, Pfizer ended its trial of the drug early. It would have been...

An overwhelming consensus on any topic is very rare these days. But many Americans, whatever their political leanings, seem to feel that the policies, communications, and actions of the public health "experts" and politicians about the COVID-19 pandemic have been confusing, sometimes contradictory, and in some cases, inconsistent with the scientific evidence. Whether it was flip-flops on the effectiveness of masks, seemingly inane restrictions on certain activities, or baseless advocacy of ineffective drugs, the past 20 months have provided numerous reasons...

Dr. Henry Miller and John Batchelor talk about the coverage around COVID-19 surges in Europe and elsewhere and what that could mean for lockdowns and vaccinations. They discuss how the United Kingdom is handling a potential new surge including masking, vaccinations, and the arrival of new surges. Miller also talks about the various surges, especially related to the delta variant and the impact of long COVID symptoms. ...

The Food and Drug Administration recently revised its emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine by approving a booster shot for individuals 65 and older, immunocompromised adults, and people with a high risk of exposure to the virus at work. It's an exciting development for the nearly 80% of vaccinated Americans who want a booster. But for many, the FDA's announcement was confusing, too. The debate over booster shots has been fraught with misleading information and contradictory federal guidance. This lack of clarity isn't just a...

As the Food and Drug Administration contemplates booster shots and a myriad of other regulatory issues related to the COVID-19 vaccine, it is essential to reiterate the importance of a vaccine that is available and recommended for every age group at no cost to the patient — the influenza vaccine. Throughout history, influenza has been responsible for far more mortality than any other individual ailment. And in the 2018-2019 flu season, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease...

This crisis was avoidable. By showing no sense of urgency to approve COVID-19 shots for children under 12, the Food and Drug Administration has left children vulnerable — not just to the virus but to the emotional and social harm caused by missing in-person interactions with their teachers and peers. The shots could have been approved by now if not for the FDA's decision last month to require six months of clinical trial data on the effect of Pfizer-BioNTech's and Moderna's COVID-19 shots...

The United States is not coping well with the current surge of COVID-19 infections. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations nationwide surpassed 100,000 last week for only the second time in the pandemic, overwhelming caregiver capacity in several states. The worst situation is in intensive care units , which care for the sickest patients with highly specialized medical staff who are in short supply and are becoming progressively burned out as the pandemic drags on. The result is that in many parts of the country, patients needing to be...

By Henry I. Miller, M.S., M.D. and Sheeva Azma, MS In spite of the wide availability of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, only about half of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated. Partly as a result of that "vaccine hesitancy," the United States is experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, with over 160,000 on August 18th, more than an order of magnitude higher than in mid-June. Deaths, a lagging indicator, have more than doubled since mid-July. Hospitals and healthcare providers in the...