Coronavirus

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...

On September 14, the people of California will have the chance—in a recall election—to oust Governor Gavin Newsom. His record over his more than two and a half years in power is checkered. Nowhere is that clearer than on health policy. Early in the pandemic, Newsom instituted some of America's most draconian policies: shutting down schools, shuttering business, and essentially locking people in their homes. What good did that do the people of California? The state has experienced over 4 million cases of COVID-19 and...

America’s vaccination campaign has stalled, even as COVID-19 infections soar due to the delta variant. As of Aug. 2, only 49.7% of the population is fully vaccinated, barely up from the 46.7% in late June. Providers are now administering about 650,000 shots a day, on average, compared to 3.3 million a day during mid-April. The Biden administration, desperate to pick up the pace, is now mandating shots for federal employees and getting behind mask mandates once again. Curiously absent from the administration’s...

During the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, the most vocal proponents of aggressive lockdowns often framed the issue as a trade-off between personal freedom on the one hand and public health on the other. Stay-at-home orders may have prevented some people at the margin from congregating and spreading the virus. But they also convinced lots of people to forgo routine medical care, including screening for diseases like cancer. That care forgone may have dire public health consequences of its own. Two-thirds of...

Two months, one week, and five days. That's how much time has passed since Pfizer and BioNTech filed for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their Covid-19 vaccine. The agency has not hinted when that decision might be coming. Moderna formally asked the FDA for approval of its vaccine seven weeks ago. There's been no word on when the agency will complete its review. Experts say the FDA will likely grant the applications "priority review." Translating from the bureaucrat-ese, that's within six months of...

America’s vaccination campaign is stalling. In late June, pharmacists and other providers were administering roughly 800,000 shots a day — down 80 percent from a peak of more than 4.6 million in mid April. Because of this precipitous decline, the Biden administration recently admitted it would miss its self-imposed goal of vaccinating at least 70 percent of American adults by Independence Day. So far, only 66 percent have gotten the jab. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deserve much of...

It all sounds so simple: to hasten the end of the pandemic globally, suspend intellectual property protections on Covid-19 vaccines to allow swift production of low-cost copies the world over. The Biden administration has bought into exactly that strategy at the World Trade Organization. But some simple ideas are also simplistic, and this one is dangerously so. Waiving patent rights for Covid-19 vaccines will actually slow their availability in the developing world, thereby prolonging the pandemic. The production of these breakthrough Covid-19...

Dr. Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. joined the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show to talk about funding at the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health. Dr. Miller and Larson go over some of the questionable funding sources that NIH and NSC have committed to research and science. Lars Larson National Podcast · Lars Larson National Podcast 05-18-21...

Don't throw those masks away just yet. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed mask-wearing guidance for those who have been fully vaccinated. But only outside. And only in settings that aren't crowded. However, the CDC could've issued much of this new guidance months ago. Epidemiologists have known since last summer that it's nearly impossible to contract the virus outdoors, even for an unvaccinated person. Waiting to ease mask restrictions is part and parcel of a doomsday mentality...

Several European countries just instituted another round of lockdowns amid a new wave of Covid-19 cases. This turn of events is sobering but puzzling. Europe seemed to have Covid-19 under control a few months ago, at least compared to the United States. What happened? The countries' vaccination rates offer an explanation. Europe has inoculated far fewer people than the United States. So while Americans may enjoy some semblance of normalcy by summer, Europeans may face dark days ahead. Unfortunately, European countries can only blame themselves for their...

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently expressed a sense of "impending doom" regarding the pandemic. Her fear is that, unless Americans keep abiding by strict Covid-19 protocols like mask-wearing, social distancing, and forgoing travel, a new surge in cases and deaths could be on the horizon. "I so badly want to be done," Walensky said. "So I'm asking you to just hold on a little longer." Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and...

President Joe Biden recently toured a Pfizer plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., where workers are churning out millions of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine doses. During his remarks, he mentioned that in mid-February he had “toured the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health . . . [where] I met world-class doctors, scientists, and researchers who were critical for discovering the vaccines in record time.” Frankly, the president is giving the government too much credit. While federal grants and purchase agreements certainly helped...

Dr. Henry Miller, PRI's senior fellow, joins the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show to talk about the difference in COVID-19 vaccine efficacy or intended result between the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, with the vaccines ranging from 60 to 90 percent. Miller explains that there is more context to the vaccine efficacy explanation, which depends on when they were tested, approved for emergency use, and available testing at the time of the clinical trials. Miller also talks about the roles...

By Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. and John Cohrssen Over the weekend, the FDA issued an emergency-use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine, clearing the path to market for the third coronavirus vaccine. The FDA had previously approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid vaccines in record time—mere weeks after their makers submitted results of the clinical studies demonstrating safety and efficacy. When the FDA wants to, it can get desperately needed products expeditiously to those who need them. But for some other...

Dr. Henry Miller joins the Dan Proft Show to discuss the latest re-openings of states like Texas and how they may pose challenges to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Miller and Proft discuss the different lockdown measures in other states and how that impacts lockdown policies throughout the United States. ...