Israel Institute for Strategic Studies’ Barry Shaw’s View from Israel program interviewed Dr. Zev Vladimir Zelenko, discoverer of the “Zelenko Protocol” to treat COVID-19, and Yale School of Medicine Epidemiology Professor Harvey Risch.
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The complete transcript of the interview follows:
“My name’s Barry Shaw, The View From Israel, welcome to the show. Today’s show is particularly apt and important. My two special guests are Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, the author of the Zelenko Protocol and Dr. Harvey Risch, professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine. Welcome to the show, gentleman.
“Is the fact that we’re approaching 1,600 deaths and we went from 300 – could possibly one of the reasons be that they the doctors who were dealing personally, first line of defense for patients not being allowed to use a drug that was effective before?
“So this is why I’d like to hand it over to you, maybe Professor Risch would you like to come in first, and I’d like to hear from you Dr. Zelenko.”
Professor Risch: “I think there are two things that explain what happened. The first one is that in the first epidemic, the country locked down quickly. And that means that the epidemic didn’t build up before its transmission between people was reduced because of the lockdown.
“The second time there was a much longer wait, and that means the epidemic got much more widely established in the population. And so it built up much higher before the lockdown, and you’ve seen how much it’s built up in the way that an epidemic will build up. So the lockdown now – if it stays in effect, if it has some effect with compliance in the population – then it will come back down again, but it’s had a lot longer time to build up.
“That accounts for the number of cases. The number of deaths, however, depends on the adequacy of treatment, not just the number of cases. And here you have exactly what you said, that we have available outpatient medications to use that are effective, they’re not being used, that were used in the first phase of the first epidemic, and are apparently not being used now.
“Hydroxychloroquine is an important component of that. It’s not the only one; there are other medications, as well. But the important thing is to be aggressive about treating early the people who need to be treated, and that does not seem to be happening. And so that’s what is the problem right now.”
SHAW: “Dr. Zelenko, do you have any input on this from your perspective, from your knowledge?”
ZELENKO: “If you remember at that time, the entire world was focused on building hospital capacity, more respirators, and there was zero talk about any outpatient intervention.
“It’s very important to begin to intervene, to decrease the viral load, as soon as possible within these high-risk patients. And I came up with a 3-pronged approach, which I subsequently modified and put and other things, as well, again based on evidence and experience. But the idea is like this, and this one’s based on data that came out of the Far East, specifically South Korea, and also the work of Dr. Raoul from Marseille. France.
“But basically, the main element of this treatment approach is zinc. Zinc inhibits a very important enzyme called RNA dependent RNA polymerase or replicase. It basically stops the virus from replicating or copying its genetic material, essentially reducing the amount of virus.
“However, zinc doesn’t get into the cell of the viruses, they need a way to get the zinc into the cell, and that’s the role of hydroxychloroquine in the outpatient setting. Hydroxychloroquine has four other, fourfold mechanisms of action, but those are relevant in the later stages of the disease.
“What I’m concentrating on specifically is the zinc ionophore property or the zinc transport channel property of hydroxychloroquine which lets the zinc go from outside the cell, inside the cell.
“And 3rd component of this was the antibiotic I was using azithromycin, based on the work of Dr. Raoul, and it turns out that azithromycin has both antiviral properties and antibacterial properties, and seem to prevent pulmonary complications.
“But it turns out, very simple: If you wait more than five, six days, that’s when all the lung damage and the blood clots happen. So it’s very important to intervene as soon as possible, as soon as you see the patient and you have clinical suspicion. And it’s very easy to make the diagnosis.
“Now there are other drugs that come up, which I do use in an outpatient setting, one’s zyphermexin, an anti-parasitic agent, another is dexamethasone which is a very powerful steroid, or an inhaled steroid, then I use blood thinners like lovenox for blood clots, and I use a combination of these things personally tailored to each patient. But the principle, the point is, the Zelenko Protocol is not the drug. The Zelenko Protocol is a concept. The concept is to stratify the patients, find the ones who have a 5-10% chance of dying, deploy your resources, your treatment, as soon as possible with these patients, and then use a various cocktail of medications to destroy the virus.”
SHAW: “I understand you call the method the ‘gun and the bullet’, with hydroxychloroquine being the gun, and the zinc being the bullet.”
ZELENKO: “Yes, there’s a concept of synergy. Each one of them, zinc and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, they may have – they do have – antiviral properties. But when you put them in synergy together, they become extremely powerful.
“So for example, if I give you a gun with no bullets, so yes, you can hit someone over the head with it but it’s not a very effective way. If I just give you bullets, maybe I can throw them into a fire and they’ll go all over the place, but again, it’s not very efficient. But if I give you the two together, I give you a gun and a bullet, now you have a delivery system of a lethal weapon, and that’s the same idea here. Hydroxychloroquine delivers the zinc very efficiently into the cell where the virus is, where the enzyme is or replicates, and inhibits viral replication.
“I had people reach out to me, askanim (representatives) from Israel and asked me to get involved, which I did, and I reached out to the Minister of Health Mr. Litzman, and believe it or not I actually got through to him, and we spoke a few times. He was very pleasant, but dismissed me and he referred my recommendations to some subordinates who never took it anywhere. I kept on harassing him, a few times a week, and finally, what made the difference was he got COVID-19 himself, and took the Zelenko Protocol and got better right away.
“After that, his attitude had changed – there’s no wise man like one with experience – and the availability of outpatient treatment was no longer being actively obstructed by the government.
“However then something happened, and there was a transition in ministers, and after that I’ve been trying to reach out to the new Minister of Health and it’s been a waste of time. They don’t respond and they’re not interested to hear what I’m saying. So that’s the tragedy.
“I’d like to tell the Israeli people that people should not be dying from COVID-19. The reason why people are dying is from ineffectual leadership and ineffectual policies. If you could take the politics and the economics out of it, then we can use their $20 treatment plan at home that will significantly reduce mortality and morbidity.
“And let me give you the exact numbers: I actually published a study and it will be published in a peer-reviewed journal within the next three weeks, an international journal, and it showed an 84% reduction in hospitalization with a very low P-value, it was statistically significant, that means 84% of the people being admitted, at least to my data, in the hospitals – we could reduce that amount of hospitalization by at least fivefold.
“And that’s the tragedy here. The tragedy here is that, yes, we got much better at inpatient management programs, we have remdesivir …there’s stem cells now; there’s plenty of good intervention. However it’s much easier to put out a small fire than it is a large fire, and it’s much better not to get into the hospital, not to get on a respirator. And that’s what we do in every aspect of medicine, or any aspect of life; let’s say someone has cancer. We don’t wait for it to become metastatic before we treat it, we treat right away. Or someone who’s septic; we don’t wait for them to be half-dead, we treat right away. Someone has a fire in the house; you don’t wait for the whole house to be on fire, you call the fire Department as soon as possible. Same thing with COVID. Unfortunately, for some reason, the governments of this world have put their head into the ground and they’re not acting in the best interest of their people.”
SHAW: “The headline of what you just said is basically that you recommended your protocol through the Israeli Health Minister who contracted COVID himself and was cured by your protocol. By the way, how old was the Health Minister at the time? He wasn’t a young man.”
ZELENKO: “Yes, he fell into the high-risk category, he was definitely over the age of 60, I think closer to 70. “
SHAW: “And yet, your protocol helped cure him and yet despite the fact that you helped save the former Health Minister, now the Israeli government is blocking a drug that saved the last Health Minister, it’s amazing. But I want to tell you, your name came up, by the way. I did an earlier video, and if any of our viewers want to see, go to YouTube or Google TV and look for COVID and the Drug We Dare Not Speak its Name. And in that video I introduce, among other people, I interviewed a Dutch doctor, Dr. Elenz ann his story was this, I’ll go through it very quickly. He’s got a local clinic in the south of Holland and he had a quite a number of patients who came down with COVID in the early stage. And he obeyed the Dutch health authorities ruling of anybody coming down with COVID must self-isolate and take paracetamol. The result of that was that all 25 of his patients were hospitalized, and out of those 25, twelve died from following the regulations given by the Dutch health authorities which were taken from the World Health Organization, paracetamol.
“So what he did then, he said ‘there must be something more effective I can do.’ And like any self-respecting doctor, he went to the study and looked for the science, and one of the things he came across was something called the Zelenko Protocol. And he studied it, and he had another patient who came down with COVID and tentatively, he said ‘you know what, I want to try this drug. It seems to have been effective in America and other places. And the patient agreed. And he gave this patient the protocol medication in the combination and dosage that you prescribed, and within two to three days that patient got better. And he repeated this with another nine patients, all of them got better, none of the went to the hospital, none of them died. But what happened with Dr. Evans? He received a warning from the Dutch health authorities instructing him that he must not prescribe hydroxychloroquine or anything like this in any of the dosages to his outpatients. And in my video, you can see him making the statement: ‘Better my patients are alive illegally than legally dead.’
“So this is a dilemma we’re in today where doctors are fighting a rearguard action and being called charlatans and criminals for taking actions that any self-respecting doctor should take. What’s your take on this, Professor Risch? Where doctors are put in this dilemma?”
RISCH: “I think you have to address who benefits from these policies, what other factors there are in this society that are improved when people do not do well because of succumbing to the epidemic.
“I wonder, if I could return to the issue of the lockdown: I think that there is a confusion about the purpose of lockdowns. The lockdown in the first place in Israel was the right thing to do, because in the new epidemic when you don’t know how to manage it, the only thing you can do to suppress it is to lock down the separate the people so that it’s not communicated from person to person. At that time you have to figure out how to manage it. But what happened is the lockdown was so effective in suppressing it the first time, that Israel did not understand the infection in the first place – that probably nobody understood the infection in the first place. But what happened is that Israel relapsed, that when the cases were down into the single numbers, zero or one a day, that it thought it was now under control. It did not understand that there were maybe ten times the number of asymptomatic people who were infectious in the population than the number of cases that it was seeing.
“And so when it opened the lockdown, within a few weeks we started to see the new epidemic start, and then gradually took off until there were enough people, so it would go up exponentially. Israel had needed the first lockdown to go at least a month longer to eradicate all the cases, asymptomatic and symptomatic, in the population in order to have control. That the only function of a lockdown in actually controlling the epidemic is to get rid of all of the cases, and that is a major task when you have tens of thousands of people in the population who are infected, as there are now in Israel – and the United States, for that matter.
“So the function of a lockdown now is only because you cannot completely eradicate the infection without a much longer lockdown in the first place. We’re talking probably like two or three months or more. And maybe even a lot more. Where the infection is now in Israel, lockdown cannot do any of that at all. All it can do is prolong when the epidemic will recur as soon as you reopen the lockdown. So the lockdown is only giving you time to figure out what to do, and that time is crucial because you have to actually figure out what to do. But all you’re doing is postponing it. You’re postponing the inevitable, and that’s not helpful, and you’re destroying the economy of the society. You’re destroying people’s psychological resilience and so on, and those are not trivial things, that they increase a lot of medical and social problems that are very costly to society, as well. So a lockdown is not just a free way of suppressing the epidemic, and in fact it does not do that in the long run.
“What has to be faced now, is how to deal with the people who need to be treated. The whole society does not need to be treated. It’s not really important that large numbers of people become cases of this disease, because in fact you want that to happen, because we need to generate what we call herd immunity. That is the only thing that will end the epidemic. It’s what ended the epidemic in Dr. Zelenko’s village, it’s what ended the epidemic, at least in the in the first instance, in various Jewish communities in Brooklyn. It is when the population has immunity to the disease of about 40-50% of the population is what empirically we see is needed. That’s going to have to happen in Israel. The question is: How do you protect the high-risk people from dying while that happens? And the answer to that is, you treat them aggressively as Dr. Zelenko has outlined.
“So the real question here is: There’s a lot of science now to show that those very people, high-risk people, treated immediately as outpatients in the first five days of their symptoms, there’s a lot of evidence to show that the Zelenko Protocol and related kinds of outpatient medications are very effective in treating that disease and preventing those people from being hospitalized, let alone dying.
“So that’s empirical evidence for it. What empirical evidence is there against it? The answer is there is none. The evidence that’s used to say that it doesn’t work is evidence that applies to hospitalized patients already, or to low-risk patients where the medication is shown to be less effective. But that is smearing the distinction about who needs to be treated. The people who need to be treated are the high-risk people who will decline, who will progress in the illness dramatically and need to be saved. And the evidence for that is seven nonrandomized trials, and now five randomized trials, that together show benefit of these medications. So the question that Israelis are not asking is: Why are they not treating? And the answer to that, I believe, is that they are making an assumption that what the WHO and the FDA in the United States, and the CDC in the United States, and people like Dr. Fauci in the United States have said they are assuming that those statements are correct, and that is an assumption that any person based with a life-threatening dilemma would evaluate for themselves. It is something that, when you make an assumption and you see it doesn’t work, the least you could do is reevaluate your assumption. And I don’t see that happening. I see that there’s an arrogance to assume that assumption, period, without readdressing it. And that is the crucial problem here, that until those assumptions coming from the WHO and other agencies are reevaluated and found to be wanting, that that they are false, that until those assumptions are reevaluated that people will continue to die in ever-greater numbers until the entire epidemic has passed. And that’s the crucial stage that is not being recognized here.”
SHAW: “Yes, I think before we move the conversation on, Professor Risch, I think there are a couple of medical experts in Israel that would agree with you. I’m reading here about Professor Ze’ev Rothstein who is the head of the Hadassa Medical Center, calls a lockdown a disaster for a country and for its economy. And also doctor Cyril Cohen, head of the immunotherapy laboratory at Bar Ilan University has said that the people have little faith, because people have lost trust in the government right now, and he said the government lacks a standardization that has caused disillusionment, and basically says everything in Israel has become political and not health-based, in other words he said it’s a mess.
“But let’s move the conversation on a bit, because my understanding is, and correct me if I’m wrong, that the one of the big hammers that came down on hydroxychloroquine in any form, particularly even in early-stage patients, was created because of some critical trials in very late-stage patients which showed that the use of hydroxychloroquine in those cases created some side effects including heart defects. How can you address that from your knowledge, Professor?”
RISCH: “So, first of all, there were two papers published in the New England Journal in The Lancet that were fraudulent, and this shut down the discussion about hydroxychloroquine, and even if they weren’t fraudulent, they were irrelevant, because they were dealing with hospitalized patients. And this is what I said about blurring the distinction about who needs to be treated. This drug has primary importance for early treatment in outpatients. It doesn’t matter what it does in hospitalized patients; that’s a whole separate discussion. We’re not discussing that. We’re discussing about use in outpatients only. So those trials, whether they were fraudulent or not, are irrelevant. And that’s the problem here, that no one is thinking carefully about treating an outpatient. If you go to the US FDA, Food and Drug Administration, its website had a big warning on its website since July 1st saying that the FDA warns against using hydroxychloroquine in outpatient settings because of the risk of heart arrhythmia problems. And underneath that warning, it says in small letters, that it bases this warning on the adverse events observed in hospitalized patients, and these were severely ill hospitalized patients. It extrapolates from severe illness in the hospital, this is the pneumonia acute respiratory distress syndrome patient in the hospital, it extrapolates from that to the flu-like illness in outpatients. It’s a totally fraudulent web page, it’s a fraudulent warning, it’s there because of other reasons why the FDA is not telling the truth, and this is not a conspiracy; it’s a statement that’s easily verifiable just by looking on the FDA’s website.
“So you cannot rely on fake information that you can yourself validate is untrue. And I think this has been the problem all along, that there has been meddling on the basis of drug companies and political influence throughout this whole process that’s caused people to believe the interference. And I would liken this to the 1960s and 70s of the tobacco companies interference in societies’ protecting themselves from smoking, where you had a drug, the cigarette addiction, which was paraded around by the tobacco companies against massive scientific evidence, you have the tobacco companies running interference saying ‘the science isn’t settled, we don’t really know, we need more studies’ and so on. Here you have Dr. Fauci doing the same thing, saying, ‘the science isn’t settled, we need randomized, controlled trials before we can say anything,’ when the science is very fully settled, like it was very fully settled for tobacco smoking generations ago. And this is the problem, that there is running interference for nonmedical, nonscientific reasons that are going on, that are causing the suppression of the actual science.
“The science is there for anybody to read. I don’t have to be the person, anybody could pick up the nine or ten studies, or twelve studies, and read them themselves and draw their own conclusions. The problem is that people are being misled into smearing the distinctions about who needs to be treated. This has to be science about outpatients, and it has to be science about high-risk people, and it has to be science about those people treated early, in the first five days. You do that, you’ll see that all of the studies show benefit, and so you have to believe your own eyes; that’s the real problem here.”
SHAW: “Well you mentioned Dr. Fauci, but was there some sort of question with regard to Dr. Fauci and AIDS-HIV?”
RISCH: “Between 1987 and 1989 he sidelined combined antibiotic by the name of bactrim that was generic at the time that was very effective in preventing what’s called PCP pneumonia which was killing gay men with AIDS, and he was asked by the AIDS community in New York, by activists who demanded to meet with him and he finally met with them, he was asked just to say to clinicians, ‘consider using Bactrim for preventing PCP pneumonia in your patients’. Just to say that, not to not to say this is official, just to say ‘consider doing that’. Hhe refused to do that, he said, ‘We’ll only do this with a randomized control trial.’ We’ve heard that mantra before. And he said that, and the community itself raised enough money do its own trial itself, and it took two years until they have proven that it works, and it came back to him. Meanwhile, in that time, 17,000 people had died in New York City because of AIDS, because of this PCP pneumonia, and during that time Dr. Fauci had enabled the FDA to approve the medication AZT for treating AIDS, which worked to some degree, it’s very toxic medication, but worked to some degree along with other medications in treating AIDS. This was then a patent medication that was very expensive, whereas bactrim was generic and very inexpensive. And you see exactly the same pattern in the last six months of the FDA in concert with Dr. Fauci and the NIH panels that he’s arranged to discuss his various drugs, remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine, and they’ve done exactly the same thing. The panels have had major conflicts of interest; a panel with 54 scientists on it and had 18 with financial ties to pharma manufacturers. They went and approved the patent medication and they disapproved the generic medication hydroxychloroquine. So you can see the same misdirection occurring now that occurred then. It’s the same thing, and we haven’t learned to understand all of these malfeasances, and we take these people as if they are guides in understanding the science, and they are but they’re understanding the wrong science and they’re manipulating it for nefarious purposes that have economic and political benefit, and not the health benefit of the people who are dying.
“And the bottom line is, again, doctors should go to the literature and read the studies. If they don’t believe me, if they don’t believe Dr. Zelenko, they don’t believe anyone, go and read the studies and draw your own conclusions. The studies are all there, there’s only a small number of them, it takes an hour or an hour-and-a-half to go through the seven or eight studies and then decide. That’s the bottom line here.”
SHAW: “The article was retracted and yet the band stayed on. Dr. Zelenko, do you have any observations on this particular issue? Because this is a critical point when it came to making anybody that prescribed or wanted to promote hydroxychloroquine heretics.”
ZELENKO: “Yes I have some observations. First of all, when the FDA took away the emergency use authorization for the use of hydroxychloroquine, if you look into their document, one of the bases for that recommendation was the fraudulent Lancet study – now this is very important – after it was already withdrawn. They used a proven-fraudulent and retracted study as a basis for the removal of the emergency use authorization.
“Now let me tell you, I advised several countries; some listen, some don’t. But I was at that time dealing with the country Chile and we were making progress in getting Chile to consider using early intervention. And then the WHO put a moratorium on the use of hydroxychloroquine, again, based on the Lancet study, they stopped talking to me. After that was withdrawn, the Lancet study, the WHO walked back its moratorium, but very, very quietly, and even to this day most Israeli politicians think that the WHO is in support of the moratorium against the drug hydroxychloroquine.
“I just want to point out something, that I spoke to an electrophysiologist in America. There are 3,000 electrophysiologists in America. These are the doctors who deal with electrical heart issues, and they have a WhatsApp group. So I asked them, has anyone seen any cardiac complications from the use of hydroxychloroquine together with azithromycin, specifically with a QT prolongation, and leading to any negative outcome? The answer was ‘zero’. Zero in America in the outpatient setting. Zero.
“Okay, in the inpatient setting, yes, there were events, but in the ICU setting – let me be very specific. And that’s true, and I’ve never advocated for the use of these drugs in the ICU. And by the way, 30-40% of the people in the ICU from COVID developed cardiomyopathy, but it’s very hard to know what’s causing what. Now, if you look at remdesivir, and you look at the package insert for remdesivir, here are the following side effects: 6% develop atrial fibrillation, 1% have cardiac arrest. 23% develop liver dysfunction. 19% develop kidney dysfunction. 15% develop lung dysfunction.
“Now Josef Goebbels said to accuse the other of what you’re guilty of. So in the case of remdesivir, it had a 6% cardiac arrhythmia concern. Atrial fibrillation is a serious arrhythmia, that can lead to strokes. Now, no one is talking about that, whereas hydroxychloroquine, which has been around for 65 years, is given to pregnant women, it’s given to children, it’s given to nursing women, and it’s currently being used by millions of people around the world for rheumatological diseases and the use for malaria treatment and/or prophylaxis safely with no problems, has been vilified with complete falsehood, it’s a false narrative designed to vilify and confuse and scare the public and scare the doctors who prescribe it. And the reason is very, very simple, at least in America.
“One is the treatment I’m advocating costs $20, and it’s oral, and can be given at home. Now remdesivir, and plasma, all these expensive treatments require inpatient hospitalization. Now my data shows the fivefold reduction in hospitalizations if you treat early. That means a decrease in market share for the use of expensive drugs by 5 fold or 80 to 85%. So what the threat here is, a multibillion dollar threat to a pharmaceutical industry that has a conflict of interest and a very powerful lobby and they have a lot of political influence.
“Number 2, at least in America, and since whatever America does, the world follows, they’re right before a presidential election. The President, as a matter of record, came out in support of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment modality. The enemies of the President went absolutely hostile, and began to propagandize against hydroxychloroquine, not for medical reasons, for political reasons.
“So what I’m saying is death by politics, and death by profit, and death by arrogance. But that has nothing to do with the actual validity or the clinical efficacy and safety of the medication. And that’s the crime here, and I would even frame it as genocide against the vulnerable. Because as a society we are responsible to care for the elderly, our grandparents, our parents; those that are chronically ill. It’s our responsibility to ensure their well-being as much as possible and these are the people that this virus is destroying and this is being willfully allowed to happen for ungodly reasons.”
SHAW: “Alright, Professor Risch: There’s another study, called I think the Boulware NEJM study, which is accepted as gospel. But what is the Bulwer study, and why is it faulty?”
RISCH: “Dr. Boulware’s main problem was that he declared that the drugs had no efficacy, meaning that they had no benefit. That’s actually an utterly false conclusion. What the studies show is that it does have benefit, but that benefit could not be distinguished from chance. That’s what the lack of statistical significance means. So people run with the conclusions of the author without actually addressing what the study shows, and this is like I said, that when you read a study you don’t accept what the author says, you read what the results are and draw your own conclusions.
“And so his studies, taken individually, show little evidence of significant benefit. But taken together, they provide evidence of benefit – not at the level of statistical significance, but there are more studies out there, more randomized trials, and in combination they begin to show a pattern, and that is what we see – is that the studies that have been large enough that have been carefully done -Dr. Boulware’s studies were not carefully done, they involved a placebo that was not a sugar pill, but with folic acid, a vitamin, that itself has some degree of antiviral benefit. And he showed, in one of the most recent of his papers, that the subjects in his study could easily tell the difference between the placebo and the active treatment hydroxychloroquine, because the pills were different and these were all health care workers and they knew the difference, and they could tell. And so his outcomes, in fact, many of them were subjective, that people were asked on the Internet to report on whether they had symptoms or not, and the degree of symptom reporting is somewhat subjective, and when you know whether you’re taking the active medication or the placebo, the study isn’t blinded, and with this subjective outcome that reduces the quality of the information. So those are flaws in his studies, there’s more, but those are the important flaws in their studies that reduce what results there could be to the ones that were actually shown: a weak positive benefit.
“And I think this is part of the whole industry of misrepresentation of hydroxychloroquine Dr. Boulware’s has been funded by pharma companies, and he hasn’t revealed that fact in any of his papers of the pharma companies that are making competing products to the ones he studied. He has not revealed that in any of the five papers he put forward this year.
“So you have to address.. and he’s not the only one there are other authors of these papers, like Desai and Survisfir papers that were retracted, you have to ask why all of that misrepresentation is occurring. Why in the recovery trial did they use 2 1/2 grams of hydroxychloroquine the first day in treatment, when that’s a very likely toxic dose. Even the WHO says it’s a toxic dose. Why did they use that at such high doses in treatment, when in fact it can’t possibly be effective, it could only be toxic and can only suppress the immune system at such high doses. Why would they do that, if they’re supposed to know what this drug does and why they’re studying it?
“So you have to look at all of the malfeasance that’s gone on in these studies, in the large-scale amount of studying of this drug to show that it doesn’t have benefit. Whose ox is being gored in this? Who gets the benefit of these bad results? There’s almost no studies, except for the non randomized ones in foreign countries, that have looked at an honest representation of who needs to be studied and when, and those are the ones that I’ve have been talking about, these outpatient studies done early. We have hydroxychloroquine versus other medications for standard of care, and those are the ones that show benefit, they all show statistically significant benefit, at least twofold.
“The most amazing study that came out a week or two ago was done in Saudi Arabia which turns out over the last 20 years had has dramatically improved its medical care system so it now has a universal medical care system with universal identifiers, every person in the entire population is identified in Saudi Arabia for his medical care, and when the pandemic started in Saudi Arabia they set up 278 fever clinics across the country, and we’re seeing everybody who became ill. And what they did is they examined all of the some 8,000 patients who presented to their fever clinics between the beginning and the end of June of this year, they treated some of them about 3,300 I believe, with hydroxychloroquine plus zinc, and the other 4,600 got other treatments, what we call standard of care, plus zinc. So everybody in Saudi Arabia was getting zinc, but in their 8,000 people, 3,300 or so also got hydroxychloroquine.
“They followed up everybody, all 8,000 of these people, they know how who was hospitalized and who died from that. What they found was in the 3,300 people who got hydroxychloroquine plus zinc, seven people died. In the 4,600 people who got standard of care plus zinc, 54 people died. It’s a fivefold reduction in mortality, and 80% benefit in mortality based on hydroxychloroquine plus zinc.
“This was a national study; it was done across the entire country of 35 million people, and therefore it’s not a random sample of people in the population of cases in the population, it is a definitive study of the entire countries experience at that time. And it has huge statistical significance showing this 80% benefit, a fivefold benefit, using hydroxychloroquine plus zinc. This is not something that you start quibbling about randomized controlled trials. This is extremely substantial evidence showing that this drug combination works.”
SHAW: “The one thing I want our viewers to be aware of, that in my opinion, Professor Risch, that you have dispassionate scientific observations and you have no vested interest in putting your head on the block.”
RISCH: “Well, if people want to criticize me it’s easy to do that; there’s lots of mantras out there that can be used for that, but I certainly have no vested interest, no financial interest, there’s no financial interest to be made off of a $20 treatment.”
SHAW: “So tell me something about the economic standard report, why is it so important?”
RISCH: “This was a combined effort by number of virologists and clinicians and epidemiologists to look at the whole history of what happened in this pandemic, and how hydroxychloroquine evolved, and how it’s been examined and studied, and the malfeasance that’s gone on with it. And it also came to the same conclusions, and not just my conclusions, other people have been objective about evaluating the scientific and medical evidence come to the same conclusions, that the drug is effective, that there’s been a number of studies that have run interference in trying to portray the drug as hazardous, and in fact I haven’t even spoken to the purported hazard other than the FDA’s fraudulent webpage, but, so there’s been a lot of malfeasance and misrepresentation and this report is very extensive very well footnoted and very well researched, and shows beyond a shadow of a doubt the benefit and safety of hydroxychloroquine,
“One very interesting fact that I just learned yesterday is that a friend of my wife has been having some hair-loss problems and she went to her clinician, and after working through all the differential diagnoses, ruling out thyroid problems and so on, her internal medicine physician said ‘I think you should try hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine has had some evidence of benefit for hair loss,’ and there was no problem filling this prescription, no problem prescribing it, no problem filling the prescription at the pharmacy for hair loss. And so here you have the most trivial of reasons why the drug is safe and useful it can be obtained, and yet in a life-threatening circumstance there’s suddenly after billions of uses of this drug over 65 years by hundreds of millions of people safely, now you have a roadblock for obviously irrational and non-medical reasons. This is the massive hypocrisy that is just not understandable why people would believe such a false narrative.”
SHAW: “I have to ask you to elucidate on something you said for the matter of record. You said the FDA had a fraudulent web page. What is it in your opinion that’s fraudulent?”
RISCH: “So this was the FDA’s web page, it’s still there, well it was yesterday, I’m assuming it’s still there today. It says that the warning against hydroxychloroquine for use in outpatients is based on adverse events seen in patients in hospitalized patients. As you’ve heard in the discussion so far, the COVID-19 disease in the first five days is a disease of viral replication. It’s a flu-like illness. Nobody is hospitalized for flu-like illness. People get hospitalized for pneumonia, for decompensation, for the inability to breathe, and that’s pneumonia, what we call Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and its variants that occur in COVID-19. Those are hospitalized patients. They become very sick, they have involvement of the heart muscle, with cardiomyopathy, and various other organs in the body including the clotting system and those are the patients that hospitalization is required in order to attempt to treat them, and that’s the life threatening disease. That is a totally different disease than the flu-like early illness in outpatients. And one cannot extrapolate from people who are severely ill with all of these different organ involvements of the virus in the immune system to people who have just viral replication and the beginnings of the immune systems’ dealing with that viral replication. There are two totally different illnesses, you cannot extrapolate from one illness to the other illness. That that is reprehensible by itself.
“Secondly, the FDA knows that if it had adverse events information on outpatients it would have used that. There’s no reason to jeopardize a public statement by putting false information out, when you could put true information out. So if the FDA actually had true adverse events information in outpatients it would have said that on its website, and the fact that it didn’t means that it has no systematic information about adverse events in outpatients. That is the case because the FDA removed the emergencies authorization early this year on March 29th, and so it established it on March 29th only for severely ill inpatients, and removed it in May, and during that time the only major use of hydroxychloroquine in the United States was in severely ill hospitalized patients. So there cannot be any information about systematic use in outpatients in the United States, because the FDA disallowed it for all of those months when more than 90% of the COVID-19 cases occurred. So this is a massive misrepresentation that’s just obvious from its website.
“The third thing is it says that it’s occurred because of cardiac arrhythmia events. In fact as Dr. Zelenko said, the cardiac electrophysiologists know, and have said, that there are no cardiac ventricular arrhythmias occurring in outpatient use of hydroxychloroquine, even with azithromycin. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin and more than 30 other drugs have a cardiac effect called prolonged QT interval. What that means is part of the heart conduction cycle is lengthened slightly. That happens, it is not life threatening. There is a theoretical risk of perhaps one in a million that a serious adverse event can occur from that. For that reason, doctors are careful and they look at risk factors for that event when they prescribe hydroxychloroquine. That’s proper, that’s part of clinical practice. It’s not automatic, and we shouldn’t be giving this necessarily over the counter. It needs medical evaluation, but it is safe. It’s safer than paracetamol, as you well know.
“And so now we have studies that purport to show that hydroxychloroquine causes increased risks. There was a study published in Lancet rheumatology by the Oxford group that combined databases from 14 large major medical records databases across the country. This is a nonsense paper that’s another part of the interference that’s been run against this drug. This paper was out in preprint form in May when I criticized it at length in my paper in The American Journal of Epidemiology on May 27th, showing that this was a fishing expedition of 16 possible adverse events that could have occurred, and they picked the top three and called them the ones that they were interested in, and they misrepresented the statistical significance by cherrypicking those in a fishing expedition.
“Furthermore, they actually did evaluate the cardiac arrhythmias and put that in an appendix table where they refused to actually do a meta analysis of those data, but it’s easy to do; anyone can do it. I did it, and it shows that there is no relationship whatsoever between taking hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in average cardiac arrhythmia events. That’s in their paper and they hid that by not talking about it in the bulk of their paper, in the text of the paper, but it’s in the appendix of their paper.
“So you see all this malfeasance going on to try to suppress what are the actual physiologic medical and beneficial effects of this drug. You cannot have a drug that’s been taken billions of times by hundreds of millions of people for 65 years suddenly become hazardous overnight because it’s proclaimed by medical authorities. And all of the science that’s been trumped up to show that is fake science. And so, who are you going to believe? 65 years, billions of usage of people all over the world, or PR of so-called experts telling you what to believe, and not even showing you what the data actually are.”
SHAW: “Before I hand it over to Dr. Zelenko, for reasons that’ll be obvious in the question, Professor Risch, have there been studies, and is there data on the efficacy of the Zelenko Protocol in early stage patients, and were there any randomized or non-randomized trials in outpatients, and explain to our viewers the difference between the two, randomized and non-randomized.”
RISCH: “I believe Dr. Zelenko is actually carrying out one of these trials at the moment. I would be interested to find out how it’s accrual has been going and where it’s at.
“But the difference between randomized and non-randomized trials: In a randomized trial, the patients agree not to know whether they’re getting the active drug or a comparison, usually a placebo, or regular standard of care without the active drug. They don’t know and the investigator doesn’t know, and actually what determines whether they get the drug or not is a random choice, it’s like flipping a coin to tell whether they get the drug or not.
“In a non-randomized trial, some other reason occurs why the patients get the drug. For example, the patient himself or herself chooses to take the drug, or not. Or the doctor says ‘I think you should take the drug’ and the patient agrees – those are the typical reasons why people get the drug. In most cases, in the studies where the patient or the doctors are allowed to choose to take the drug or not, it’s usually sicker patients who get the active drug. That’s been true in at least two studies that I’m acquainted with that have published information on that, and in fact most of those studies you could look at the demographic characteristics of the patients who did and did not get the active drug and you’ll see that the people who got the active drug tend to be sicker, later stage, and have more other medical conditions than the people who are more well when they got the COVID who chose not to take the active drug.
“So the difference between the two studies is that in a non-randomized trial there can be differences, systematic differences between the people who get the drug and people who don’t. The question, however, is: Can you adjust statistically for those differences? And the answer is, in most cases, yes, there are statistical and epidemiological methods for adjusting and controlling for differences between the people who do get the drug and who don’t get the drug.
“In a randomized controlled trial, in theory you don’t need to do that because the randomization splits people equally according to all of those other, what we call confounding factors, that might bias who the people are who get the drug and who got the placebo. However, randomized control trials have to be huge in order for those, the balance, and all of those other variables, to be the same between who gets a drug and who doesn’t, and the randomized trials are rarely large enough for that purpose. They have to be in the tens of thousands of people in order for that to happen, and that’s usually not the case. And so a randomized trial with two or three hundred people in each treatment group is not necessarily balanced, and is no better than a non-randomized trial, and one has to look at the characteristics of who got the drug and who didn’t and adjust for them, just like in a nonrandomized trial.
“But because there’s this theoretical idea that randomization removes biases no matter how big the study is, people naively think that randomized trials are gold standards, and they’re not. There’ve been numerous papers written about why randomized trials that are good in theory, are generally not necessarily so good in real clinical life. That’s the issue that it’s naivete that says we should only be using randomized trials, not science. Science says, look at all the evidence and decide from all the evidence.
“So now I’d also really like to know whether Dr. Zelenko’s trialis being successfully continued.”
SHAW: “Okay, Dr. Zelenko, so what’s your knowledge and experience of the outcome of the efficacy of the Zelenko Protocol on outpatients in randomized or non-randomized trials?”
ZELENKO: “Yes so to answer Dr. Risch’s question, I helped organize a randomized controlled trial with Saint Francis Hospital, I assume that’s what you’re referring to, in Long Island and there we randomized the antibiotic that could be used in the outpatient setting. In other words it was zinc and hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin or doxycycline. And the goal is to get the end number the number of participants around 750 and I think we’re up to 200 or 300. There was a quiet summer; we weren’t getting too many patients. So it’s in progress, hopefully the trial ends in December, so hopefully within like January or February we should have that data.
“So that’s all I could comment on that. However, what I am seeing now is that there is a resurgence, people said a second wave in the Jewish communities in New York, and at least in my world, Monsey and Monroe, there are hundreds of people that are getting sick, and almost no deaths, and only a few hospitalizations. And what seems to have changed is that the public is very much aware and scared that they need to initiate treatment as soon as possible, so they’re seeking help and medical intervention much quicker than they used to in the first wave. And I think that that is a very significant achievement in terms of public awareness. And then I think that’s making a tremendous impact on the outcome.
“Now in my opinion, this treatment approach is the cure, so to speak, for this pandemic. And the reason why I say that is that the lockdown is killing more people than COVID. And what I mean by that is, at least in America – I can only speak about North America – there is a 600% increase in suicide. The amount of spousal abuse and the amount of child abuse is astronomical, and these are crimes of despair. And so in the amount of collateral damage from routine medical issues that could have been treated in a more timely fashion, we haven’t yet even began to calculate the amount of collateral damage – people dying from heart disease and need for hip repair and all these types of replacements; there’s a lot of routine medical care that people have not getting because of the lack of resources.
“Not to mention the economic disaster. You know , the last five months has witnessed the biggest loss of wealth globally than in the history of humanity up to that point. In other words in the last five months this world has suffered an economic catastrophe, and that’s not a small thing because people’s likelihood is their vitality, and the amount of psychotrauma – I have eight children, I mean they were going crazy, not going to school. Fortunately they’re now back in school, but you know it’s not a healthy way to raise children. Especially with children where the COVID-19 virus is much safer in children than influenza. I’d rather they just get COVID than influenza. Influenza kills kids, and COVID doesn’t, in most cases.
“So, there’s no common sense, and people are being governed by emotion, and people are being governed by ulterior motives, and I’m pleading with the world leadership I’m pleading with an irony, by the way, is that all the world leaders that I know all have a stash of hydroxychloroquine. Even President Trump, I sent him a letter in March with my recommendation for him, and he ended up taking hydroxychloroquine and zinc for prophylaxis based on my recommendations. He made that announcement at a press conference. And I know other world leaders like President Bolsonaro from Brazil who was treated with my protocol and got better, and then the President of Honduras, and many others that I know of, that in Ukraine and Russia, that all these powerful people know the truth, all these powerful people have their own supply of drugs for themselves and for their families; it’s just the reality of this corrupt world that the people that are most vulnerable are the ones being hurt.
“I plead with the public to act in the best interest of your families. There are plenty of other options that are non-prescription. There are prophylactic options, there are other ionophores that are over-the-counter that can help zinc get into the cells, and may have some significant prophylactic benefit. Of course hydroxychloroquine is the best, but you have to deal with reality. If you can’t get it, you can’t get it; you have to have a Plan B in it.
“You know, Dr. Risch taught me that the perfect is the enemy of the good. And what I’m witnessing is that there is a misunderstanding of what the world is going through. In my opinion, this is the World War Three. And the reason why I say this is because more than 180 countries are fighting the same enemy. If that’s not a World War, than I don’t know what is. And in times of global catastrophe, one thing we don’t have is time. Now all these fancy studies which have scientific and statistical benefit and value, it has to be weighed against the pressing need of the moment. Now, when you’re in the middle of a war – you don’t go to war with the army you want, you go war with the army you have. And you don’t stop using bullets because you think in six months you’ll have a better bullet. Use the best bullets available at this point in time, in parallel with development of better therapeutics, and when better therapeutics become available, if they become available, you can transition to that. But not to act, and to let the public get slaughtered is it not an option in my opinion. And that’s the crime here, the crime is that people don’t understand the urgency of the moment. You know if Tel Aviv was being carpet bombed, I’m pretty sure that the Defense Department in Israel would not say ‘let’s wait until we finish all the research on the best weapon,’ they would use everything available to down the plane. And I don’t see this COVID-19 businesses as anything different. Use the best therapeutics available at this point, and then transition, like I said.”
SHAW: “Yes I think there’s a lot of truth in what you said about the economic damage because I want to tell you to just yesterday the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel could be in lockdown for over a month. He said, ‘I’ll be honest, it will be not less than a month; it may take much longer.’ Now you can imagine the psychological, the physical, the health, the economic damage, the emotional damage it’s going to give to a lot of people. Could well be that by the time we come out there’s going to be, as you said, Dr. Zelenko, a lot more deaths from suicide, from drug taking, from abuse, from violence; and there could be a lot more homeless as well – the people who can’t afford to rent anymore, going to find themselves homeless. So the fallout is going to be absolutely awful.
“But let me let me come onto another thing that I wanted to ask you about: I mentioned that Israel in the first wave had a remarkably low death rate and Professor Risch mentioned the remarkable results in Saudi Arabia so can you, Dr. Zelenko, add any other nations that you point to having low death rates when hydroxychloroquine was admitted, administered by itself or with zinc, or with any other medication. Can you give me examples of those countries that experience low COVID mortality?”
ZELENKO: “Yes I can, and by the way you can look at the statistics, this is a death by affluence. And what I mean by that is that the more affluent countries have the luxury to allow their people to die by emphasizing the more expensive treatments in inpatient medicine. Whereas the poorer countries who cannot afford or don’t have the resources are by default using the most available and affordable options. So, for example, if you look at Uganda, I know the statistics very well, that Uganda has 44 million people and they take hydroxychloroquine liberally for malaria prophylaxis. They have 25 dead people. So I can tell you, I spearheaded the COVID response in a city in the Ukraine called Dnepropetrovsk. I was tasked with that, and there they have very little resources, anyone who’s going to get into respiratory distress is dead, so we basically started a mass prophylaxis campaign by his patients. And they have very low mortality.
“If you look at Brazil, I think Dr. Risch also commented, I was dealing with the health system called Prevent Senior, which is they have a 500,000 souls over the age of 65 under their care, it’s a private health system, and they’ve been been employing early intervention in an outpatient setting, and they also have a very low mortality rate. If you look at statistics from France, the same thing. Anyone who does early intervention is seeing three- to four-fold or 70-80% decrease in mortality.
“Now, if you have zinc and you do it my way, you can probably cut mortality closer to 90. But still, early intervention seems to be the key in high-risk patients, and there are various approaches you can take. There’s a Dr. Brody from Australia… has been seeing tremendous success. There’s a doctor from France, a world leader quoted using my protocol. Everyone’s saying the same thing: 80% reduction in death and hospitalization if you treat early. And that data is being imported from multiple continents, multiple health systems, and even in the inpatient setting, if you look at the study in NYU, were they compared hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin with that and the same thing with zinc, they have over 30% reduction of inpatient mortality. Or if you look at the Henry Ford study in Detroit, they didn’t use zinc, but they also have at least a 50% reduction in mortality. OK, it wasn’t so good, it went from 26 to 13, but still, it’s a significant reduction. So the data is there for anyone who wants to see. I don’t think we need more studies, I think we need proper action and proper health policy, we need leaders that are interested in taking care of their people more than covering themselves from liability or catering to special interests. And ultimately, I’m going to get a little theological here, but ultimately it comes down to the following idea, which I’ll tell you in the form of a joke: A child goes to his mother and says, ‘where do we come from?’ So his mother says, ‘we’re made in the image of G-d.’ Same child goes to his father and the father says, ‘we evolved from monkeys.’ The child is confused, so he goes back to his mother and says, ‘what’s going on here?’ The mother says, ‘it’s not a contradiction; that’s my side of the family, that’s his side of the family.’
“But the point here the point here is how do we look at human beings? How do we look at humanity? Are we made in the image of G-d, and the spark of the divine? If that’s the case, then we have to treat people in a divine way, and we don’t value one life over another. We do the best we can preserve the sanctity of life and that’s the basis of natural law, that people have human rights because they are made in the image of G-d.
“Or, do we look at someone as they come from monkeys or just are animals, and just like we can buy and sell and slaughter an animal, same thing you can do with the elderly, same thing you could do with the infirm, that cost a lot to keep. It’s a slippery slope.
“So the question is, how do you view human beings? If you view them from the lens of the divine, then that course of action, the moral, ethical, and the right thing to do objectively is to do everything you can to preserve the sanctity of life, even if it goes in the face of profits and for politics. So, that’s my commentary.”
SHAW: “Well you know I find anyway where you’re talking to firstline doctors who are dealing with outpatients and having a personal hands-on approach to directly with their doctors, I found these doctors as you philosophize over there to be more compassionate, and maybe there’s a divide between the doctors who were there in personal contact, for several years often, with their patients and know them personally, there’s a direct connection, a personal connection, a spiritual connection if you like with that, as opposed to the bureaucrats that rule from above. But bringing it down to earth a little bit, I’d like to go back to Professor Risch, probably because of the time coming up to our final questions. Tell me about the Rutger Counselor Institute trial, that’s one that we never had mentioned before, but I think it’s relevant.”
RISCH: “It’s one of the seven studies, the Saudi study was one that I mentioned; this was a study of outpatient usage of hydroxychloroquine in New Jersey. Here you had more than 1,000 people who came to the emergency rooms of the, I think it’s Hackensack Meridian Medical Center emergency rooms, and were treated as outpatients at the emergency rooms and sent home. Among the 1,097 were given hydroxychloroquine, and what they did is they matched for each one of those persons they matched 10 people who did not get hydroxychloroquine, they matched them on a whole host other things like age, gender, chronic illnesses, degree of disease progression – how many days from start of symptoms, and so on. And what they found is again a two-fold reduction in the risk of hospitalization for the people who got hydroxychloroquine, compared to the ones who didn’t. Again very statistically significant. This is a common factor whether with that study, or a study in Dora, in two nursing homes and other elderly populations in Marseille, studies in Brazil that Prevent Senior study that Dr. Zelenko was referring to. And another study that I’ve been involved with in another major HMO in Brazil that has 6 million members that showed the same benefit of hydroxychloroquine. These studies are all over the place, all showing exactly the same benefit.
“There’s one other thing that I think with Dr. Zelenko was talking about, other kinds of evidence in countries that have started or stopped using hydroxychloroquine, was also in the northern state of Parai in Brazil where on April 6th they were having their pandemic that was exploding exponentially, the deaths were going up exponentially, and they took delivery, the medical care system took delivery of 90,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine and 75,000 doses of azithromycin. And over the next two to three weeks they started distributing those drugs to the patients that were coming in symptomatic of COVID, and what they found is about three to four weeks after that, the mortality which was going up exponentially turned down dramatically, and went down 8 fold. So when those drugs got into the population in use, in large numbers, the mortality, the cases were still going up, but the mortality dropped 8 fold with use of those two drugs.
“You can’t make this stuff up, this is the problem. The evidence it just oozing out from everywhere you look around the whole world, all the studies that are just basic clear studies that that don’t mess up, don’t misrepresent who are being treated, who needs to be treated, and when they’re being treated, or in other words, early as outpatients. All the data showed the same thing. There is no data that shows it doesn’t work or no data that shows it’s unsafe in those patients. And so the science is completely clear cut, and as we’ve been discussing, and as you mentioned, the reasons for not accepting the science are economic, profit, political; those are the reasons.
“What’s astonishing to me is the media complicit behaviors in this, that the mass media who have taken on political benefit as a reason for misreporting on the science, and this includes not just the mainstream standard media outlets, but also the medical reporting media – there are there are websites that report on medical news, and they have also almost entirely been co-opted by the same big lie narrative that the drug is hazardous, causes death from cardiac reasons, you see TV people saying ‘it will kill you’, and all this nonsense that remains unchallenged in the major media. The media are complicit with the big lie about all of this, and between that big lie and the economic and political interference, it’s very difficult for the truth of this message to come out, and it’s made me feel like I’m living in Germany in 1935, and honestly I can feel, I can see, why your average German, who had so much propaganda delivered at them from every side might have thought that that the Nazi government was the right nationalistic government for Germany, and had no idea about the validity of all of the media messages that they were being bombarded by. It was a big lie then, and we’re suffering from a big lie now.
“I can understand why your average hospital clinician who does not see patients and treat patients themselves, and has no idea that almost every position across United States who actually sees COVID patients personally as outpatients and treats them, and sees the remarkable benefit of treating them, people who don’t do that are susceptible to the big lie in the major media and in the medical media, and therefore take the opposite positions, have not evaluated the evidence, and have succumbed to that big lie.
“It’s not conspiracy theory, it’s the way that all of the economic and political interests have aligned, and it’s very easy to go out into the media and just read what all these reports are and why they misrepresent what the science says. I’ve been very clear and Dr. Zelenko has been very clear about the science, who needs to be treated and when, and when you do that the scientific results are clear, so the question is do you believe the misrepresentation or do you believe in going back to the original papers and they original science and read those.
“I don’t see what more we can do, except to lobby for the truth here. And that’s the best we can do.”