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Protesters rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Thursday, April 30, 2020. Hoisting American flags and handmade signs, protesters returned to the state Capitol to denounce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order and business restrictions due to COVID-19 while lawmakers met to consider extending her coronavirus emergency declaration hours before it expires. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

On 3 May, a group of concerned citizens, including scientists, medical professionals, economists, and others, signed and delivered to President Trump at the White House, entitled Recommendations for Dealing with COVID-19 Going Forward. All signatories are concerned about the lack of a balanced and genuine scientific approach being used to inform public policy dealing with the federal government’s response to the ChiCom virus crisis. Here is the letter that was delivered to President Trump:

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

Subject: Recommendations for Dealing with COVID-19 Going Forward

Dear Mr. President:

We appreciate your untiring efforts (and the work of the Coronavirus Task Force under Vice-President Pence), which have resulted in great strides being made in dealing with COVID-19, under difficult circumstances. It’s easy for others to do Monday-morning quarterbacking, and we regret that you are in the unenviable position of being damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

While you have many experts who are advising you on the Herculean decisions of how to further mitigate the virus and reopen America, there are numerous others who would like to assist you in this endeavor, to improve the likelihood of success. We are all in the same fight, so we need to work together.

The undersigned US scientists, medical professionals, economists and other technical experts are united by a belief that genuine science should be the basis of our technical public policies and subsequent actions. Unfortunately, far too often real science has been replaced by political science. In this case, some of the complaints relating to COVID-19 appear to be from those who see this pandemic as a political opportunity.

We would like to offer our non-political perspective and recommendations on the way forward with COVID-19. The signers of this letter have diverse backgrounds and expertise representing a cross-section of specialties and skills in a number of fields, ranging from health care to the physical sciences to economics. We hope that our constructive suggestions prove useful to you, as you continue to lead us in the battle against this invisible scourge. Appendix 1 has ten (10) specific recommendations, brief and to the point. (Some are about maintaining the current course; others are newer ideas.) Appendix 2 consists of slightly more detailed explanations for each suggestion. Appendix 3 is a list of some sample parties who support the gist of these key recommendations, and agree with the premise of this letter. (Please note that this is a bi-partisan submission as there are Republicans, Independents and Democrats who are signees.) We are pleased to be of service in any way we can to assist you in these trying times.

Very respectfully,

The undersigned (refer to Appendix 3 below)

— Appendix 1 —

Some Recommended Suggestions for President Trump as to How America Should Move Forward Regarding COVID-19

Here are the top ten (10) recommendations of the signing parties. Following these is a slightly more detailed explanation of each item (see Appendix 2). The green items are newer suggestions, or matters that don’t seem to have been fully implemented yet.

1 – Federal government put businesses into four categories, based on the frequency and duration of close personal contact.

2 – Federal government recommend a normalization plan, but states decide on what businesses are in each category, timing, and what protocols to be used in each category, etc.

3 – Immediately add a professional statistician to the COVID-19 team.

4 – Continue to advise taking actions that will flatten the curve — and explain why.

5 – Require more accurate reporting of COVID-19 complications and deaths.

6 – Regarding prevention, the federal government and the states:

a) Aggressively work to increase COVID-19 testing capability.

b) Educate citizens regarding optimizing their immune system.

c) Encourage social distancing, use of masks, washing hands, etc.

d) Actively support first-responders and healthcare providers.

e) Support efforts to develop a vaccine, but as a secondary matter.

7 – Regarding therapies, the federal government and the states:

a) FDA approve doctor-supervised HCQ+Z-Pak+Zn plus Remdesivir protocols.

b) Aggressively support studies into pharmaceutical therapeutic options.

c) FDA recommend steam inhalation as an initial treatment.

d) Lessen talk about ventilators.

8 – Congress should refrain from additional COVID-19 outlays, as an economically problematic amount has already been authorized.

9 – Continue to exhaustively investigate the origin of COVID-19.

10 – Thoroughly analyze the objectivity, competence and timeliness of all major UN agencies.

For more information on any of these suggestions, please contact NC/NY physicist John Droz.

— Appendix 2 —

Some Additional Details about the Recommended Suggestions for President Trump as to How America Should Move Forward Regarding COVID-19

1 The federal government will divide all business into four (4) categories (A thru D), based on the frequency and duration of close contact. (E.g. an “A” business might be golf courses, while “D” businesses might be restaurants). Having the federal government do this will help with uniformity from state to state. (Note the four groups do not have to be of equal size.)

2 Since states should have a better understanding on their own situation, the federal government should avoid imposing one-size-fits-all mandates. The plan recommended for states to follow would be:

a) It would be each state governor’s responsibility to make changes they see fit to the business categorizations in their state.

b) Wait until their medical professionals determine that each state has passed the peak in the COVID-19 infection curve.

c) At that point the state starts opening businesses, one category at a time, each group separated by 1-2 weeks.

d) If during any re-opening segment, there is an unacceptable increase in COVID-19 cases in that state (as determined by the Governor and his medical advisors), then the next business category openings would be delayed a week or more, until the situation is under control.

e) During all openings, citizens would continue to: maintain social distancing (as much as practical), frequently wash their hands, work at optimizing their immune system, etc.

3 Having an expert statistician as a key part of the President’s team is an urgent matter. Such an immediate addition will reduce the chances of being misled by speculative computer models and other data. Good examples of competent statisticians are Dr. Stan Young and Dr. Matt Briggs. If neither of them is available additional names can be provided.

4 Flattening the curve is extremely important — but for a reason not well articulated. The main benefit is that it will enable higher efficacy COVID-19 therapies to come online (which will happen considerably sooner than vaccines will). See here. The public needs to be much better advised as to this rationale for short-term flattening.

5 There is disturbing evidence that some medical professionals are using COVID-19 as a convenient catchall category. The federal government needs to put an immediate stop to that, as such a practice will seriously undermine the accuracy of data analysis. Inaccurate data results in inaccurate policies… It would be informative if deaths related to lock-downs, higher prices, reduced incomes was kept track of.

6a The government’s decision making capability is severely handicapped when actual numbers are not known. Accurate, quick COVID-19 virus testing plus antibody test capability needs to be increased by one to two orders of magnitude. Testing protocols must be random and stratified, and and should include those with symptoms and those without.

6b Since we are all going to be inevitably faced with increased exposure to COVID-19, the CDC should immediately post the urgency and specifics of everyone optimizing their own immune system. An optimized innate immune system: i) would reduce the likelihood of catching COVID-19, and (if someone does catch it), ii) would likely result in fewer complications and deaths.

Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to optimize our immune system from three credible sources: Harvard Health, Prevention magazine, and the prior head of the CDC.

The fact that the CDC’s main COVID-19 webpage does not even mention the innate immune system is an egregious oversight, and this major error should be fixed immediately. An example of some reasonable words to expand on are on this NC Department of Health & Human Services COVID-19 page.

Note: Since the majority of the population has herd immunity from the influenza virus, there may be some transfer of this to COVID-19.

6c Continue what is being currently communicated on social distancing, etc.

6d Actively support first-responders and health care providers — e.g. by making more PPEs (e.g. N-95 respirators) available. If not already done, the federal government should also widely distribute something like this excellent Michigan document.

6e Tamp down expectations regarding a COVID-19 vaccine as: i) it is many months away, so has little current value, and ii) by the time a vaccine is available, it is possible that the SARS-CoV-2 virus will have mutated — which means that the vaccine effectiveness may be low.

7a The FDA should immediately update their position to allow physicians to prescribe HCQ plus Z-Pak plus Zinc* or Remdesivir to any COVID-19 patient that the physician is actively monitoring — not just in a hospital as the FDA position currently is. (See here and here for sample studies of these two therapies.)

What sense does it make for the FDA to be pushing COVID-19 patients into hospitals: i) which increases the likelihood that those facilities will become overloaded, and ii) that statistically increase the chances that patients may end up with some other medical complications?

*Per here: Zinc Orotate, Gluconate, Citrate, Acetate or Picolinate.

7b To encourage effective therapies (of all types) consider offering a major cash award to the public for the most effective scientifically-proven COVID-19 therapy.

7c It is documented that COVID-19 is initially a respiratory ailment, and that the virus can be deactivated by heat (165ºF). A simple, low-cost, low-downside initial treatment for an individual who has COVID-19 is to carefully inhale steam from boiling water. The FDA should quickly investigate this and if it works, endorse it.

7d Ventilators should not be considered a cure, but as providing a bridge. There is some evidence that they are not effective. It also may be likely that proper therapy (see above) will alleviate the need for ventilators.

8 Almost all political decisions ultimately come down to “What is the price?”. It makes little sense to try to solve one major problem by creating another major problem. The federal government has already likely allocated too much money to this issue, and doing more will be adding to an unsustainable debt. The only new expenditures should be specifically tied to dealing with COVID-19 as a disease (e.g. PPEs).

9 If China is implicated for releasing SARS-CoV-2 due to carelessness or by intent, there should be a proportionate response.

10 UN agencies that need special investigations are WHO and IPCC. Any UN agencies that fail any of the criteria of objectivity, competence and timeliness should be defunded until they are proven to be fixed.

And here are the signatories of the letter, including yours truly:

It is time for public policy associated with the nation’s ChiCom virus response to be grounded in a balanced and genuine scientific approach. We hope that White House decision-makers carefully digest our recommendations and take action accordingly.

The end.

Stu Cvrk
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy where he received a classical liberal education which serves as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political, military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs topics.
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