By Art Moore
At a Senate hearing, six prominent physicians called for removing obstacles to outpatient therapies for COVID-19 they contend are saving lives.
The testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Tuesday was the second part a hearing organized by Chairman Ron Johnson titled "Early Outpatient Treatment: An Essential Part of a COVID-19 Solution."
Dr. Jane Orient, the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, urged the committee to exercise its oversight over federal agencies that are "effectively blocking treatment that could prevent 100,000 needless deaths and stop the crippling fear and the destruction of millions of livelihoods."
"Today's top-down, authority-based 'standard of care' for early COVID, promulgated in NIH guidelines, is therapeutic nihilism," she said in her prepared statement.
"This is shocking and unprecedented, but in today’s litigious
environment," she said, doctors who "dare prescribe" a drug proven to effectively treat COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine could be "fired, removed from insurance panels, investigated, or even delicensed."
Other witnesses were Ramin Oskoui, the CEO of Foxhall Cardiology in Washington, D.C.; Jean-Jacques Rajter, a pulmonologist at Broward Health Medical Center in Florida; Pierre Kory, associate professor of medicine at St. Luke's Aurora Medical Center; Armand Balboni, CEO of Appili Therapeutics Inc.; and Jayanta Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford University.
Orient said patients nationwide are calling her organization, the AAPS, in search of a doctor who will treat them.
"One patient told me he had had his wife drive him all the way to Dallas when all the doctors he knew in Tucson refused to prescribe hydroxychloroquine," she said.
"His severe symptoms were relieved within hours."
She said doctors report that they can't get hydroxychloroquine for their nursing home patients.
Orient insisted that randomized controlled trials don't support the quarantines, masks and lockdowns.
"They have not stopped the pandemic and are unsustainable," she said.
She said vaccines are touted as "a great hope" but have not been shown to prevent contagion.
"What is needed now is effective early treatment for COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine and other safe, long-used agents could be immediately available if government stopped blocking access and deterring use."
See the hearing: