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Cowboy State Daily on January 4, published an article describing the new California law (AB 2089) that prohibits physicians from stating misinformation about the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines and from prescribing medications not approved for use in Covid treatment.
Retired Riverton physician Kent D. Stockton MD spoke out strongly against the law for a number of reasons, referring to it as “bullshit” and lamenting that “it is the end of medicine and science if it becomes political to speak your mind.”
I expressed concerns about Dr. Stockton’s opinions in a Jan. 16 story by Clair McFarland. Stockton responded with a very strong missive criticizing my views in his Feb. 4 guest column.
This has necessitated a further response by me.
First of all, Dr. Stockton incorrectly stated that my insistence that physicians adhere to the standard of care was “defending the law.” If he had read the article more carefully, he would have noted that I clearly stated that I had no opinion on the law and therefore was not “defending” it.
He noted a number of physicians and researchers who he said developed a large body of “evidence” contradicting the major medical consensus regarding the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, the safety of the new mRNA vaccines, and the use of Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and other treatments.
He then discussed various conspiracy theories about censorship and suppression of “certain facts by powerful forces” such as government, Big Pharma, etc. He concluded with an unequivocal statement that he firmly disagrees with the new law and “those, such as Dr. McEvoy, who champion the unopposed, undisputed, and anti-scientific approach to the treatment of (Covid-19).”
The first doctor on Stockton’s list of “well respected researchers” is Peter McCullough MD. He is an internist, cardiologist, and holds a Master in Public Health. He worked at hospitals in the Detroit area, the University of Kansas City School of Medicine, and more recently Baylor University Medical Center.
In August, 2020, MuCullough and other collaborators published a study in the American Journal of Medicine that advocated outpatient treatment for Covid-19 patients using repurposed drugs. They stated that while large randomized double-blind controlled clinical trials are the gold standard, given the rapid progression of the pandemic, “other scientific information” regarding medical efficacy and safety of therapies must be considered. They examined about 12 previously published Covid studies that used common medications including zinc, antimalarial drugs (hydroxychloroquine), certain antibiotics, steroids and other treatments. They concluded that “in the absence of clinical trials and guidelines and (due to) increasing hospitalizations and mortality, it is prudent to deploy treatment for Covid-19 based on pathophysiologic principles.” They proposed an algorithm to treat patients at home with the goal of reducing hospitalizations and death.
The study was met with significant criticism in follow up letters to the Journal in May, 2021. One noted that the WHO, National Institute of Health (NIH), and other respected medical organizations did not recommend early outpatient treatment due to a lack of proven benefits and the potential for adverse effects. They pointed out that one of the studies cited by McCullough and his collaborators in support of the outpatient use of azithromycin (an antibiotic) and HCQ focused solely on in-hospital patients and failed to show any significant difference between patients who got these medications and those that did not. They also questioned their proposed use of Dexamethasone, a powerful steroid, and some of their medication dosages. They admonished McCullough and colleagues to “follow the best scientific evidence and the principles of bioethics.”
Another letter stated that their proposed algorithm may potentially worsen outcomes by giving the false impression that early treatment can save lives, resulting in relaxation of preventative measures. This actually occurred in Brazil with devastating consequences. While acknowledging McCullough’s humanitarian motivations, they disagreed with his contention that the pandemic limits the ability to obtain good scientific evidence.
He testified Nov. 17, 2020 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chaired by ultraconservative Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisc. Noting the work of doctors and researchers around the world with 54 million cases and 75,000 scientific reports, including his, he criticized the NIH guidelines for allowing even high-risk patients to sicken at home without treatment and then only be hospitalized when oxygen is given. He called this “medically irresponsible and inhumane.”
He asked the Committee to urge government agencies to prioritize an “early treatment initiative” as “the only viable strategy to avoid catastrophic loss of life before natural immunity and vaccination can bring this crisis to a close.”
In February, 2021, McCullough was fired from the Texas based Baylor Scott and White Health System due to his spreading of Covid-19 misinformation including the promotion of scientifically unproven treatments. They reached a separation agreement but McCullough violated the terms and was sued for breach of contract. Shortly thereafter, he was terminated from Texas A&M College of Medicine, Texas Christian University (TCU) and the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine faculties.
Dr. McCullough and others have made claims that have not held up under scrutiny.
In testimony to the Texas State Senate in March, 2021 and during an interview with the far right “The New American” magazine in April, 2021, McCullough said that people younger than 50 do not need the vaccine, those who have recovered from Covid-19 do not need to be vaccinated, and there was no evidence for the spread of the virus from asymptomatic people.
On Fox News in July of 2021, he downplayed the risks of the Delta variant and said there was no clinical reason to get the vaccine because they were not effective against it.
He has claimed that the vaccines are unnecessary because the disease is “easily treatable with early intervention.” He also said that natural immunity is superior to that of vaccines and that the CDC has never proven even a single case of reinfection.
In December, 2021, McCullough claimed that nearly 16,000 people have died from the Covid vaccine. This has been a consistent thread on social media since the vaccines became available. This figure comes from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System run by the CDC and FDA and is taken out of context.
The reports are made by the public, are unverified, and simply note the death of someone who had the vaccine. They do not prove causality. Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Caleb Alexander of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health said, “This number provides very little information upon which to base conclusions about the safety of the vaccine.” In fact, the CDC has confirmed just 9 deaths due to blood clots caused by the Johnson & Johnson version.
Dr. McCullough’s claims are patently false. All major healthcare organizations recommend vaccination against Covid. While it is true that they do not prevent infection, they have proven to be safe and effective in reducing the severity of the illness, including the Delta and more recent variants. Reinfections with Covid are uncommon but do occur. Reactivation of the dormant virus has also been reported.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky noted that 99.5% of the Covid-19 deaths in the first half of 2021 were in unvaccinated people. La Jolla Institute immunologist Shane Crotty noted that the majority of covid outbreaks and hospitalizations occur in low vaccination states. CDC data shows that only 3% of hospitalized patients are fully vaccinated.
The estate of a 52-year-old male on February 3, filed a lawsuit against an osteopathic physician with America’s Frontline Doctors (an online right wing political organization) in the 2nd Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada. The suit alleged that in March, 2020, Governor Steve Sissolak issued an emergency regulation upon recommendation of the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy to prohibit prescribing and dispensing HCQ for a Covid-19 diagnosis.
The patient had a telemedicine consultation Aug. 26, 2021 with the AFLDS doctor, who prescribed HCQ for Covid-19 treatment or prevention without performing a physical exam or obtaining an ECG. On Feb. 1, 2022, Mr. Parker felt ill with cold-like symptoms. He was found dead on Feb. 3. The coroner concluded after the autopsy that the cause of death was “Sudden Death in the Setting of Therapeutic Use of Hydroxychloroquine.”
An expert witness, also an osteopathic physician, legally declared “to a reasonable degree of medical probability” that the ingestion of hydroxychloroquine caused Parker’s death.
Unfortunately, Dr. Stockton has been misled by the widespread misinformation on Covid available on the internet. He has relied on a “well respected minority” of doctors and researchers who promote dangerous Covid misinformation that has been debunked repeatedly.
Doctor, with due respect, I strongly urge you to refrain from further public comments about Covid-19.
James S. McEvoy DO
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