☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, February 25, 2022 ☙ BREAKING GROUND 🦠
I dig into the Governor's ground-breaking new health policy; Oregon's emergency is over; and more bad news for jabs.
Happy Friday, C&C team! Whew, there’s a lot going on as we head into the last couple days before the State of the Union. Today, we look in detail at a spectacular, ground-breaking new health policy from the state of Florida, resulting from Governor DeSantis’ signing of a horrible bill. I explain how the policy sets a new national standard supporting independent doctors and off-label prescriptions for Covid treatment. Plus some more news!
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
🔥 I’ll be headed down to Orlando shortly to attend CPAC representing America’s Frontline Doctors’ legal team. Look me up at the AFLDS booth tomorrow morning 10am -1pm if you’re around. I hope to see lots of C&C folks there.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Dr. Joe Ladapo — a Harvard-trained doctor and a member of the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) — was officially confirmed in Florida’s Senate two days ago. Liberal media in Florida are feeling very triggered and hysterical about it; I mean, Dr. Ladapo never even talks about EQUITY. How can that be science?
🔥 Even though I already knew the Governor planned to sign HB 7021 yesterday, it was still a gut punch when I heard it had happened. While I rationally understand the political and practical justifications, and even though I recognize the record-shattering nature of what DeSantis did first, emotionally I still felt white-hot outrage knowing that corporate hospitals would receive any benefit of any kind at this point. It stinks.
After two years of difficult and emotionally draining work, this lawyer’s opinion is that our corporate hospital system is irretrievably broken. There’s no way to fix it. It will have to be replaced by something new. It will take time, maybe a long time, but it must be done. So.
CHANGING THE GAME
The law’s extension was the bad news. But the war continues and there’s a lot left to do. And, more importantly, while we may have lost the temporary battle for the veto, we didn’t lose the war at all. Our efforts DID produce results. And not just little ones. What we did get is substantial, maybe game changing, and WILL save lives. Maybe a lot of them.
I can’t think of any other blog that has ever accomplished anything like this. I don’t take the credit: I’m just the tip of the pen. (Yes, yes, it’s not a pen, it’s a keyboard, but the “tip of the keyboard” sounds ridiculous.) YOU GUYS — team C&C — were the ones who did it. And we’re still learning…
Anyway, early yesterday afternoon, the governor’s office announced the name of the new program, and it is an epic grandmaster-level media troll: “Buck the CDC!” That’s right, buck it. I can’t wait for all the outraged reporters to start yammering about how disrespectful and unprofessional the name is.
In a Rumble video, Governor DeSantis and Dr. Ladapo announce a group of new health policies in three parts: (1) encouraging employee mask choice; (2) limiting quarantine periods for kids and workers to five days regardless of their testing status; and — the part we’re interested in — (3) promoting effective, “evidence-based” treatment for Covid including off-label drugs. Governor DeSantis explained the new Covid protocols in an introduction that was pregnant with possibilities:
“The other thing that we’ve updated is some of the treatment protocols that have been out there. If you take a look at Fauci, what he puts out, what he says you can do, he’s been very negative on a lot of treatments that have actually shown positive results. And so what Dr. Ladapo has done is made sure that practitioners understand that they have the flexibility, and they can use their judgment, to use off-label products in order to treat Covid-19.”
A NEW STATE POLICY
Three things struck me about the Governor’s comments. First, I appreciated the slam on that nauseating centipede Fauci. You can’t possibly criticize him too much for my taste. Second, it’s clear they decided to work AROUND the hospitals by promoting individual physicians instead. And third, the reference to “off-label” products is code, code for using evidence-based treatment including, obviously, ivermectin — the most well-known off-label treatment for Covid. Finally.
I carefully reviewed the “Provider Alert” that the Department of Health sent yesterday to all licensed healthcare practitioners in Florida (https://tinyurl.com/36k2f38w). The language was very carefully drafted. The body of the alert is titled, “Use of Emerging and Off-Label Treatments.” It begins by advising doctors that, when treating Covid-19, physicians “should exercise their INDIVIDUAL clinical judgment and expertise based on their patients’ needs and PREFERENCES.”
That’s a direct slam on hospitals. The hospitals are all following a one-size-fits-all outdated CDC protocol. Now, the State’s official policy is that doctors’ INDIVIDUAL judgment, not some kind of corporate judgment, should drive patent treatment. And based not only on a patient’s needs but also on a patient’s PREFERENCES. Meaning, patients should have a say in it too. Imagine that.
As a lawyer battling in this space, I immediately began to see ways to use this policy. For starters, every Covid patient in Florida should print the Alert and show it to their doctors. Hang it above the bed. Let’s talk about patient treatment PREFERENCES, instead of stupid CDC guidances from Washington, from bureaucrats who’ve never been near the patient.
ENDORSING OFF-LABEL DRUGS
Next, the Alert directs that treatment “options may include emerging treatments backed by quality evidence, with appropriate patient informed consent, *including off-label use or as part of a clinical trial*” (emphasis in original). This short phrase, included in an official state advisory, is huge. It’s gigantic. It’s an earthquake. It’s difficult to overestimate how helpful this will be.
Florida just officially endorsed the use of “off label” drugs for Covid treatment.
And the “evidence-based” language is also important. That expands the universe beyond “peer-reviewed studies.” It means that doctors should use things that they can see are working, as long as THEY, the doctors, have evidence suggesting efficacy.
You may be wondering how this short policy can help save lives. I will explain it. As soon as I read through it, I thought about a client — a particular Florida doctor. You’d probably recognize this doctor’s name if I mentioned it, especially if you’re in Florida. The doctor was well aware of the HB 7021 controversy.
I thought of this doctor in particular because yesterday was our deadline to respond to the medical board for him. The medical board is challenging this doctor for, among other things, treating Covid patients with off-label drugs. I wish I’d seen the Alert first. If I had, I would have sent a short one-page letter instead of the three-page monster we did send. I would’ve just attached the new policy and said, “read this.”
Anyway, after I saw the announcement, I immediately texted the doctor a link to the Governor’s video. Here’s what he said, word-for-word: “Listened and very impressed. I think he is putting hospitals on notice in his own way.”
That’s the rub right there: the effect this Alert could have on doctors. Not just my doctor, but other doctors who are on the fence or who are terrified they’ll get “investigated” by medical boards for prescribing off-label products. If this advisory only encourages ten more doctors to get into the game, literally thousands of lives can be saved. We might stop a lot of people from having to go to the hospital in the first place with early treatments.
This is also going to push back on recalcitrant pharmacies, because it makes off-label drug use for Covid treatment the official policy of the State. You can’t argue effectively with that.
PRESSURE ON HOSPITALS
And it gets better. There’s a second part of the Alert, titled “Reporting Noncompliant and Unlicensed Facilities.” Oooh, I thought, that looks interesting. It WAS interesting. In bold-faced type, it provides a way to file complaints against hospitals who won’t let doctors treat their patients as individuals:
If you are a health care practitioner who is aware of a hospital that is preventing licensed health care providers from using evidence-based care and exercising clinical judgment in treating patients, please report those instances to the Agency for Health Care Administration.
Boom! Two can play at the complaints-filing game. The Alert provides a phone number (888-419-3456) and a website for filing complaints against hospitals (https://apps.ahca.myflorida.com/hcfc/). The term “evidence-based care” is important; it distinguishes the alternative, which is the CDC’s “one-size fits all” protocol. The Alert doesn’t even mention the CDC, at all.
You see what this means? Our outside doctors just got some effective leverage against hospitals. They had none before. In my highly-publicized case involving Dan Pisano’s death, Mayo Hospital refused to allow Dan’s outside physician to provide treatment. If we’d had this policy, we could have reported Mayo for preventing Dr. Balbona and their own staff doctors from using “evidence-based care” and “exercising clinical judgment.”
This policy supports independent doctors over corporate care. Which is exactly what we need to do if we’re going to replace the corporate hospital system and disconnect it from the federal money machine. We’ll need strong independent physician rights. So it looks like DeSantis and his team were looking toward the long game, not just the next two years.
THE WAY FORWARD
I never thought we could completely stop HB 7021; I even agreed that liability protection makes a lot of sense for independent doctors, clinics, and nursing homes (just not hospitals). My original hope was to get it vetoed so it could be amended to provide patient protection.
But when you tally up all the pro’s and con’s, consider the possibilities, and imagine how many lives could be saved either way, the Governor’s approach might actually be better in the long run than what I had in mind. It kind of reminds me of the clever way Florida handled vaccine exemptions to defeat the mandates. At the time, we were frustrated that the special-session law didn’t ban mandates outright, but quickly realized that a ban would have been preempted by the federal laws anyway. Literally millions of jobs were saved.
Personally, I don’t want hospitals to have ANY liability protection for Covid treatment. What is happening in those hospitals is unforgivable. But I’d rather have THIS — liability protection plus the new policy — over a bare veto. The policy gives us a LOT to work with.
Florida just became the first state in the country to officially endorse off-label treatments for Covid — which empowers patients and protects doctors. And it put hospitals on notice that they need to fix themselves. Imagine what fruit could be harvested if other states follow Florida’s lead.
This is what we accomplished with our efforts to stop HB 7021. It’s not what we had in mind, but we got a historic new health policy that might be the first domino in a cascade of new patient rights.
🔥 All the news yesterday was about Ukraine, which might be the next pandemic. Maybe the next phase in the never-ending state of emergency, replacing Covid. If so, I’ll be blogging about it. Right now we’re in the early fog of Ukrainian confusion, like in March of 2020 with Covid.
It sure looks a lot like another manufactured crisis to me. We’ll see.
😷 Two days before the State of the Union, the heavily locked-down State of Oregon announced it will officially end its state of emergency effective April 1st. And I don’t think it’s an April Fool’s joke.
So. Welcome back to sanity, Oregonians!
🔥 While it hasn’t made the corporate media yet, a variety of secondary news sites reported yesterday that the CDC just published data showing huge increases in vaccinated cases and hospitalizations. YourNews.com titled its story, “Vaccinated People More Likely to Contract COVID-19, Go to Hospital in Recent Weeks: CDC Data.”
The article reports that the CDC’s own data showed that between December 2021 and January 2022:
— the fully vaccinated case rate mushroomed over 1,000%.
— the boosted case rate ballooned more than — this is not a typo — 2,400%.
— vaccinated hospitalizations rocketed up from 1.4 to 35.2 per 100,000.
While unjabbed case rates were still higher overall, the gap is clearly closing, fast.
Two weeks ago, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told investors on a call that a second booster will be necessary because of waning protection from the vaccine, including the first booster, as shown in a February 11 study published in the CDC’s journal. The researchers concluded that the “protection conferred by mRNA vaccines waned in the months after receipt of a third vaccine dose.”
The researchers also found that of 241,204 eligible emergency room visits, 54% were vaccinated, and among the 93,408 hospitalizations, 57% were vaccinated.
In other words, more bad news for the jabs. With no good news in sight.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll see you all back here on Monday, since I am headed to CPAC in Orlando for the weekend.
You can help get the truth out and spread optimism and hope: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-