COVID and the Semmelweis Reflex

As recent as the mid-1800s, five women in 1,000 died in deliveries performed by midwives.  On the other hand, when physicians performed deliveries, the death rate was often 10 to 20 times greater.  This was because physicians often began their day performing autopsies with bare hands and then, without washing their hands, examined pregnant women and delivered babies.  Midwives, on the other hand, did not perform autopsies.  These physician-caused deaths were due to puerperal fever, a horrendous way to die characterized by high fevers, painful abscesses, and a tortured decline into a nightmare of irreversible sepsis.

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was the Hungarian physician who spent his life as a voice crying in the wilderness trying to reduce the death rate of pregnant women.  He had discovered that if physicians simply washed with a chlorinated lime solution before examining pregnant women or delivering babies that the death rate dropped to less than 1%.  Because his view countered prevailing medical opinion, he was shunned by the medical profession and died an ignominious death at the age of 47.

The “Semmelweis Reflex” is a metaphor for our reflex-like tendency to reject new knowledge because it contradicts with an established belief or norm.  That is exactly what is happening today with COVID.  

Around the world, a small number of esteemed physicians have found combinations of drugs that can produce a near complete cure for COVID, as long as patients are treated when the viral load is low.

Dr. Thomas Borody is a gastroenterologist and infectious disease specialist in Sydney, Australia who discovered cures for two diseases, ulcers and Crohn’s.  According to Dr. Borody, the tri-combination of ivermectin, doxycycline, and zinc is a near complete cure for the outpatient treatment of COVID.  Dr. Borody states, “it is just hard to believe how simple it is to cure the Corona virus.”

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (“FLCCC”) was organized in March 2020 by a group of critical-care physicians.   Their outpatient COVID protocol also contains ivermectin and zinc, but adds to it vitamins C and D, quercetin, melatonin, and aspirin.  In a recently published paper, the FLCCC concluded that “ivermectin, a widely used anti-parasitic medicine with known anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties is proving a highly potent and multi-phase effective treatment against COVID-19.” 

Also, an international group of medical experts from 16 countries have recognized ivermectin (which is typically used in combination with other drugs) as a safe and effective treatment for COVID. According to Dr. Pierre Kory, who is the President of the FLCCC, “This group is the latest in the growing number of experts from around the world who recognize Ivermectin’s role in fighting this pandemic.”  Dr. Pierre Kory continued, “The BIRD [British Ivermectin Recommendation Development] panel used the highest form of medical evidence, a meta-analysis, to evaluate data from over 20 trials of Ivermectin before concluding it’s safe and effective for use in treating COVID-19.” 

Given the compelling evidence that there is a close to 100% cure for COVID, it is mindboggling that a person who tests COVID positive will not be offered any medical assistance.  Very recently, on March 11, 2021, Dr. Peter McCullough testified to the Texas Senate HHS Committee about this very issue.  He states, “patients actually think that the virus is untreatable and so what happens is they go out to get a diagnosis… [and] it says here you’re COVID positive, go home, is there any treatment, no, is there any resources I can call, no, any referral lines/hotlines, no, any research hotlines, no.”  He continues, “that is the standard of care in the United States, and if we go to any of our testing centers today in the United States I bet that is the standard of care.”

In short, what we have here is a near complete failure to respond to the COVID crisis due to our reflex-like tendency to reject new knowledge (i.e., that COVID can be effectively treated) because it contradicts the established belief that COVID cannot be effectively treated.  The federal government has failed because it has not evaluated possible treatments for COVID and put its imprimatur on the treatments that are safe and effective.  Also, the majority of physicians have failed because they have not put into practice the safe and effective treatments that now exist for COVID.  Just as in the time of Semmelweis, these failures have severe and real consequences, including needless death and suffering.

Image: Wellcome Images