Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) Suggests Different Approach to COVID-19 Surge

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Today, as COVID-19 surges in border states, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) calls on governors to consider the approach used for HIV/AIDS instead of more lockdowns and issued the following statement.

As COVID-19 ‘cases’ (positive tests) surge in border states, governors are being accused of ‘re-opening too soon.’ Governor Ducey of Arizona, Governor Abbott of Texas, and Governor Newsom of California are imposing more restrictions on still-surviving small businesses, and many jurisdictions are mandating mask-wearing by the public.


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These measures will destroy livelihoods, but there is little evidence that they will save lives.

A better, evidence-based approach would be to protect the people most at risk of exposure and infection despite protective gear. These include medical and dental workers but also law enforcement, first responders, factory workers, truck drivers, clergy, and others who serve the public.


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Consider the response to HIV/AIDS. Despite decades of effort, there is no vaccine, but those who have been or might be exposed are offered post-exposure or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PEP or PrEP) with antiviral drugs. And of course, malaria prophylaxis has been routine for decades for those who live in or visit malarious areas.

Recently published, peer-reviewed evidence shows that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is being used safely and effectively to prevent COVID-19 in exposed workers.


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Policemen and others may choose to take HCQ for prophylaxis in India, but not in the U.S. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has explicitly prohibited prophylactic use of HCQ by executive order.

While physicians have the authority to prescribe any FDA-approved medication for any indication, most states have imposed unprecedented restrictions on physicians and pharmacists who prescribe or dispense HCQ for COVID-19.

Research at Henry Ford Health System has recently shown that HCQ cut the COVID-19 death rate in hospitalized patients by half. There are now 53 studies (33 peer-reviewed) on HCQ in COVID-19, almost all with favorable results. The very few negative studies were meaningless because the treatment was applied too late to expect a positive result.


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To prevent sickness, hospitalization, death, and likely long-term health problems in COVID-19 survivors, governors must immediately remove all restrictions on HCQ use for pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis or treatment of HCQ. Doctors must be allowed to practice medicine.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has represented physicians of all specialties in all states since 1943. The AAPS motto is omnia pro aegroto, meaning everything for the patient.

 

Jane M. Orient, M.D. obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital and University of Arizona Affiliated Hospitals and then became an Instructor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and a staff physician at the Tucson Veterans Administration Hospital. She has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989.

She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare, and the second through fifth editions of Sapira's Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis published by Wolters Kluwer. She authored books for schoolchildren, Professor Klugimkopf’s Old-Fashioned English Grammar and Professor Klugimkopf’s Spelling Method, published by Robinson Books, and coauthored two novels published as Kindle books, Neomorts and Moonshine. 

More than 100 of her papers have been published in the scientific and popular literature on a variety of subjects including risk assessment, natural and technological hazards and nonhazards, and medical economics and ethics. She is the editor of AAPS News, the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Newsletter, and Civil Defense Perspectives, and is the managing editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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