The Pfizer State of the Union Address

by Pierre Kory, MD, MPA Mar 24, 2022

I published an Op-Ed in the Washington Examiner today, drawing attention to the fact that the State of The Union Address effectively doubled as a Pfizer commercial. Here I include the “Director’s Cut”

With a little help from my friends, I published an Op-Ed in the Washington examiner today, calling attention to the consistent absurdity of our Pharma controlled government’s health care policies. I swear, writing these pieces is like shooting fish in a barrel, except when my colleagues “edit down” my often “too strong” language. Here I publish the “Director’s Cut” with the stronger (and longer) language that I left out in italics

How The White House Can Save Money While Saving Lives

Having campaigned on a pledge to “crush” Covid-19, President Joe Biden’s agencies instead tried to make good on this promise by; continuing the obsessive and near exclusive reliance on mass vaccinations (which are now catastrophically failing against the B2 variant in some of the most highly vaccinated countries like S. Korea and the UK), ignoring natural immunity, refusing to offer even weak recommendations for some of history’s safest and most widely available medicines like HCQ & IVM, failing to employ risk/benefit approaches when deciding to mandate vaccines for healthy and ever younger Americans, and ignoring the terrifying emerging data showing unprecedented disability and death claims to make good on his promise. Now, as the pandemic enters its next phase, the White House could redeem its failures by focusing on a more holistic strategy that includes safe and effective generic treatments along with a public campaign encouraging healthy behaviors.

The war in Ukraine has pushed the pandemic from the headlines, but the Administration is warning that the $1.9 trillion Covid relief fund is running out. They have called for an eye-popping $22.5 billion in additional funding, which even House Democrats removed from a larger government funding package. Meanwhile, the consumer price index showed inflation rising 7.9 percent over the last year, hitting a four-decade high, and the national debt is over $30 trillion dollars.

Our nation’s finances are long overdue for a belt tightening, and Covid prevention and treatment are easy places to start without any drop-off in effectiveness.

While early treatment is the best therapy for acute illness, prevention is the optimal strategy. The White House should take a page out of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s playbook and encourage Americans to eat well, exercise, lose weight and ensure sufficient Vitamin D (and other) stores. These factors demonstrably strengthen natural immunity and have been shown to prevent serious Covid outcomes. Nearly 40 percent of American adults aged 20 and over are obese (and even more are Vitamin D deficient, a much more easily correctable problem), meaning millions more people are at higher risk of hospitalization and death from Covid.

For those who do contract Covid, there are multiple treatment options beyond the unjustly and widely attacked ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. For example, fluvoxamine is an FDA-approved generic medicine that is cheap, widely available, and proven effective in gold-standard randomized controlled trials. Known best for its treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders, fluvoxamine costs four dollars for a 10-day dose.

Compare that to Pfizer’s experimental antiviral drug, called Paxlovid, that was the only treatment name-checked by the Administration in their “new” national COVID-⁠19 Preparedness Plan and the State of the Union address, which struck some viewers (like me) as a commercial for Pfizer.

To wit, the federal government is spending about $530 for each five-day course of Paxlovid. After the drug was granted emergency use authorization in December 2021, the Biden Administration agreed to an advance purchase of 10 million packs of Paxlovid at a cost of about $5.3 billion.

Despite the high price tag, Paxlovid comes with a catch: it takes more than six months to produce. From the beginning, the drug was only available in very limited quantities. In December 2021, an initial batch of 65,000 courses was made available to the United States. At the same time, new U.S. Covid cases were hitting their all-time highs, more than 265,000 per day. While supply has caught up to demand as the omicron variant fades, questions remain about Paxlovid’s readiness during future Covid spikes.

Moreover, Paxlovid was approved after a single trial sponsored by its manufacturer with questionable results. It cannot be taken by those on certain antidepressant, anti-seizure, anti-psychotic, cholesterol, blood pressure, and several other classes of medications. This exclusionary criterion encompasses a significant portion of the overall population given almost half of all adults in the United States have some type of cardiovascular disease.

To distribute Paxlovid, the Biden Administration is pushing a “Test to Treat” initiative that requires pharmacies having a prescriber on-site. The American Medical Association has labelled prescribing pills without knowledge of a patient’s history, “dangerous in practice and precedent.” In the past 2 years, the CDC’s threatening memos scared pharmacists across the country away from filling effective off-label medicines. And now they want pharmacists to test and make rapidly available a medicine with more dangerous drug interactions than I have encountered in my entire career? Doctors should use their expertise and knowledge of both their patient and the numerous treatment options available rather than rely on what an anonymous bureaucrat far away believes (or is manipulated to believe) is the best treatment.

More than two years into the pandemic, we are armed with more knowledge. We now know Covid is a highly preventable and treatable illness using well-studied repurposed medications. We know that relying on vaccines has been proven wrong time and time again, especially with the Covid variants. Some of the most vaccinated populations, such as Israel, have similar or higher case counts than those countries with far lower vaccination rates.

We must also not rely solely on Paxlovid, given its costs, questions about effectiveness and supply and knowing that a large portion of the population cannot take it.

Yet the Administration is once again putting profits before public health. In mentioning the Pfizer drug by name in the State of the Union Address, the president is showing the clear bias the government has for expensive, high-profit drugs while ignoring lower-cost, readily and widely available treatments like, fluvoxamine, ivermectin, and hydroxychloroquine.

Only by influencing his health agencies to a change of course and broader focus will President Biden succeed in truly tackling the pandemic, which is a cause every American can get behind.

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