In response to calls for doubling down on costly failed public health strategies, the Arizona State Chapter of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) issued a statement that “as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on into 2022, we should not keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. If a general is losing the war, he is replaced.”
AAPS notes that hospitals are being overwhelmed, largely because of inadequate staffing. “Despite this, dedicated and experienced staff are being terminated because they decline the COVID injections—even if they have demonstrated natural immunity.” Ironically, adds AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D., some hospitals are having COVID-positive employees come to work.
Another factor is poor morale, possibly due to moral injury, if staff are not permitted to do what they believe is best for patients. “Shared decision-making,” recently promoted by academics as a model for clinical practice, evidently does not apply to respecting patient preferences in COVID-19 treatment, AAPS writes. Hospitals may insist on administering government-approved remdesivir while absolutely refusing to try anything not on their protocol.
Hospitals “may assert that ‘there’s no [CDC-accepted] evidence that that works,’ while there is clear evidence that what they are doing does NOT work in a particular real patient.” AAPS points to evidence from more than 1,300 studies summarized at c19study.com that many re-purposed treatments may be of benefit.
Mask mandates have not stopped the spread, so now N95 masks are advocated. AAPS points to warnings of potential harm that were previously stamped on such masks, and the necessity of careful fitting. Vaccines have not lived up to the promises, AAPS states.
AAPS suggests environmental infection control measures; pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis comparable to what is now routine for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); informing the public of the need for adequate vitamin D and zinc; encouraging rather than threatening punishment for prescribing early out-patient treatment; and recognizing and mitigating reasons for overstressed hospitals.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto (everything for the patient).