Leana Wen 2.0, COVID fuzzy math, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Transcend Fear: A Blueprint for Mindful Leadership in Public Health, mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Elko vax ban, FAA cardiac policy, TV drug ads, Pfizer celebrity endosements, Tripledemic anxiety, Teething remedies and MORE!

January 18, 2023 3-5PM ET

Wednesday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:

CNN analyst slammed after writing COVID deaths are being overcounted: ‘TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATE’ CNN medical analyst and Washington Post columnist Dr. Leana Wen admitted in a column, Friday, that the medical community is “overcounting” the amount of “COVID deaths and hospitalizations.” Wen, who writes an occasional Washington Post column providing her observations on the pandemic, masking and other COVID-related subjects, cited sources claiming that most “patients diagnosed with COVID are actually in the hospital for some other illness.” The article is titled, “We are overcounting COVID deaths and hospitalizations. That’s a problem.” Wen’s observations prompted readers on Twitter to complain, stating that it’s “two and a half years late.” Wen began her column with some apparent skepticism about the CDC’s latest COVID-19 death stats: “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States is experiencing around 400 COVID deaths every day. At that rate, there would be nearly 150,000 deaths a year. But are these Americans dying from COVID or with COVID?”

Special Guest Dr. Joseph Ladapo

Joseph Ladapo, MD, PhD is the surgeon general of Florida and professor at University of Florida College of Medicine. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ladapo worked as an associate professor of general internalmedicine and a health policy researcher at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and children.

Elko County health board to consider banning COVID, flu vaccines The Elko County Board of Health is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss and consider placing a moratorium on COVID-19 and flu vaccines in the county. The board also will consider discontinuing local advertising for COVID-19 and flu vaccines, pending “further investigation and results of the Florida Supreme Court case to investigate the wrong doing related to COVID-19 vaccines,” the agenda says. In December, Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis requested that the Florida Supreme Court convene a grand jury to investigate any possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccines and to get more information from pharmaceutical companies. Jon Karr, an Elko County Board of Health commissioner, said he thinks those agenda items never should have been put on the agenda and resulted from a miscommunication. A concerned resident spoke about possible problems with vaccines, such as heart problems and inflammation, Karr said. The resident pointed to DeSantis’ efforts to investigate COVID-19 vaccines as well as right-wing editorials about vaccines, he said. “We’ve already been notified by legal that we don’t have the authority to issue a moratorium,” Karr said. “I believe it’s just a miscommunication, and I’m hoping it gets tabled indefinitely.” Items may not go forward

Hour 2

The FAA has very quietly tacitly admitted that the EKGs of pilots are no longer normal. We should be concerned. Very concerned. In the October 2022 version of the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners, the FAA quietly widened the EKG parameters beyond the normal range (from a PR max of .2 to unlimited). And they didn’t widen the range by a little. They widened it by a lot. It was done after the vaccine rollout. This is extraordinary. They did it hoping nobody would notice. It worked for a while. Nobody caught it. But you can’t hide these things for long. This is a tacit admission from the US government that the COVID vaccine has damaged the hearts of our pilots. Not just a few pilots. A lot of pilots and a lot of damage. The cardiac harm of course is not limited to pilots. My best guess right now is that over 50M Americans sustained some amount of heart damage from the shot. But don’t worry; you can’t sue them. They fixed the law so none of them aren’t liable (the doctors, the drug companies, the government). After all, you took the vaccine of your own free will. It’s not like you were forced (or coerced) to take it or anything like that! And there were plenty of people warning you not to take the shots (even though they censored most of them).

70% of drugs advertised on TV are of “low therapeutic value,” study finds Some new drugs sell themselves with impressive safety and efficacy data. For others, well, there are television commercials. According to a new study, a little over 70 percent of prescription drugs advertised on television were rated as having “low therapeutic value,” meaning they offer little benefit compared with drugs already on the market. The study, appearing in JAMA Open Network, aligns with longstanding skepticism that heavily promoted drugs have high therapeutic value. “One explanation might be that drugs with substantial therapeutic value are likely to be recognized and prescribed without advertising, so manufacturers have greater incentive to promote drugs of lesser value,” said the authors, which include researchers at Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. The US is one of only two countries that allows direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertisements, such as TV commercials. (The other is New Zealand.) Physicians, medical associations, and consumer advocates have long railed against the unusual practice. In 2006, consumer advocacy group Public Citizen summarized DTC advertising as “nothing less than an end-run around the doctor-patient relationship—an attempt to turn patients into the agents of pharmaceutical companies as they pressure physicians for medications they may not need.” In 2015, the American Medical Association called for an all-out ban on DTC ads for prescription drugs and medical devices. AMA members said the ads were “driving demand for expensive treatments despite the clinical effectiveness of less costly alternatives.”

Celebrity Paid Partnerships With Pfizer Raises Questions A host of celebrities are facing scrutiny on social media after promoting Pfizer‘s COVID-19 vaccine in paid partnerships on their respective Instagram accounts over the past week. In the past few days, musicians Pink and Questlove, actor Jean Smart, and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps have each taken to Instagram to share sponsored posts in which they have spoken about the vaccine. As part of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s Know Plan Go initiative, each celebrity has shared factors that have put them at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. These stories have also been shared on the Know Plan Go website. “Having COVID-19 was a scary experience,” Pink, 43, who was born Alecia Moore, said in a statement shared on the website. “Having asthma puts me at high risk for getting very sick from it. But now I’m ready to act quickly if COVID-19 strikes again. If I ever have symptoms—even if they’re mild—I know to get tested quickly and make the call to my doctor right away if my test is positive.” The case of former competitive swimmer Phelps, 37, cited living with depression as a reason for backing the initiative. “In my journey living with depression, I’ve learned a lot about how it can impact my overall health,” Phelps said in a statement. “But I was surprised to find out that depression puts me at high risk for severe COVID-19. It’s important to know if you may have a high-risk factor and be ready to act should you test positive.”

Anxiety over ‘tripledemic’ has these LAUSD parents pleading for mask mandate At the first sign of a sniffle or stormy weather ahead Lourdes Lopez keeps her 10-year-old daughter, Alison, home from school. Alison has Down syndrome and is more vulnerable to illness. A cold can be a major hardship, Lopez said, not only for her daughter but her entire family living in an overcrowded apartment in South Los Angeles. Once again this winter, Lopez is feeling a dreadful sense of déjà vu. She doesn’t feel that her daughter is safe at school, especially with masking optional and no universal COVID-19 testing in Los Angeles schools. Alison has missed enough days that school officials have met with Lopez to discuss the absences. “I know that if she misses class, she falls behind,” she said. But Lopez can’t justify risking her daughter’s health. “I told them that day that they have to help, too.” Lopez’s concerns typify the voices of many Los Angeles parents who are navigating another troubling winter of health worries. Not only do they remain deeply concerned about ongoing COVID school outbreaks, but rampant flu cases and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, have compounded their fears. Among many low-income or multifamily households, anxiety has been heightened during the return from winter break, as a contagious virus that enters their home threatens not only the health of their child but their financial stability and well-being. Lopez and a group of Latino parents recently met on Zoom to air concerns and discuss a plan of action. The parents prepared demands to send to the superintendent and school board members, including a plea for mandatory masking for at least January. The group also asked the district to reestablish on-campus weekly coronavirus testing.

Question of The Day!

Hi RSB! And Super D! What do you recommend for pain relief for a teething baby? My little niece is teething and her parents have some hesitations after seeing the Hylands tablets were voluntarily recalled but I think it’s best to avoid over the counter pain relievers. What do you recommend?? Thanks RSB!

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