Covid-19 Worries

Health Tips / Covid-19 Worries

You may have noticed fewer Health Tips about Covid-19 recently, which might have struck you as odd given our dreadful numbers here in the US. Well, there was a reason for this.

WholeHealth Chicago was one of hundreds of health-oriented websites that were sent cease-and-desist warning letters from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging widespread promotion and selling what they called “unproven therapies.”

In other words, there’s nothing wrong with recommending vitamin C for immune support, but recommending vitamin C to protect you against Covid-19 is unproven (which is true) and thus forbidden, according to the FTC.

However, even when a specific nutritional deficiency increases Covid-19 risks, as in the case with vitamin D (click here for a Medscape article entitled “Low Vitamin D Linked to Increased Covid-19 Risk”), it’s apparently OK to inform the public about the study, but not OK to sell vitamin D as a possible aid in Covid-19 prevention. This is because vitamin D is not officially FDA-approved for Covid-19 prevention.

Are you following this?

Since the penalties for ignoring the FTC warnings include significant fines and the bank turning off the offending company’s charge-card system, virtually everyone receiving a cease-and-desist letter cooperates immediately, as did we.

Exemptions of note
It’s worth mentioning that Donald Trump is exempt from FTC rules and is allowed to continue his enthusiastic support of hydroxychloroquine, ultraviolent light, and household cleaners as Covid-19 cures.

Also, without FTC repercussions, he can retweet the deeply concerning notions of Houston physician Stella Immanuel, MD, who is opposed to masks, has a theory that many medical conditions occur as a result of demons and witches having sex with us while we sleep, and says that alien DNA is inserted in vaccinations, which are being produced in order to immunize people from religion. No, I’m not making this up.

Since the First Amendment (free speech, in case you forgot) is not affected by the FTC, I can write about Covid-19 provided I don’t offer a product or service. If I suggest that deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals (including vitamins C, D, E, and zinc) are known to impair immunity, you may choose to buy some of these supplements, but you will do so on your own.

I neither wish to compose future Health Tips from a jail cell nor want to feel the gentle tug of a tracker around my ankle. 

Biking around, looking ahead
Read any report on Covid-19 and you’ll see that the US isn’t managing the pandemic even moderately well. Also, our future doesn’t look all that bright.

Last week I took a six-hour bike ride (masked and helmeted) throughout the city. Whether I was cruising along the lakefront, gliding through a park, or traversing a street, at best maybe 30% of the people I saw were wearing masks.

In beautiful Humboldt Park, with a mainly Latinx population, there were large family picnics, mainly unmasked. The same held true for Black families and couples in Jackson Park and White game-players in Lincoln Park. (You really become aware of how segregated Chicago is when you tour it on a bike.)

When I walk to and from our WholeHealth Chicago office, about 30% of the people I see are wearing masks. Last week a bevy of clearly well-off young mothers (you can tell when the baby stroller is the size of an Escalade) were chatting it up in front of Starbucks and not one was wearing a mask. As were none of a team of Latinx tuck-pointers setting up in front of a building across the street.

Well, at least Chicago beaches are closed, unlike in Texas, Florida, and the UK. This June 24 video of Bournemouth in the UK is especially chilling.

I know you’re all tired of hearing the advice about masking, handwashing, and social distancing, but that’s precisely what it will take to quash this virus. Please click this CDC link and read the information again, keeping in mind that being outside is always less risky than being indoors.

Germ theory, terrain theory
Now, a brief nod to Louis Pasteur and someone you’ve likely never heard of, his archrival Antoine Bechamp. Pasteur, as we all know (or should know), is the father of microbiology, the germ theory of disease. Anthony Fauci, MD, is a natural heir to Pasteur.

Rather unkindly, Bechamp has been relegated to history as a scientific nut case. He disbelieved the germ theory to the very end, instead maintaining that it wasn’t the bacteria but rather the strength (or weakness) of where the bacteria sets up house—the terrain–that matters. He called this terrain theory.

If you’ve got a healthy terrain, your immune system is stronger and your chances of becoming ill with any infection are reduced. Science has completely proven that you have better resistance to infection (i.e., a healthy terrain) when you:
–Reduce stress.
–Get enough sleep.
–Maintain a healthy weight (avoid obesity).
–Eat a healthful diet (avoid all processed/junk foods and eat nutritionally sound whole plant and animal foods).
–Eat more healthy fats (anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil and salmon).
–Live an anti-inflammatory life. Chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, so follow these anti-inflammatory guidelines.
–Exercise regularly.
–Stay hydrated.

Just by reviewing that list you can guess what contributes to an unhealthy terrain:
–Poor nutritional choices.
–Troubled sleep.
–Virtually any chronic illness (cancer, COPD, kidney disease, heart disease).
–Using immune-suppressing drugs.
–Type 2 diabetes.
And many others.

Vaccine trials
Although my heart leaped when Dr. Fauci said he felt there might be a vaccine by the end of 2020, it crashed again when a recent survey said that 50% of Americans would refuse a vaccine were it available.

Regular Health Tip readers know I’m an advocate of immunizations and, yes, every time I confess that I get a bevy of unpleasantries from the anti-vaxxers, who threaten to unsubscribe. Since it’s often the same anti-vaxxers who do this, I guess they’re hoping I’ll change.

But actually, putting my money where my mouth is, I signed up for the vaccine trials over at Northwestern. If you’re interested, click here for a report.

Be well,
David Edelberg, MD

22 thoughts on “Covid-19 Worries

    Now that the Vaccines are being administered, and we have seen more from the clinical trials and the first stage of nation-wide release, are you still pro Covid vaccine? Does it matter which one you get? Are you worried for many of us who deal with auto-immune issues? Further seeing the link/correlation to Epstein Barr (and thyroid) to Covid? Last, and weaker, any concern for those who have a genetic mutation like BRCA1?

    Kristin Bozic
    Posted January 7, 2021 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Kristin –

      By in large, all of the covid vaccines have extremely good safety profiles. There will always be people who are sensitive to vaccines and have reactions as a result of getting one; that said, these appear to be quite safe across the board. Until more is understood about Covid-19, we’re going to face a lot of unknowns, so when it comes to questions about vaccine safety with regard to specific conditions and health histories, it’s best to have that conversation with your primary care provider. If you’d like to speak with a functional medicine practitioner at WHC, please call 773-296-6700 and ask for a visit with nurse practitioners Rachel Gates or Wendy Ploegstra, or functional medicine doctors Parisa Samsami or Caley Scott.

      Posted January 11, 2021 at 1:09 am

    Greetings Doc,
    I was in Chicago for just a couple of hours in mid May. East Lakeview, downtown (Michigan Ave) was a ghost town. I only saw a few folks while stopping by my old office at Illinois Masonic, and everyone was masked. I didn’t see one person unmasked. I was very proud of the city. Apparently things have changed. I’m sorry to hear that folks are not as vigilant.
    You are, and for the past 26 years, been my hero. Thank you for your courage.

    Dr. David W Bailey, DC
    Posted August 6, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for all you do Dr. E. I did think you were kidding regarding Stella Immanuel!! You inspired me to research. I am curious of your opinion on these additional doctors with the same claims hydroxychoriquin/azithromycin/zinc-combo cured their patients-Dr. David Samadi, Dr. Simone Gold, Dr. Zev Zelenko, Dr. Anthony Cardillo, Dr. Steven Smith,Dr. Richard Bartlett, Dr. Harvey Risch, Dr. Bob Hamilton, Dr. Dan Erickson, Dr. Richard Urso, Dr. James Todaro, Dr. Joe Ladapo, just to name a few. It sure would be amazing for humanity if this is a cure!!

    Lor Smith
    Posted August 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Dr. David Brownstein, another doctor I admire, is in hot water with the FTC for recommending iodine supplementation, vitamins A, C, and D and IV nutrient therapy.

    I would take my chances with these treatments over being intubated in the ICU on a ventilator.

    Susan Hall
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    IMHO, the mistake many people make is believing that bureaucratic government agencies (like the CDC & FDA), as institutions, actually have the best interests of the people at heart. They do not. Bottom line is that they have the financial best interests of the industries they regulate foremost in their decision-making (this is not to say that all individuals working for these agencies don’t care about the public, but as institutions, this is mostly true. In this regard, the bureaucrats work with the politicians. As H.L. Mencken said: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary…The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

    Rick Farmer
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Dr .E,

    Thank you for being ahead of conventional medicine as always and for alerting us to the FTC’ s actions and the survey. I’ll let my Congressional representatives know. Regarding the vaccine, perhaps congress could mandate it? Just as some individual rights are not upheld when there is a strong public safety concern (such as free speech as in shouting “fire” in a crowded theater? What do you think? I’ll reach out to the lawyers I know.
    Warm Regards, Leigh

    Leigh Knittle
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for your informative article, as usual, for you support of Dr. Fauci & science vs tweets. The intricacies of the CDC continue to mystify me. In reading an article of human behavior during the last pandemic, I see that human nature has not evolved very much.

    Diana Argersinger
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for the update. Human beings are their own worst enemy. So much has been lost in our educational systems due to the change in focus. It is now more important to learn math and advanced technology than physical science, music, all the arts, the constitution, and hand writing. No wonder people don’t understand the basics any longer. People don’t have respectful conversations. They tweet. Thank you for your always respectful conversations.

    Kathryn Donahue
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for great advice as always. And for giving me hope that there are reasonable experts doing the right thing.

    Lynda Enright
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 11:30 am

    This is so un-American but that is what has happened to this country because Of all the crooked government agencies . FDA, CDC , EPA . Why is our food now coming for China , who knows what’s in that.
    But this is all ok with the crooked government

    patrick mcmahon
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 11:14 am

    You continue to be my hero, Dr. Edelberg – a sane voice amidst the idiocy.

    Andrea McNaughton
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Keep up the good work and do not ride your bike to Indiana without permission.

    Michael R. Lawler
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Sad but government overreach still exists even though our current president has been working toward eliminating it. Has been decades in the making, going to take longer to drain the swamp than we thought.

    Valerie Sander
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 8:37 am

      The federal agents pulling people off the streets are the kind of federal overreach we might find most concerning.

      Thanks Dr. E for advocating not only individual but also political and structural actions to promote health and justice

      Michelle VanNatta
      Posted August 5, 2020 at 12:50 am

    As someone with a lifelong interest in nutrition and diet, as well as being a yoga and meditation teacher, I very much appreciate your recommendations for vaccines.
    It’s not often I find support for this in the world of holistic or alternative medicine. I’d be a patient if I lived in the Chicago area, Dr. Edelberg.

    Posted August 4, 2020 at 8:22 am

      You’re the best, Dr. E.! Our world’s a better place with you in it!

      Steve Ehrmann
      Posted August 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Ditto ????????

      Posted August 4, 2020 at 1:21 pm

    This is making me so angry! A strong immune system is everything and no one can talk about it? Is this still America?

    Rebecca Wharrie
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 8:19 am

    I admire your volunteering for vaccine trials, and I doubt if you’re alone as a physician in doing so, but I wonder what percentage of doctors you represent. Is it as high as 30%?

    John Cox
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Thank you so much for volunteering to be a part of the Covid~19 vaccine trials~
    You’re a hero, indeed!
    With Gratitude,
    Laura Larson Gillhouse

    Laura Larson Gillhouse
    Posted August 4, 2020 at 6:41 am

    My wife and I moved away from Chicago last year, and one of the things we miss the most is Whole Health!!! Thank you for this blog and all you do for those in the Chicagoland area and abroad.

    Posted August 4, 2020 at 6:38 am

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