Much ado about nothing

To the editor:

Looking back on 2020’s COVID-driven social, economic, educational and political upheaval, are there lessons? A prominent doctor may have one:

“Basically, the death rate is going down all over the world. … This is a disease that entirely affects those people who have low vitamin D levels. Those who have normal or high vitamin D levels are totally unaffected by this disease. They basically don’t know they have the disease. Most of the people I know who are taking vitamin D and get the disease say they would much rather have COVID than a common cold because the side effects are so little when you’re on vitamin D — and zinc.

“And so people are now loading themselves up with vitamin D and the death rate is going down. This is a disease that really affects the people above the 35th parallel — quite a bit, because we’re not having as much sunshine, we don’t have as much exposure to the outdoors anymore because were all on our screens and in our homes during the winter months. But let me tell you if you take vitamin D, this disease is nothing.”

That’s Dr. William Grace, oncologist and hematologist, in an appearance on the Ingraham Angle, Feb. 15. Among Dr. Grace’s many credentials: Chief of Cancer Research and Chief of Medical Oncology at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York for nearly two decades.

Laura Ingraham features many doctors not in sync with the shutdown/lockdown/close schools mentality. But Dr. Grace’s statement is singular.

Could he be right? I’ve seen many positive mentions of Vitamin D (and zinc) by doctors over past months. None compare to: “But let me tell you if you take vitamin D this disease is nothing.”

If right — or just mostly right — what a price we’ve paid for not knowing this.

A secondary lesson might be: What folly to give career health bureaucrats in Washington so much sway over federal, state and local decisions! With so much medical talent disbursed around the nation, why do that? Decentralized health decision-making would likely have produced simple, cheap prevention and treatment solutions — like D and zinc — much sooner.

Cautions:

Vitamin D: The authors of a positive 2017 British Medical Journal study, “strongly caution against doses higher than the upper limit 4,000 IUs/day.”

Zinc: WebMD says “LIKELY SAFE [their capitalization] for most adults when taken by mouth in amounts not larger than 40 mg daily. Routine zinc supplementation is not recommended without the advice of a healthcare professional.”

Tom Shuford

Lenoir