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Dr. Harvey Risch’s Optimism: More People Using Early Treatment for COVID, 65-70% Natural Immunity from People Who Have Had COVID

Photo: Dr. Harvey Risch’s Optimism: More People Using Early Treatment for COVID, 65-70% Natural Immunity from People Who Have Had COVID

An optimistic Dr. Harvey Risch said this week more people are finally hearing the message that treating COVID-19 early with drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin may help them avoid serious illness.

He also explained to Todd Feinburg, host of The Todd Feinburg Show on WTIC, Connecticut’s leading conservative talk station, that it is “natural immunity,” rather than “vaccine immunity” that will get the United States out of the pandemic.

Risch, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine, explained further why there is reason for optimism about where the country stands regarding COVID-19:

So, I think that there’s a good chunk of the population that is getting the message that this edifice of falsehoods, misrepresentation, shades of meaning, misinterpretations of studies, is beginning to crack, and people are seeing that the, the usage of hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin and other drugs for early treatment has become wider …

Right now, in the U.S., we have probably 65 or maybe 70% natural immunity from people who have had COVID. And that is why we’re in a much stronger position now, and why I’m so optimistic that, I think, that when that pushes up to 75 to 80%, it’s going to push down the ability of any new strain to make much of the headway into the population. And, so, that’s why I’m optimistic.

Risch explained he recently surveyed numerous telemedicine groups and large clinical practices throughout the country who have been treating COVID patients with early treatment medications, including hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

“They’ve in total reported to me that they’ve treated over 150,000 COVID outpatients with fewer than two dozen deaths across all of that,” he said.

“Now, not all those 150,000 are high risk by any means,” he clarified. “But even if it’s 25% or 40%, that’s still a huge number of people who have been basically saved by these medications.”

“How do those medications compare to the newer pills that are coming on the market? Do they provide the same kind of treatment as opposed to a vaccination?” Feinburg asked.

“Well, I should say that monoclonal antibodies have also played into this,” Risch responded. “They’re also part of the early treatment, as are steroids, and vitamin D, and zinc, and so on. These are recipes that doctors have been using.”

Risch explained the major difference between the recently announced drugs touted as early treatment medications vs. older medications like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin:

The new pills that are coming on are likely to work at the beginning and then fade over time. And the reason for that is that these pills appear to be directed at the virus. And if you direct something at the virus, the virus that mutates a lot, it’s going to try to mutate away from being suppressed by those treatments. And so that’s what I’m expecting, that over time more mutant strains will come out. Whereas with hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, they don’t treat the virus at all. They treat the patient. They make the cells of the body inhospitable to the virus in the first place, regardless what its mutations are, and that’s why they are going to be the long-term ace in the hole, as it were, for doing these treatments.

The Yale epidemiologist elaborated on how more people are understanding about the use of traditional drugs to treat COVID:

I think the evidence has grown stronger with time that these things are effective in reducing risks of hospitalization and mortality when they’re used within the first five days, say, or six days of symptom onset. And I think that, you know, as more people understand this, and understand how they’ve been suppressed because of conflicts of interest, you know, people are getting angry about why the governments have been suppressing this, and why, you know, the media have been suppressing this as well. But I’m optimistic that the more people find out, the more people use it.

Risch mentioned a new website he has helped create, with other early treatment doctors, titled Early COVID Care Experts (ECCE) at, that contains information about treatment, doctors who treat COVID, and guidance for clinicians.

“A number of doctors have put together scientific information about all things about early COVID treatment and related, so natural immunity is – there’s a whole section on that, and lists all the studies – how to interpret them,” he explained. “There’s also a section on finding care or finding doctors.”

“This is a completely unfunded website,” he emphasized. “There’s no money involved, no economics involved in this. It’s just doctors who put in some time to be able to create this information.”

Risch said it is “basically an open secret” that these older medications are working and that “COVID can be treated.”

“Well, why is the secret part in there still, why hasn’t that been broken open yet?” Feinburg asked. “And what are the forces at play? When we talked before, I got the feeling that you thought it was about the power of the money in the pharmaceutical industry that silenced opposition to the steamrolling of the vaccine as the only thing that’s allowed.”

Risch replied:

Yes, I think that’s still every bit as true as it was before. And we’re seeing now that the vaccines are useful, you know, over the first few months, but then their efficacy has been declining also. And, in part, because that’s what these kinds of vaccines do, and, in part, because of newer strains that the vaccines were not tailored to. I mean, if you think about it, now people are taking boosters of vaccines that are a year and a half old. And you know, you wouldn’t take a year and a half old flu vaccine for a different strain of the illness. Why are we people being given a year and a half old COVID vaccine?

Risch zoned in further on the problems with the vaccines:


Well, is it automatic that the disease would have changed enough? Haven’t they tested it to make sure that it works as well with this strain as the previous one?


They’re thinking that it does work, but not probably as well as the previous strain.


When they say that the vaccine has 90% efficacy, or whatever the stat is they throw out, are those numbers accurate?


They are reasonably accurate for the period of time and the people who were tested. So, the vaccine companies and the FDA and the CDC allow the manufacturers to remove the first two weeks after vaccination, claiming that that hasn’t given enough time for the vaccines to become effective yet.

Now, the problem with that is adverse events don’t have to wait for the vaccine to become effective, and adverse events that occur in the first two weeks are attributable to the vaccine, regardless, and you can’t throw out the first two weeks of adverse events. I think that the vaccines stay effective for three to four months for reducing likelihood of getting COVID. And they decline after that. The mortality benefit seems to stay around a little longer, maybe to six months before it starts to decline. This has been shown in studies in Qatar and Israel and Sweden. It’s a very strong observation that we know now that the vaccines are not forever. And that’s why people have to now start thinking, are they willing to take a vaccine every four to six months as long as we have this endemic disease, you know, or do they want to try to deal with it a different way. And my impression is that natural immunity the immunity to having had COVID and recovered from it is recognized by all virologists and most scientists as being as strong or stronger than vaccine immunity. And, in fact, that is what is going to get us out of the pandemic.

Risch then addressed the CDC’s and FDA’s recent approval of COVID vaccines for children of age 5-11 years:

Well, the … FDA said in its meeting where it approved the emergency use authorization for 5 to 11 year old children that, between October 2020 and October 2021, there were 66 deaths associated with COVID. That was their language, “associated with COVID.” But studies have also shown that about half of those are caused by COVID, and half of them are in children who died with COVID, but not from COVID. So, even if it were 66, but I’m saying it’s more likely 33 deaths that have occurred over the year from COVID, those deaths are almost entirely in children who had chronic conditions – they’ve had, maybe have had cancer … obesity, diabetes, other serious illnesses. And … that number compares to about 600 who’ve been killed in traffic accidents, somewhere between 60 to 70 in past years who have died from influenza, and so on. This is not a number that rises to the level that you would vaccinate tens of millions of children in order to prevent 33 deaths, particularly in children who you know are at higher risk. You could deal with them separately, and not have to vaccinate all children in order to find ones who are at higher risk.

The Yale epidemiologist observed signs more people are interested in early treatment of COVID.

“I gave a lecture to an audience in France in June that’s been seen by more than 70,000 people,” he said, adding the fact that the website has more than 200,000 visits as of last week, although it has been up for only a few weeks.

Risch provided as well some insight into the history of how the mention of hydroxychloroquine became the mortal sin of cancel culture:

“And … remember that this did not start with President Trump,” he asserted, explaining:

This pushback did not start when President Trump said hydroxychloroquine is going to be a game changer. It started in October of 2019, when the French Minister of Health reclassified hydroxychloroquine from over the counter to prescription only, claiming fraudulent data, saying that it was genotoxic, which means that it could cause cancer or birth defects, when it was known fully well that it’s been used in hundreds of millions of people and billions – tens of billions of doses for 50 years – that it’s among the very safest medications there are. So, she knew that, and she reclassified that for a reason.

And then in February, a completely fraudulent paper came out in the New England Journal saying that only randomized trials provide evidence, and that all other studies which are called real world data, meaning the kinds of epidemiologic studies that I and others do are all garbage. That’s what it basically says. This was an affront – a screed – against my entire field of epidemiology. And it was … a fake, and it was put out by four doctors … in England who knew there was a pandemic coming.

Risch said the “fraudulent paper” was put out to block the ability to provide evidence of the effectiveness of generic drugs.

“This was all afoot, and well-known in the pharma community, before President Trump said anything,” he asserted.

“What else do you want us to know before you go?” Feinburg asked Risch:

Well, I think people need to stand up for their rights to protect themselves in the best way they can: to be fully knowledgeable, to take their health matters into their own decision-making … we are not in an emergency now, the same way we were in March of last year when we didn’t know anything. Now we know everything, virtually everything. And we know that there is no pandemic emergency except for a very narrow range of people who are at high risk, and there’s no call to be treating this as an emergency in the whole rest of the population. And since our government, at large and small, is still doing that, you have to address why that is. And then people have to push back against all the strictures and mandates that are inappropriate at a time when there’s no compelling emergency.

Risch explained that, while most of his life’s work has been in the area of cancer research, in the last year and a half, he has been devoted to trying to help people afflicted with COVID get early treatment.

“And, you know, I continue to do this, and it’s why I went into public health in the first place, is to help save lives and reduce disease and to the degree that I’m able to do that, that’s why I continue,” he said.


This content is solely for educational and discussion purposes. Any treatment undertaken in terms of COVID (or any illness) should be discussed with a licensed medical professional.