Early treatment for COVID-19 was not prioritized. Why? Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough says he believes health officials did not pursue early treatment options because they did not want to discourage Americans from being vaccinated.
“There was a belief, and I think there’s still a belief today among many stakeholders, is that the only way a vaccine is going to work is if every single person takes it. … In order to do that, if we have suppression of early treatment and people think there’s no other or option, they’re going to be much more likely to take the vaccine,” says McCullough. “I think, actually, a suppression of early treatment was by design a vaccine promotion strategy.”
In December, McCullough joined “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast to discuss failures to pursue early treatment options for COVID-19. Rogan was criticized for the interview with McCullough. Only a few weeks later, Dr. Robert Malone also joined Rogan’s show to discuss the pandemic. Afterward, a movement arose to deplatform Rogan.
“Joe Rogan is in the thick of it now,” McCullough says.
McCullough joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the failures in the fight against COVID-19, and the left’s reaction to his interview with Rogan.
Also on today’s show, we speak with British conservative Nigel Farage. He explains how Russia’s war on Ukraine will influence the Western world.
We also cover these stories:
- President Joe Biden expresses his support for Ukraine.
- The United Nations passes a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces new guidance concerning mask requirements for Florida workers.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: I am so pleased today to be joined by Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist. Dr. McCullough, thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Peter McCullough: Well, thanks for having me.
Allen: Let’s go ahead and dive in, talking about COVID-19 and preventative treatment. … Well, and even before we dive in, let me ask you, could you just share a little bit of your own credentials, your own background in the field of medicine, so our audience knows the perspective that you’re coming from?
McCullough: Yeah. I’m a practicing internist and cardiologist, noninvasive cardiology, in Dallas, Texas. I have a large academic-oriented practice. I see and care for patients about half the time, the other half of the time I’m an author and editor and clinical investigator, now a news commentator.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have had my complete and total clinical and academic focus on COVID-19. I’ve learned a lot about it. I have over 50 publications in the preview of literature on COVID-19, over 650 overall in the National Library of Medicine. I’ve testified twice in the U.S. Senate. America has relied on my opinions and expertise.
The important point, and the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] was right on this originally, [is] that 15% of people cannot get COVID. That was the estimate when we do what’s called herd immunity calculations.
And now we understand, leading work by Sabine Hazan in California has shown that the constellation of bacteria that’s in the nasopharynx, that’s contiguous to the GI tract, in some people protects them against COVID, believe it or not. The virus just can’t set up shop in the nasopharynx and so, therefore, the natural microbiome protects them.
For people who are susceptible and vulnerable to COVID-19, we’ve learned the most important preventive measure is nasal washes.
So because the virus, we literally breathe it in and it sets up shop for about three to five days and it replicates … we can wash the nose and the mouth with dilute povidone iodine, which is dilute Betadine or dilute hydrogen peroxide—squirting some up in the nose, sniffing it back, and then spitting it out, doing twice on each side and gargle. That is a thorough nasal wash. Twelve clinical studies support it, including three large randomized trials.
Allen: OK, so let’s go back to March 2020. Obviously, at that point we didn’t know a ton about COVID-19, but you were sitting in meetings with health officials, medical experts. Take us into those rooms. What was being said? What were the conversations that were happening about early treatment?
McCullough: There was a context of fear. Everyone was fearful. They were fearful for themselves, for their staff, for their patients. They were fearful of contagion spreading through hospitals. Remember early on, we had heard about nursing home outbreaks. Well, if nursing home outbreaks occurred, why wouldn’t they occur in hospitals? Why wouldn’t hospitals be wiped out?
So the very first discussions were all driven by fear.
We quickly learned that we could actually contain the virus. We used negative pressure ventilation in the hospital, used [powered air-purifying respirators], and more extensive personal protective equipment. And thankfully, there were no major hospital outbreaks.
The next stages of thought was how to handle it in the hospital. What can we do for the sickest of patients? Then we worked our way backward.
It’s been two years and finally the CDC has its first little monogram cartoon out that says, “Treat the virus early.” Two years. Now, I’ve been saying that from the very beginning, and it’s not uncommon for doctors to be years ahead of society’s guidelines and other bodies.
Allen: So why do you think that there wasn’t a focus earlier on on early treatment?
McCullough: I think they were overwhelmed. I think people were overwhelmed with the nature of it. We weren’t ready for this in any way, shape, or form, and I think there was an overwhelming feature to it.
Then there was this immediate task at hand, right? Stop the spread of the virus, treat sick patients in the hospital. But as things wore on, I think when it was known about the advent of the vaccines, I think there were steps taken, unfortunately, to suppress early treatment.
Allen: OK. Why? That’s an interesting statement to make. Why do you think that steps to actually treat the virus early, that that information would’ve been suppressed?
McCullough: There was a belief, and I think there’s still a belief today among many stakeholders, is that the only way a vaccine is going to work is if every single person takes it. A needle in every arm, a needle in every arm is the most important—
And there is a belief that, listen, it’s not going to work unless everybody takes it. In order to do that, if we have suppression of early treatment and people think there’s no other option, they’re going to be much more likely to take the vaccine. I think, actually, a suppression of early treatment was by design a vaccine promotion strategy.
Allen: So where do we stand today with early treatment? We have a drug called Paxlovid, it’s a Pfizer oral medication, 90% effective in preventing COVID-related hospitalizations in clinical trials. The [Food and Drug Administration] granted emergency use authorization in December. The Biden administration, they’ve agreed to purchase 10 million doses of that and distribution is underway so far. So are we beginning to kind of right this ship as far as early treatment and do what we need to do?
McCullough: Yeah, we have many signs of that early treatment. Of course, doctors treat ahead of pharmaceutical offerings. They treat ahead of guidelines in societies.
So early on in the pandemic, the oral nasal washes, nutraceuticals and supplements, the intravenous monoclonal antibodies, don’t forget those were emergency use-authorized. They were approved before the vaccines. So we use them. I’ve used them in my practice consistently since their release, and then the oral drugs.
The first year of the pandemic was the year of hydroxychloroquine. The second year was the year of ivermectin. I think the third year is going to be the year of Paxlovid, which the data looked great on Paxlovid. Five day course, combination of Nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, protease inhibitors that really shut down the virus. Very effective, as you stated. And then I think as a weak second choice it would be Molnupiravir, which is the Merck drug, only about 30% effective.
But these drugs will not stand alone, we need to use inhaled budesonide, oral steroids, oral colchicine, oral aspirin, and blood thinners in the highest risk patients. But it’s great to have the Pfizer drug available. And what my patients tell me is they go to the pharmacy, no copay, they simply go and pick it up. It’s wonderful.
Allen: Interesting. OK, so it’s a combination of all these different tools and resources?
Allen: I want to ask you a little bit about Joe Rogan. You went on the Joe Rogan podcast back in December, just actually a couple weeks before Dr. Robert Malone went on. You were criticized, Joe Rogan was criticized for your interview. And then after Dr. Robert Malone, there came this kind of cry from the far left to cancel, to deplatform Joe Rogan. What are your thoughts on that?
McCullough: I’ll give you the context of this. Pierre Kory and Bret Weinstein, who’s an evolutionary biologist, they went on with Joe Rogan a few months ahead of me. Joe ended up getting COVID. His friend, Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Packers, got COVID. They followed the McCullough Protocol, so they knew it. Aaron was on Pat McAfee saying, “Listen, I took the McCullough Protocol.”
There is a protocol that I developed with other doctors and copyrighted in my name by other doctors to honor me, and because of that, there was a setup.
Joe reached out to me and I couldn’t get to his studio for about a month. So when I prepared with slides—I had over a hundred scientific slides, they were curated by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons—I sent it to Joe’s producer, sent it to Joe. I said, “Joe, this is going to be a medical grand rounds. No opinion, no hyperbole. I’m just going to show you the data.”
We sat down in his studio, three solid hours. And Joe is very intelligent. He asked good questions. He’s very perceptive. And it was basically a disclosure of the state of the science on COVID-19.
What was really interesting, I was on Dec. 8, by Dec. 27 we had hit all new records for “The [Joe] Rogan Experience.” We passed Elon Musk, everyone else. And people said, “Wow, this was such a helpful interview to help understand COVID.”
And then the blowback happened. And the blowback happened, well, Dr. McCullough, then Dr. Malone, then it was Joe Rogan, then it was Joe Rogan about his prior podcasts. Right?
And then after myself and Dr. Malone, I was the treating medical doctor. Dr. Malone was the preclinical vaccinologist, scientist. He had … Maajid Nawaz on. Nawaz, from the U.K., basically filled out the story about the digital passports and the global strategy about The Great Reset. Joe Rogan’s eyes got so big during the Nawaz interview, the pictures are priceless.
So here we are today, Joe Rogan is in the thick of it now. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s a friend. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s come out with a video about censorship and about how censorship is a sign that freedom is being attacked, and he’s right.
As we sit here today, I have got the most frequently viewed and listened to interview of all time on “The Joe Rogan Experience.” I’m the winner right now, and I haven’t been deplatformed and neither has Joe, but there’s collateral damage of other prior interviews.
Neil Young has come back to Spotify, so has Prince Harry, and interestingly, Spotify carries Robert F. Kennedy and the Children’s Health Defense, which has strident views against the vaccines, and they haven’t said anything about RFK.
Allen: Wow, wow. OK. Real fast, before we let you go, are we on the right path with COVID-19? Are we out of the woods on this?
McCullough: The emergency phase is over, which is wonderful. You can see here, we got thousands of people here at [the Conservative Political Action Conference]. No one’s wearing masks.
I’ll be speaking just ahead of former President [Donald] Trump. And I plan to, if I can, I’m going to ask a question, “How many of you have been through it?” You’ll see that in large groups like this, most people have been through COVID-19. They have some degree of protection. People’s worry levels are down. There still will be some residual cases that we’ll treat going forward, but we’ve got this. We can go back to normal.
Allen: Awesome. Dr. Peter McCullough. Thank you so much for your time.
McCullough: Thank you.
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