The CEO of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, said that he was part of a meeting last month with President Trump. During the meeting, they discussed the possible benefits of using oleandrin as a treatment for COVID-19. In a recent press conference, the president said that he had “heard about” oleandrin and told reporters that, “We’ll look at it, we’ll look at it, we’re looking at a lot of different things.” It’s important to note that as of last week, Lindell became a board member and received a financial stake in Phoenix Biotechnology, which makes oleandrin.
Oleandrin is made from the flowering oleander plant, which can be extremely toxic. Experts point out that it’s only been tested in laboratory dishes so far. While it might indicate some positive effect on eliminating the virus, we’re still a long way from it becoming a treatment for the infection. The next step would involve animal testing, followed by human testing. The president’s support of “miracle cures,” like this and hydroxychloroquine, has disturbed many medical experts because they feel that this undermines actual scientific data, which places the American public at risk.
Another thing that experts are concerned about is the approach of flu season. Although it’s still too early to predict the degree of severity, with COVID-19 still raging, many medical professionals are fearful that this flu season will be severe. If it is, the results could be disastrous. Hospitals that are currently dealing with COVID-19 cases could quickly become overwhelmed with even a mild flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2019-20 flu season was considered mild with preliminary estimates, showing that the number of cases ranged from 39 million to 56 million, resulting in up to 740,000 hospitalizations and from 24,000 to 62,000 flu-related deaths. There is concern that large numbers of people will not get a flu shot this year and this could lead to widespread outbreaks.
In the past few days, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, has been encouraging everyone to get vaccinated for the flu this year. One glaring piece of evidence the agency feels this is important is that the CDC typically purchases 500,000 vaccine doses for uninsured adults; this year, they ordered an additional 9.3 million doses. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, by getting the flu shot, “you could at least blunt the effect of one of those two potential respiratory infections.” The vaccine isn’t usually required unless you work at some healthcare facilities and nursery schools. However, the statewide University of California system recently announced that it’s requiring all 230,000 employees and 280,000 students to get the flu vaccine by November 1st because of the pandemic. How long until this is the case for other institutions and businesses?
With apprehensions over the pending flu season continuing, many parents and teachers are focused on a more immediate issue, which is the return to school. While some areas are opting to do digital learning, others are electing to return to the classroom. This has led to questions about children being able to wear masks, socially distance, and wash their hands. As anyone who spends time around children can tell, it’ll most likely be a struggle to maintain this, particularly young children.
Some child behavior experts say that it’s possible to redirect unwanted behavior, but it’ll be an ongoing process with younger children needing to be reminded more frequently to follow the guidelines. Other experts point to the need for adults to set a good example and make sure that proper cleaning and screening protocols are being followed. Even with doing all this, it’s essential to remember that kids are kids and it’s our job to protect them.