Our Obituary for Dr. Zev Zelenko
--also published in The Defender
By Vera Sharav, Meryl Nass and Josh Mittledorf
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Last week, we lost a precious ally, a doctor whose simple commitment to scientific truth and caring for those in his charge carried him to extraordinary places in the last years of his life. Four years after being diagnosed with a rare cancer, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko (“Zev,” as we knew him) died on June 30, at age 48.
Zev was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 1973, when it was part of the Soviet Union. Both his grandfathers were officers who served with distinction in the Soviet army against the Nazis. His grandparents survived the war. But dozens of his extended family members were slaughtered at Babi Yar, a ravine on the outskirts of Kyiv where some 34,000 Jews were shot during a 48-hour massacre in 1941.
Zev and his family came to the U.S. in 1978 when he was four. He went to public school in Brooklyn and got a scholarship to medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo. For nearly 20 years, he served as a physician in upstate New York.
He was a family doctor in the orthodox Jewish community of Rockland County. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to hit his patients, COVID-19 was exacting a deadly toll: 21% of patients hospitalized and 88% of patients who were placed on ventilators died. But there were no treatments to fight the virus in its early stages, or so we were all told.
Zev was determined to find a way to keep his COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. He did the homework that every doctor should have done, but few did. Searching the medical literature, he came upon the experiences related by Dr. Didier Raoult in France and by physicians in South Korea.
He watched MedCram Lecture 34 by Dr. Roger Seheult about the use of zinc and zinc ionophores. Zinc is an essential mineral for humans, and a little extra zinc is sometimes used to lessen the intensity of colds and sore throats. An ionophore is a chemical that opens the cell wall to allow minerals (ions) to enter.
‘First do no harm’
Zinc is an over-the-counter supplement. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a reliable ionophore, and it has a well-established dosing regimen and safety profile, since millions of healthy people who live in or visit malaria hotspots take it regularly as a preventive.
HCQ is safe enough to be sold without prescription all over Africa, in parts of South America and in some European countries as well. Zev added to the experimental protocol azithromycin, a common, broad-spectrum antibiotic that prevents the opportunistic bacterial pneumonia that often follows viral infections of the lungs.
Of the first 50 patients on his experimental protocol, all 50 recovered with symptoms sufficiently mild that they did not need hospitalization. Zev shared his experience in a letter and video addressed to physicians, informing them how well early treatment worked to save lives.
But he was surprised to find that soon, federal agencies were warning doctors against HCQ, and without precedent, they were restricting doctors’ freedom to prescribe the drug off-label for COVID-19.
The “Zelenko Protocol” was nevertheless picked up by a few other doctors, and together they published in a medical journal. With a simple, almost naïve sense of a physician’s duty, Zev wrote to the president, describing his success treating several hundred patients.
Miraculously, the letter reached President Trump, who claimed on national TV that HCQ might be a “gift from God.”
Suppression of early treatment
But Trump was, at that point, a uniquely divisive figure in American politics. Most professionals fell on the side of the divide that believed nothing that came from Trump’s mouth. In those days, in a credibility contest with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Fauci won hands down. There were millions of Americans conditioned to believe “If Trump says it, it must be false.”
The liberal media disseminated a barrage of lies about the danger of HCQ, oblivious to decades of medical experience attesting to its safety. And they pilloried Zev for publicizing a life-saving alternative to its government-endorsed, patent-protected rival, remdesivir.
As Zev described it, “For better or worse, my life was never again the same. I went from being an obscure family doctor onto a public stage overnight. I was thrown into a pool with media sharks and politicians — the essence of evil itself.”
The New York Times headlined its own obituary with, “Vladimir Zelenko, 48, Dies; Promoted an Unfounded Covid Treatment” and claimed, “A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found no benefit from the treatment, and other studies highlighted a risk of dangerous heart arrhythmias in some patients.”
What the New York Times didn’t report was that 35 of a total 38 studies using HCQ for early COVID-19 treatment showed the drug’s benefit, and overall, early treatment resulted in 72% fewer deaths.
The Times also neglected to mention a massive pharma-funded campaign to discredit the drug. In a scandal of unbelievable audacity, a huge study of 100,000 patients on six continents was published in one of the world’s top medical journals, The Lancet, but two weeks later was retracted. The study was a fraud from the outset, based on fabricated data that neither its first author from Harvard nor the prestigious Lancet had apparently bothered to fact-check.
The anti-HCQ propaganda campaign corrupted the medical literature with three multicenter clinical trials that were designed to fail by causing dangerous arrhythmias. Though HCQ is effective in early stages of the disease, when the virus is still multiplying, the trials were limited to hospitalized patients with late-stage COVID-19.
Worse, the dosage was about four times higher than the standard safe dose, deliberately overdosing patients in order to create the illusion that HCQ was dangerous, and to stop doctors from using it for COVID-19.
More than 500 overdosed patients died in those “overdose” trials. We now know the motivation for this fraudulent and criminal perversion of medicine. Our government and major pharmaceutical giants were already committed to fast-track development of a vaccine, and American law specifies that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could authorize vaccines for emergency use only if it found that no alternative, already-licensed treatments were available.
The end of the doctor-patient relationship?
Zev spoke openly about the debasement of medicine, noting that in the last 50 years, American education has shifted. Instead of teaching analytical reasoning and problem solving, the education system has been indoctrinating students to bow to authority. This deference to “experts” has led to the corruption of medicine and to doctors obeying counterproductive COVID-19 policies.
Most doctors today are employed by large professional corporations or hospitals that control the practice of medicine. When government decrees outlawed the distribution of HCQ, honest doctors who raised objections lost their jobs, were de-platformed by the media and barred from publishing in major medical journals. Some lost their licenses.
Zev noted that scientific debate has been throttled, and doctors have been lured away from regarding their patients’ welfare as their first and most important motivation; only government-specified treatments are now permitted.
In fact, as Zev pointed out, medicine has become so corrupted that doctors won’t offer treatments to their patients that they eagerly embrace for themselves.
“Many doctors who know that the officially sanctioned treatments are killing patients, are taking the medicines I prescribe for their own prophylactic protection,” said Zev.
Uncovering the massive fraud and coverup masterminded by public health agencies
Zev went on to treat 7,500 patients with an extraordinary level of success (losing only three), and to research the origin as well as the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus.
He learned that those who had been involved in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded bioweapon research that led to COVID-19 were deceitful enough to ensure that there was an effective antidote available for their private use. In particular, he mentioned Ralph Baric, a University of North Carolina (UNC) professor and the top SARS coronavirus researcher in the U.S.
Zev uncovered a 2010 paper coauthored by Baric in which zinc was shown to prevent replication of SARS coronavirus by inhibiting its RNA polymerase. The authors of the paper noted that zinc also inhibits replication of influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses or RSV. RSV causes 1,000 deaths per year in U.S. infants. This knowledge could potentially provide cheap and effective treatments for these viruses, for which there are currently no effective treatments.
But Baric never made any public statements during the pandemic about his own findings regarding the effectiveness of zinc for COVID-19.
Baric acknowledged working on gain-of-function (bioweapon) studies, stating he had been given a waiver by the NIH to do so. Controversial experiments that enhance the lethality of deadly pathogens are euphemistically called “gain of function.”
Baric collaborated closely with Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including on the paper just cited. Baric was even involved in the development of remdesivir, which the NIH guidelines promote as the “standard of care” instead of HCQ.
Remdesivir costs $3,200 per person, is questionably effective, and is toxic to the liver and kidneys. Until recently, it could be given only to hospitalized patients. But remdesivir was a profitable side-show — both Baric at UNC and Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) had been involved in its development. The main object was to block HCQ, an inexpensive oral drug that could be given early to outpatients to prevent progression of illness.
Baric knew about the effectiveness of zinc for COVID-19 and kept his mouth shut, but there was an even bigger cover-up going on regarding COVID-19 treatments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NIH had done similar experiments with chloroquine and HCQ, going back to the first SARS virus scare in 2003. They knew the chloroquine drugs could kill SARS and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronaviruses in tissue culture — yet our public health agencies never told the public about this.
They also knew about safe dosage; chloroquine worked for SARS at the same safe doses used for malaria prevention. The CDC knew this in 2005 when it published a paper titled, “Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread.” But the CDC never said a word about it during the COVID pandemic.
At NIH, Fauci’s NIAID performed a similar but more comprehensive set of experiments, testing available, repurposed drugs on SARS and MERS coronaviruses, and published the results in 2014. Here is what they discovered:
“… 66 of the screened drugs were effective at inhibiting either MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV infection in vitro and that 27 of these compounds were effective against both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. These data … provide an expedited approach for supporting off-label use of approved therapeutics.”
Not only did chloroquine and HCQ prevent viral replication, but so did dozens of other licensed drugs, listed in Table 2 of their paper! But Fauci and the rest of the NIH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services never told the public.
Instead, Fauci did everything he could to prevent evidence of HCQ’s benefit from reaching the public — going so far as to cancel his own tightly controlled study of HCQ after only 20 of the projected 2,000 patients had been enrolled.
‘A conspiracy realist’
Zev continued his research until his death, finally concluding:
“I am not a conspiracy theorist, but a conspiracy realist. I came to the realization that the success of my treatment protocol — which saves lives — posed a major financial threat to an all-powerful group of people whose interests were served by hospital-centered protocols that increased deaths.”
“Why then,” Zev wondered, “was there a choreographed, orchestrated media campaign and political campaign to marginalize and vilify these drugs to scare people and deprive them of hope? Why? Anything that gave people hope reduced fear …”
For the past year and a half, Zev was an outspoken critic of the mass mRNA vaccination campaign. He was especially critical about the drive to vaccinate children against COVID-19, since there is absolutely no medical justification to vaccine children; they are at practically zero risk from the disease. He characterized the vaccination policy as “child sacrifice.”
In Zev’s words from the film Doctors Orders, as recounted by Shabnam Palesa Mohamed:
“And the sociopaths, they have a big thing coming for them. They think they are gods, they think that they’re ruling the world.
“So let the games begin. And I have no problem falling in battle. This is a hill that we need to die on, die for. Because, otherwise, our progeny will have nowhere to breathe free.”
In his final video message from his hospital death bed, Zev warned that the World Health Organization was encroaching on the sovereignty of nations.
He urged us:
“Resist their evil agenda and fear campaigns, lockdown campaigns, isolation campaigns, dehumanizing mask campaigns. They will keep sending wave after wave of fear until we resolve to kick out the evil from within. Denounce the false gods of technology, science, the gods of corrupt government, of money, power, fame, and return with our hearts to our True Creator.”
Shortly before he died, Zev announced the formation of the Z Freedom Foundation, dedicated to continuing his critical work. And on June 10, he asked me (Vera Sharav), as he did many others, to help spread the word about his forthcoming memoir, titled “Zelenko: How to Decapitate the Serpent.”
Thanks for reading Meryl’s COVID Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
I love your methodical expositions on relevant subjects, and Dr. Zelenko is a true hero. Your language is tempered but you hold nothing back, either. Thanks also for weaving the story with relevant details we might not know.
Thanks also to Vera. Leigh Dundas credits your testimony for a successful CA campaign against a particular COVID tyranny law.
An outstanding tribute to this man who willingly, and very competently, did what God put him here to do. And he did this without fear or compromising his faith. his principles, his Hippocratic Oath to patients, or other snares of Satan. Thank you so much -- Vera Sharav, Meryl Nass and Josh Mittledorf -- for honoring Dr Zelenko in this way.