When President Donald Trump asked scientists during a press briefing last week whether there could be a way to inject light, heat, or disinfectant into the human body to kill the novel coronavirus, he drew fire from the liberal press and other critics.
"Suppose we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light," he said. "Supposing you brought that light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way."
The president asked William Bryan, a science and technology adviser at the Department of Homeland Security, to explore these possibilities. Bryan presented emerging results from recent federal government studies showing that sunlight, heat, and humidity could help kill the coronavirus on external surfaces, says Business Insider.
In referring to ultraviolet light, Trump pointed to a proven medical treatment, says Thomas Fagan, founder of the Global Pandemic Consortium. UV light has been used in medical circles for decades to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, graft-versus-host disease, and an array of other illnesses. The process used by medical professionals is called ultraviolet blood radiation, or UBI.
Using a technique called extracorporeal photopheresis, or ECP, doctors remove blood from a patient, run it through a machine that exposes the blood to UV light, and then returns it into the body. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, this effectively kills deadly lymphoma cells. The prestigious Mayo Clinic also employs this procedure to treat their cancer patients. Essentially, the treated blood goes back into the body and fights off the cancer cells.
"It's a very safe and effective treatment," Fagan tells Newsmax. Fagan, a medical entrepreneur, become involved in the use of UBI in 2006 when he led a team conducting research in its effectiveness against hepatitis C and HIV.
"We also did additional research establishing the ability of UBI to inactivate the SARS virus and found dramatic and unprecedented results," Fagan says, adding that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested additional research on UBI as a possible therapy for the H5N1 "bird flu" pandemic. The results of that research were compelling.
"The experimental UBI treatment showed that overall, the treatment produced substantial improvement in both clinical disease and pulmonary function," says Fagan. "It also helped the infected animals to breathe and reduced inflammation in the lungs. But the most significant result was that the UBI treatment seemed to work no matter what variant of the virus was present by stimulating the immune response."
Despite such promising results, as the bird flu threat waned, so did government interest in pursuing research on ultraviolet treatment. Fagan retired, but he came back to form the Global Pandemic Consortium (GPC) in order to help in the worldwide battle against the coronavirus. The mission of the GPC, says Fagan, is to fast-track research and establish an emergency response plan that will make UBI therapy readily available to fight this and future viral crises.
"We are currently conducting clinical trials in primate facilities across the country with our own funding," he tells Newsmax. "Once in place, the GPC pandemic response program will be an effective way to ensure that during future pandemics, treatment may be administered in the comfort of a patient's home in about 20 minutes, drastically reducing the need for ventilators, hospital beds, and other treatments. So, thank you, President Donald Trump, for asking about the use of UV light for the treatment of COVID-19.
"Your request to research may not only result in a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 but also for future pandemics."
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