When Dr. Vladimir “Zev” Zelenko countered the government and medical establishment orthodoxy in his development of a successful treatment for COVID-19, he knew he was on borrowed time.
On Thursday, his colleagues at Zelenko Labs announced “with immense sorrow” that he has died after a four-year battle with cancer.
In 2018, Zelenko was diagnosed with pulmonary artery sarcoma, an extremely rare disease that has a 100% mortality rate. He had open heart surgery and lost his right lung, then had very difficult chemotherapy treatment. More surgery and more chemotherapy followed in subsequent years.
In an interview with WND in March 2020, Zelenko said he believed that after having a “foot and a half in the grave,” God spared him for a reason.
“My purpose in life has really become to try to relieve pain and suffering. Not to think about myself.”
He attributed the discovery of his “Zelenko protocol” for COVID-19 of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, azithromycin, steroids and other drugs to divine intervention.
Zelenko said he treated 7,500 patients with his protocol and experienced only three patient deaths. He believes many lives were saved as his treatment was adopted around the world. But many more could have been saved if not for the politicization and suppression of hydroxychloroquine in particular, he told WND in a video interview in February.
He published a peer-reviewed paper of his data showing an 84% reduction in hospitalization of high-risk patients with his out-patient treatment. Teaming with Prof. Martin Scholz of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf in Germany and Dr. Roland Derwand of Munich, Germany, the paper was published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
In the statement Thursday by his colleagues, Zelenko is quoted saying that without having suffered cancer, he would not have developed his “passion for searching for answers that others said couldn’t be found,”
“And without it I could not have held to the persecution and ridicule I received for daring to treat patients,” he said. “I have looked death in the eye and I have been made ready to meet God. I fear nothing on this earth.”
Born in 1973 in Kiev, Ukraine, Zelenko was reared an irreligious Jew. His family emigrated to the U.S. in 1977 and settled in Brooklyn. He graduated from Hofstra University with high honors and earned his M.D. at the Buffalo School of Medicine. Zelenko developed a family medical practice in Monroe, New York, where he became an observant member of the 30,000-strong Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel.
His colleagues at Zelenko Labs, which will continue its work of providing innovative treatments, said their founder was “more than a physician.”
“As an activist and a businessman, he was also a man of deep faith, incredible love for his family, and a tireless inspiration to the company,” they said. “But, perhaps most of all, Zev was our friend.
“The world knows the dynamic firebrand who never feared speaking the truth to power or about issues he cared deeply about,” the statement continued. “Dr. Zelenko was a man of great, subtle humor and deep intellect. For every verbal jab he threw at the tired and incompetent establishment, a dozen more light-hearted laughs were spent with him and the team. Dr. Zelenko could laugh at himself as easily as others, and was always in great spirits, no matter the darkness that surrounded him.”
His team, inspired by his example, vowed to “keep fighting.”
“We will fight for the company that sustains his eight children and dozens of employees, and we will fight for you, our loyal customers and friends,” the statement said. “Zelenko Labs will continue to deliver high-quality products and we will protect Dr. Zelenko’s legacy with the creation of the Z-Freedom Foundation, which will support the causes that matter most to our beloved Zev.”
He is survived by his wife, Rinat, their two children, Shira and Liba, and six children from his previous marriage, Levi Yitzchok, Esther Tova, Eta Devorah, Nochum Dovid, Shmuel Nosson Yaakov, Menachem Mendel. He also is survived by his parents, Alex (Aaron) and Larisa (Leah) and his brother Ephraim.
Memorial gifts can be given in his name to the Z Freedom Foundation.
The ‘Trump drug’
In his interview with WND in February, Zelenko recounted how his protocol drew the attention of President Trump and the White House in the spring of 2020.
Among the physicians who have adopted his treatment are Dr. George Fareed, a former professor of virology at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Brian Tyson. Since April 2020, they collectively have treated more than 7,000 COVID-19 patients in California’s Imperial Valley, with only a few deaths. And no patient died who was treated within the first seven days.
Zelenko eventually developed an over-the-counter formulation to treat COVID-19 called Z-Stack that contains zinc, quercetin, vitamin D and vitamin C.
In the early spring of 2020, in contrast to his current stance, White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci was amenable to treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine before it became known as “the Trump drug.”
Fauci was asked in a March 2020 interview with Philadelphia talk-host Chris Stigall whether or not he would prescribe hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.
“Yeah, of course, particularly if people have no other option. You want to give them hope,” said Fauci, the director the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “In fact, for physicians in this country, these drugs are approved drugs for other reasons. They’re anti-malaria drugs and they’re drugs against certain autoimmune diseases, like lupus.”
WND asked Zelenko what he thought had happened in the meantime.
“Well, in the meantime 850,000 Americans are dead, and we could have prevented probably 730,000 of them from even going to the hospital and ended this pandemic globally,” he replied, alluding to the finding of his paper. “That’s what happened.”
Eventually, Fauci was regularly contradicting the president regarding hydroxychloroquine. And the FDA, in June 2020, removed emergency use authorization for the distribution of hydroxychloroquine from Strategic National Stockpile, based on “new information.” But the decision largely relied on a study published by The Lancet that was embarrassingly retracted by its authors because of faulty data, as WND reported at the time.
Later that year, Risch, Dr. George Fareed and Dr. Peter McCullough testified to the U.S. Senate that hydroxychloroquine was being misrepresented in studies and used as a political weapon.
Zelenko pointed to a published paper posted on the National Institutes of Health website in 2005 showing the antiviral properties of chloroquine against SARS is on the level of a vaccine. Hydroxychloroquine is a less toxic analogue of chloroquine. An October 2020 paper posted on the NIH website that reviewed published studies found hydroxychloroquine “is effective, and consistently so when provided early, for COVID-19.” A real-time analysis, which to date has assessed 323 peer-reviewed studies, has come to the same conclusion.
“[But] the NIH today recommends not treating COVID unless you’re in the hospital with lung damage,” Zelenko said. “Really?”
See the video interview with WND:
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.