Dr. Steven Shapiro, head of huge, powerful UPMC, said it’s time to end the lockdowns


This is big news and it’s being suppressed. Dr. Steven Shapiro, the chief medical officer of Pennsylvania’s huge and powerful UPMC medical system, is calling for an end to the lockdowns.

“At the peak, 110 of UPMC’s 5500 hospital beds were #Covid patients. “What we cannot do is extended social isolation.”

He said:

As we prepared for the pandemic, we radically transformed our hospital operations to create a safe environment for patients and staff, we delayed non-urgent surgery, reducing it by 70%, and we scaled up telemedicine 38-fold, performing 250,000 visits in April.

We indeed saw a steady stream of patients but never “surged.” At the peak in mid-April, COVID-19 patients occupied 2% of our 5,500 hospital beds and 48 of our 750 ventilators. Subsequently, admissions have been decreasing with very few patients now coming from the community, almost all now being from nursing homes. Of note, in the 36 UPMC-owned senior facilities we have had zero positive cases.

Our outcomes are similar to the state of Pennsylvania, where the median age of death from COVID-19 is 84 years old. The few younger patients who died all had significant preexisting conditions. Very few children were infected and none died. Minorities in our communities fared equally as well as others, but we know that this is not the case nationally. In sum, this is a disease of the elderly, sick, and poor. 

We are now actively bringing back our patients for essential care following CMS guidelines. To assure a safe environment, we use adequate PPE and test all, even asymptomatic, preoperative patients for active viral infection with PCR. To date, 0 out of 1,000 tested positive in western Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. 3 of 500 are positive in central Pennsylvania. Our community prevalence is low, which we will soon confirm with antibody testing.

Of course, we still need effective prevention and therapy. The scientific community has never worked so rapidly or collaboratively. UPMC and Pitt, home of Jonas Salk, has been in the thick of it. Intense efforts are underway to find antibodies that bind to the virus and prevent it from entering cells. Crude antibody-rich convalescent plasma is already being administered to patients, while the development of highly effective synthetic antibodies and vaccines is moving at breakneck speed.

He acknowledged there is still a lot we don’t know, but emphasized it is time to open back up:

The question before us is what will happen as we re-open society and how should we manage it?  For New York and a handful of other cities with high case rates as a result of density, travel and socioeconomic issues, they must open up in a measured step-wise manner with extensive testing, tracing and treatment.

But for the rest of the country, as people come out of their homes cautiously and safely, if we protect our vulnerable seniors, particularly those in nursing homes, we should be able keep case rates low, buying time for a potential resurgence as we bolster our supply chain and find effective intervention.

COVID-19 is a disease that ravages those with preexisting conditions – whether it be immunosenescence of aging or the social determinants of health. We can manage society in the presence of this pathogen if we focus on these preexisting conditions.

Then he explained why:

What we cannot do, is extended social isolation. Humans are social beings, and we are already seeing the adverse mental health consequences of loneliness, and that is before the much greater effects of economic devastation take hold on the human condition.

Finally, he talked about being better prepared the next time.

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Miguel Suradevi
Miguel Suradevi
2 years ago

It does not kill a lot of people. It kills the old and the sick already.

2 years ago

(Funny how your critical comments aren’t taken down.)
I have been following all the info I can get my hands on since late December. My conclusion is that this virus is new, acts in unusual ways, and kills a lot of people. The extreme “catchiness” or easy tranmission is unusual. The long period before symptoms get bad, then the rapid decline toward death is unusual. The multi organ failure and accompanying oddities of unexplained clotting and brittle lung tissue, for example, are unusual. The totals are inaccurate, I’m sure they are. In the center of the crisis, desperate overcrowding combines with understaffing to make reporting a very low priority. That, plus limited testing, means we don’t know what is happening. We can call it high or low according to our party, and people do that every day.
We do know it kills a lot of people.
Go ahead and act like nothing new is happening. Feel free to pretend your opinions will save the nation.
My job is to protect myself, my family, my neighbors, and my future. Sometimes I have to protect myself from folks who think l don’t matter as much as they do. I hope the total numbers at the end of the story are better than the numbers for flu, measles, chicken pox, mumps, scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough, smallpox, polio, or HIV-aids, all of which have been epidemic in my boomer lifetime. I protect myself from this, like I protected myself from those. I isolated, got medical help, took tests, wore protective clothing, and stayed out of risky situations.
This one’s new. It’s unusual. It kills a lot of people. I’m gonna take precautions. See you on the other side.

2 years ago

Actually what we have been doing is counterproductive. Putting people on respirators has been killing them. It forced air in and helped the virus embed itself in the walls of the lungs. They needed oxygen not forced air. Second our immune system needs exposure to bacteria and viruses to naturally build immunities. If you live in a sterile bubble, you have to stay there your entire life. Your body will not have developed any immunities. Fauci has significant investments and several patents in drugs and drug companies. Huge conflict of interest. Notice how almost every post not toeing the PC line on the virus gets taken down almost immediately. Indeed follow the money and the politics (Orange man Bad).

2 years ago

One of the biggest issues I have is that I don’t think we can believe the deaths as the CDC on 3/23 instructed hospitals to include the Chinese flu as cause of death, even if the patient had not been tested. It’s my understanding that hospitals get $13k for each Covid 19 death and $39k if they have a respirator. Hence the jump in numbers, in particular in blue states. In one day, NY had 3700 deaths and one day last week they had 1700. This is about money.

While it maybe about money, what about the CDC having useful data? If the death toll is inflated then why should we give any credence to their subsequent studies and directions. Secondly, I would like to know why we continue testing – endlessly. What is the objective? You can test everyone, but if they get the virus the next day, what does this tell us. 80 to 90% of tests are negative, yet our states and healthcare workers are fully invested in continuing the testing. Needless to say, Apple is getting in on this.

All of this is turning out to be a big business opportunity for Big Pharma, Bill Gates and Big Tech. Time to end this charade.

Show me
Show me
2 years ago

Delaying elective procedures results in other emergencies, even deaths.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul only works for very short times. I think Steven Shapiro knows his system and the communities his system serves.
He has an obligation to provide health services in an optimal manner.
Decisions made early when everyone was being careful and no one had actual evidence, just educated guesses, and observations of what happened overseas in places such as China as well as Italy.
There was a crisis in personal protective equipment, contaminated testing kits and bureaucratic regulations requiring “break the glass” approaches to make it work.
While not over, certainly in places like New York, things are settling down into a routine.
People are frantic to get back to work.
Social structures are breaking down.
Any state that is able to manage is obliged for the well being of its citizens to end the stay at home orders and let people return to work.
That doesn’t mean rushing into things blindly, but rather cautiously, but getting back to work is essential.
People are saying, if this stay at home saves one life, it’s worth it, but most of the people dying are the people staying at home in nursing homes.
Extraordinary measures are being taken to protect them, and that’s about all that can be done.

2 years ago
Reply to  Show me

All this has really gotten out of hand. Evidently Three (3) states account for more than half of all deaths; And, we shut down an entire country. In our state the death rate is One-Tenth of seasonal flu related deaths and we are in restrictions until mid-May. Because of a steep increase in testing that date may be pushed farther, but we don’t know. Oh, and that death rate comparison is for the mildest year posted. And Now we find out that model the “2 million” was based on, the code is pure Junk.

2 years ago
Reply to  Greg

When will the investigations of Redfield, Fauci and Birx begin? Who gave the CDC the reins to make decisions about our elections?