The chairman and financial benefactor of Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber has created a video to understand the virus causing COVID-19 disease.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong created the video, “The Science Behind the Coronavirus,” for Los Angeles Times, which he owns.
Soon-Shiong is a cancer specialist, transplant surgeon and medical researcher who became a billionaire, in part, through the development of new medicines.
He opens the half-hour video telling his motivation to share the information to provide hope during the pandemic.
“It’s very clear to me that there is a lot of fear out there,” Soon-Shiong says. “What adds to this fear is confusion.”
Originally presented in several chapters, the video covers:
• Understanding the virus
• Showing how it infects the body
• Most important symptoms
• Controlling the spread
• Hope for treatments, cure and vaccine.
• Problems predicting the pandemic’s duration.
He says the scientific world had a head start on COVID-19 virus because it is a second-generation of the SARS virus that struck Asia in 2002 and 2003, killing 774 people.
That’s why COVID-19’s new scientific name is SARS-CoV-2, he explained
Extensive studies of the SARS virus were brought out and are being studied in conjunction with the current pandemic using supercomputers, genomics and other technologies that were not available 18 years ago, Soon-Shiong said.
Soon-Shiong says the entire scientific and medical world has rallied to study the coronavirus and develop treatments. He outlines four areas of approach and some of the promising developments, including some in the arena of those presented Thursday by President Donald Trump.
“These are opportunities that give us hope that I hope will give us some level of comfort that the world, working together, will be able to find a way to stop this virus, stop this pandemic and learn a lot about infectious disease,” Soon-Shiong said.
But he also stressed the importance of acting now to reduce the spread of infection. Displaying the “flatten the curve” graphic that has become so widely circulated, he said. “We rarely have an opportunity as an entire community and a country to not only flatten the curve, but not overwhelm the health care system.”
Presenting patient outcome figures compiled by medical groups in China, Soon-Shiong said about 18 percent of coronavirus patients require hospitalization, including a significant number requiring intensive care.
“That’s why I can emphasize so much we need to flatten this curve and not generate this peak (if uncontrolled in the community),” he said. “Because if we generate this peak, and 18% are severely or critically ill, there is no way our country, our system, has the capacity to manage that onslaught, or what I call this tsunami.”
He described the “science of soap,” indicating ordinary detergent soap is superior to antibacterial soap when it comes to coronavirus.
“The virus is not a bacteria,” Soon-Shiong said.
Washing at least 20 seconds with soap not only removes coronavirus from hands, it kills the virus.
“It’s actually in your control by taking on the power and science of soap,” he said.