FBI agents in hazmat suits, equipped with respirators, raided a medical clinic last week after a doctor reportedly gave high dose vitamin C to essential workers who may be exposed to COVID-19.
“At Allure Medical we are offering high dose, intravenous, vitamin C to all essential workers who are exposed to COVID-19,” Dr. Charles Mok of the Allure Medical Spa said in an un-aired local media spot earlier this month. Before FOX 2 Detroit could air the segment, FBI agents raided the clinic.
On Thursday, the FBI, along with the Department of Health and Human Services-raided Allure Medical Spa on 26 Mile Road and Van Dyke in Shelby Township, just before 8 a.m., according to FOX 2.
“Allegations that the clinic provided fraudulent treatments for COVID-19 and that the clinic did not observe proper protocols to protect patients and staff from the virus,” said Mara Schneider, FBI spokesperson.
Though no arrests have been made, the FBI said they are looking at evidence to find out more information about the vitamin C treatments.
“This is not a typical evidence response team search,” Schneider said.
“We would not normally do what ends up being more of a document heavy search. But because of the concerns that we don’t know what we’re walking into, we have our specialty teams here with the appropriate personal protective equipment.”
To be clear, Dr. Mok was not trying to hide the vitamin C IV services. He was openly advocating for them on local media, noted they were accepting insurance for them, and even offered them for free to essential workers.
“We are taking peoples insurance and we are testing them and treating them and billing their insurance, they don’t have insurance, they have lousy insurance, or we don’t take their insurance, we are writing it off,” Mok said at the time.
A doctor affiliated with Allure, but who wanted to remain anonymous, told FOX 2 that “vitamin C infusion, is a common practice in the US because it boosts the immune system.”
FOX 2 reports that it has been given repeatedly to Covid-19 patients in intensive care settings to help reduce the symptoms of Covid-19 on a daily basis.
This doctor said that Dr. Mok is “ahead of the curve in this type of treatment and has always put the patient’s health first, often treating them for free.”
It does not appear that the FBI received a complaint over the treatment and they may have initiated the raid simply because the doctor was giving willing people vitamin C. Customers also told FOX 2 they appreciate what the clinic does.
“I’ve gone there for several years and always found them to be so welcoming and helpful and informative,” said Nancy Smith, an Allure patient.
Even local cops were getting the vitamin C treatments to “protect” themselves on the front lines.
“It’s just another tool in the toolbox for me to stay safe,” a Detroit police command officer out the 9th Precinct, told FOX 2. “I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
According to Harvard University Medical School, High Dose Vitamin C has been used to treat critically ill patients with COVID-19 but they note that the science is still out on the subject.
Some critically ill patients with COVID-19 have been treated with high doses of intravenous (IV) vitamin C in the hope that it will hasten recovery.
However, there is no clear or convincing scientific evidence that it works for COVID-19 infections, and it is not a standard part of treatment for this new infection.
A study is underway in China to determine if this treatment is useful for patients with severe COVID-19; results are expected in the fall.
The idea that high-dose IV vitamin C might help in overwhelming infections is not new. A 2017 study found that high-dose IV vitamin C treatment (along with thiamine and corticosteroids) appeared to prevent deaths among people with sepsis, a form of overwhelming infection causing dangerously low blood pressure and organ failure.
Another study published last year assessed the effect of high-dose vitamin C infusions among patients with severe infections who had sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which the lungs fill with fluid.
While the study’s main measures of improvement did not improve within the first four days of vitamin C therapy, there was a lower death rate at 28 days among treated patients.
Though neither of these studies looked at vitamin C use in patients with COVID-19, the vitamin therapy was specifically given for sepsis and ARDS, and these are the most common conditions leading to intensive care unit admission, ventilator support, or death among those with severe COVID-19 infections.
Regarding prevention, there is no evidence that taking vitamin C will help prevent infection with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. While standard doses of vitamin C are generally harmless, high doses can cause a number of side effects, including nausea, cramps, and an increased risk of kidney stones.
While some may disagree with the doctor treating people with high dose vitamin C, it is important to note that these interactions are entirely voluntary.
The FBI’s raid, while ostensibly conducted under the auspices of keeping the community safe, is little more than the government telling you what you can and cannot put in your body — otherwise known as the continuance of the war on drugs.
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