Dozens of Local Doctors Issue Covid Update, As Cases Continue to Rise

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We are writing to express our unanimous medical opinion regarding our community’s actions and attitudes towards the COVID-19 pandemic. Our consensus group includes physicians from a variety of specialties. We wish to express our clear and concerted support for some positions that we feel are medically indisputable:

1) COVID-19 remains a clear and present danger. After a quiet summer, cases are now on the rise, specifically in our community. COVID-19 is not a political issue, nor is it old news. If our goal is to keep shuls and schools open and our neighborhood stores in business, we need to recognize that the uptick demands that we take it seriously and follow appropriate precautions.

2) People who have a positive test, recent exposure or who have been in a region requiring quarantine need to strictly uphold the quarantine without exception, including for shul and school. In questions of doubt regarding exposure, we should attempt to be stringent, not lenient. Travel from states on the NYS designated travel advisory list or known COVID-19 exposure requires a 14-day quarantine period. In the event of a positive COVID test, an individual is required to isolate for at minimum 10 days, or longer based on the duration of symptoms. The quarantine regulations are not suggestions, they are absolute requirements. Violating them will undoubtedly lead to accelerated community spread and puts lives at real risk. People should be in close contact with their physicians regarding any COVID-related concerns.

3) Masking to prevent COVID-19 infection has a strong evidence base that is agreed upon by the overwhelming majority of doctors and public health experts. There is no credible evidence that masks have any risks for those who wear them. They are most effective when worn both by those who have the virus and those at risk of catching it. Wearing a mask is not just about one’s personal choice, but also about not spreading the virus to others in the event of asymptomatic or early infection. Masks should not have a breathing valve or vent, since these expose others to potential infection. Masks with breathing valves are for protecting the wearer from environmental dust and debris and NOT meant for infection control.

4) Local schools and yeshivot have invested substantial effort into formulating safe plans to allow schools to open and remain open. The details of these plans may vary, but the medical advisory boards have done their utmost to ensure schools can stay open safely. By helping their children adhere to these new rules, parents can play an integral role in enabling in-person school to continue.

5) As current contact tracing evidence has shown, many of the new cases of infection have arisen from large gatherings (weddings, bar and bat mitzvah, concerts …) where social distancing and/or mask wearing was not strictly observed. While we pray that we should know of happy occasions, these must be celebrated according to a “new norm” and in a fashion that will cause the least risk of community transmission. Large gatherings are best kept to a small number of people, outdoors if possible, with social distancing and mask rules applied. More information can be found at HERE.

Finally, biomedical research is a body of knowledge like any other. Interpreting it requires knowledge of medicine and understanding of statistics. Assuming that someone has thoroughly researched a position based on their reading a popular summary or even an abstract alone can lead to erroneous and dangerous conclusions.

You trust us to take care of you when you are sick and at your most vulnerable, and in life and death decisions. You trust us to deliver your babies, treat your children, manage your chronic conditions, and fix your fractures. We collectively request that you trust us in this, as well.

With wishes for a shana tova/healthy new year,

Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology
Alissa Hersh MD Allergy & Immunology
Hylton Lightman MD DCH(SA) FAAP Pediatrics
Ilana Pister MD FAAP Pediatrics
Pamela Singer MD, MS Pediatric Nephrology
Joshua Schechter MD Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine
Annie Frenkel MD FACOG OBGYN
Marc J. Sicklick MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI Allergy and Immunology
Steven Kellner MD Pediatrics
David Rosenberg MD FAAP Pediatrics
Joseph Rozenbaum MD FAAP Pediatrics
Dan A. Kaufman MD Anesthesiology
Marcel Scheinman MD, FACS Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Ray Sultan MD Urology
Alisa Minkin MD Pediatrics
Tova Fischer Isseroff MD Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery
Jonathan Zinberg MD Gastroenterology
Elie Lowenstein MD Dermatology
Harold S. Hefter MD, FAAD Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
Sherrie Neustein MD Pediatrics
Alyssa Feiner MD Dermatology
Moshe Weizberg MD, FACEP Emergency Medicine
Donnie Isseroff MD Anesthesiology
Jill Leibowitz MD Pediatrics
Stanley Goldstein MD Allergy, Immunology, Pediatric Pulmonary
Steve Mermelstein MD Pulmonary
Jonathan Y Rosner MD FACOG Maternal Fetal Medicine
Yussy Silverstein MD Pediatrics
Rebecca Zausmer MD Pediatrics
Edward Stroh MD Ophthalmology Retina Specialist
Norman Saffra MD FACS FAAO, Ophthalmology
Frida Popilevsky MD Pulmonary and Critical Care
Daniel Haller MD FACS Acute Care Surgery
Sam Singer MD Neuro-Oncology
Ben Chill MD Emergency Medicine
Danny Bamira MD Cardiovascular Disease
Josh Greenstein MD Emergency Medicine
Sam Weissman MD Gastroenterology
Joshua Kalowitz MD Breast Cancer
Aaron B. Grotas MD Urology
Shari Seinuk-Ross MD Pediatrics
Seymour Huberfeld MD Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine
Shira Burnstein MD Internal Medicine
Steven Weiss MD FACP Infectious Diseases
Farid Shahkoohi MD Internal Medicine
Steven Kadish MD Gastroenterology
Sheldon P. Hersh MD Otolaryngologist
Elizabeth Edelstein DO Family Medicine/Urgent Care
Joseph Simpson MD, Anesthesiology
Elliot M. Paul MD Urology
Elliott Salamon DO Vascular Neurology
Jordan Brodsky MD Rheumatology
Robert van Amerongen MD Urgent Care/Pediatrics/Emergency
Yoseph Gurevich MD Pediatric Gastroenterology
Jacob Rauchwerger MD Pain Management
Daphna Shiffeldrim MD, MPH Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
David Wolfson MD Ob/gyn
Max S. Scheer MD Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases
Karyn Chanie Ginaburg MD Endocrinology
Haim Brandspiegel MD Cardiology
Peretz Lock DO Internal Medicine
Yaakov Lipshitz MD Hematology/Oncology
Charles Mitgang MD Internal Medicine
Naomi Schwartz MD Pediatrics
Harold Lipsky MD Gastroenterology
Miriam R. Lieberman MD, FAAD Dermatology
Anne Steiner MD Ophthalmology
Ari Steiner MD Radiology
Aviva Preminger MD Plastic Surgery
Victor Milloul MD Anesthesiology
Ezra Haller MD Nephrology/Internal Medicine
Cindy Haller MD Pediatric Gastroenterology
David Hersh MD Cardiology
Dan Geisler MD Anesthesiology
Rabbi Chaim S. Abittan MD Gastroenterology/Hepatology
Shloime Dalezman MD Nephrology
Yosefa Hefter MD Pediatric Infectious Disease
Miriam Knoll MD Radiation Oncology
Michael Grushko MD Cardiology/EP
Debbie Rybak MD Infectious Diseases
Sheldon Gorbacz MD Pathology
Suzanne Sirota Rozenberg DO Dermatology
Shoni Rozenberg DO Dermatology
Barbara Schwartz MD PM&R
Freddie Marton MD Pediatric Neurology
Shira Wieder MD Dermatology
Eli Halpert MD Vascular & Interventional
Rabin Rahmani MD, FACG Gastroenterology
Zahava Hersh DO Family Practice
Martin E Kessler MD FACS, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Deborah Lief-Dienstag MD, FAAP Pediatrics
Zev Carrey MD Internal, Pulmonary, Critical Care Medicine
Paul Friedmann MD Nephrology
Daniel Frogel MD Emergency Medicine
David E. Simai MD Pediatrics
Victor Rosenberg MD Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Fred Greenstein MD Urology
Hana Ilan MD PM&R
Elliot Lederman MD Internal medicine
Nechama (Nina) Ackerman MD Emergency Medicine
Israel Samson MD Internal Medicine
Ira L. Weg MD Cardiology
Brian Wetchler DO Internal Medicine
Israel S Berkowitz MD Cardiology
Alyssa Scheiner MD General Surgery
Michael R. Levine MD Internal Medicine
Abby Basalely MD Pediatric Nephrology
Charles Traube MD Cardiology
Yussi Mosak MD Rheumatology
Janine Nathan DO Pediatrics
Gerald Schulman MD Pediatrics
Jay Fenster MD Gastroenterology
Benjamin Levine MD Rheumatology
Simcha Herrmann MD Pain Management
Leonard A. Feiner MD, PhD Ophthalmology
Jeff Lumerman MD Urologist
Jonathan Schulhof MD Ophthalmology
Abraham I Green MD Pediatrics
Zev Ash MD Pediatrics
Mark Sperber MD Pediatrics
Ari Ginsberg MD Hematology/Oncology
Moshe Schlusselberg MD Pediatrics
Max Halpern MD Pediatrics
Stephen Henesch DO Diagnostic and Pediatric Radiology
Rivkie Penstein-Hirt MD OBGYN
Ingrid Soltys MD Pediatrician
Jeffrey A Spivak MD Internal Medicine/Cardiology
Arnold Stein MD Ophthalmology
Samuel Sandowski MD Family Medicine/Adolescent Medicine
Michael I. Oppenheim MD Infectious Disease
Jessica L. Kirschner MD Pediatrics
Morey Klein MD Cardiology
Judith Green MD General Pediatrics
Marilyn Kattuputhusseril DO Pediatrics
Avi Schiowitz DO Internal Medicine
Miriam Flaum DO Anesthesia
Yacov Stollman MD Gastroenterology
Jeffrey Frieling MD Ophthalmology



13 COMMENTS

  1. All these people are frauds perpetuating a fraud.
    Covid 19 isn’t killing people, weak immune systems and bad doctors are. The tests are rigged. The death count is false. Masks are useless. Hand sanitizer is toxic. Vaccines are poison. The government and media is lying to you.

  2. Agreed! For G-D Sake this Virus is NOT Fake, it’s REAL! We need to be Vigilant in doing whatever we can to try at least to keep it under control! All Politics aside! How many people have died from complications of this Virus? It can affect anyone. It may just seem like a cold or may not show any symptoms at all. We can be spreading it and not know. How much more convincing do we need? Does it have to affect you personally before you will take it seriously? In this case, Menshlichkeit is first! Think of others you come in contact with! Wear the Mask, even in shul so the older gentleman next to you will be protected, in case you sneeze! Those who say “Its Over” are Wrong! Schools are starting, Hoping that our children and grandkids stay Safe! The Flu is on us as well! We as yet don’t know the possible affects of the Flu and COVID together! I’m not a doctor but a concerned Grandmother, worried for our community and begging everyone, young people as well to use common sense when with others and wear a mask.Wishing everyone a Safe and Healthy start to the New Year! We are all Brothers and Sisters, let’s act like we are!

  3. I am sick home now with covid the worst 10 day of my life. Wish it on our biggest enemies.
    This is very real so unless you have experienced it ur selves do not make those comments

  4. Covid killed two of my colleagues, and a neighbor, and more than one person I know has had heart and / or lung damage –which may be permanent — from this unprecedented disease.
    There are guidelines handed down to us through the centuries, starting in the Talmud, about how to deal with epidemics and other contagious outbreaks. We ignore them at our peril.

  5. Covid killed two of my colleagues, and a neighbor, and more than one person I know has had heart and / or lung damage –which may be permanent — from this unprecedented disease.
    There are guidelines handed down to us through the centuries, starting in the Talmud, about how to deal with epidemics and other contagious outbreaks. We ignore them at our peril.

  6. “You trust us to take care of you when you are sick and at your most vulnerable, and in life and death decisions. You trust us to deliver your babies, treat your children, manage your chronic conditions, and fix your fractures. We collectively request that you trust us in this, as well.”
    this is our biggest problem we should trust in hashem not the drs

  7. “You trust us to take care of you when you are sick and at your most vulnerable, and in life and death decisions. You trust us to deliver your babies, treat your children, manage your chronic conditions, and fix your fractures. We collectively request that you trust us in this, as well.”
    how can we trust you if you dont know anything about it just admit that you dont know and hashem runs the world and pervents sickness not the drs and when you admit then hopefully covid will be over with the coming of moshiach

  8. “how can we trust you if you dont know anything about it just admit that you dont know and hashem runs the world and pervents sickness not the drs and when you admit then hopefully covid will be over with the coming of moshiach”
    1) No human being has absolute knowledge, but that does not mean medical professionals “don’t know anything about” covid. A lot is known. Thousands of scientists and hundreds of thousands of physicians, nurses, PAs, etc worldwide are sharing information, experiences, etc. Watch the videos from Dr. Ditchek and Dr. Glatt for updates on what is known.
    2) In halacha, we are obligated to obey doctors. Rav Aharon Kotler ztl would stand up when his doctor entered the room, and meticulously followed the directives of his doctor, according to Rav Perr, shlita, who was meshamesh this gadol for many years. Since the time of the Gemarah, leading rabbanim also served as doctors. While HaShem certainly “runs the world and prevents sickness”, doctors are obligated al pi halacha to try to heal those who have become sick, and of course whenever possible following in the footsteps of the Rambam himself [who gave specific recommendations on how to prevent disease, and wrote that he GUARANTEES a long life to those who follow his prescription, with rare exceptions]. Also, rabbonim from the time of the Talmud itself provide instructions as to how to prevent the spread of a contagious disease [keep away dalet amos, which is almost exactly–you guess it–6 feet, stay in one’s house, off the streets, have the infectious person wear a mask to prevent airborne transmission, wear a mask yourself, etc.]. When there is a widespread danger, the malach ha/moves is given permission to kill tzadikim along with the rest of us. He need not discriminate. Those who violate the instructions of our gedolim of yesteryear and today which are almost perfectly in agreement with those in the guidelines listed above endanger not only themselves but all those with whom they come into contact. That is not emunah. It might be out of sheer ignorance, or selfishness, but it is not emunah, and these people will have to answer for their recklessness in Shamayim

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